Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Reflections on 5 Years of Blogging

In June My Life as a Wrestler celebrates its 5 year birthday so I thought it would be interesting to reflect over what I’ve learned in 5 years of blogging.

How it all started…
Back in June 2005 I launched this blog as Crispytunes News.  It was originally launched in conjunction with my last CD Move which had just come out.  The blog was going to be mainly a place to post gigs, pictures and some thoughts on music and spirituality.  The first phase of this blog lasted until Aug 29, 2005 when Katrina hit. 

Diary of disaster…
For the year after Katrina Crispytunes News began to be a place where I mainly posted blogs about life after Katrina—the destruction, the loss, and the efforts to see things restored in the New Orleans area.  This phase of the blog didn’t feature much in the way of really good writing but was a way for me to process issues of faith and hardship.  Something began to change a bit in 2006 as the blog turned into a bit more of a forum to wrestle with issues.

Less is More
In August of 2006 I published a blog called Hell is a Walmart Checkout Line.  This blog post marked a bit of a transition in the blog as I began to take writing a bit more seriously and kicked things up a notch.  I was starting to feel that simply putting opinions and facts on the blog wasn’t enough.  I needed to take writing for the blog as seriously as I took songwriting.  This meant that I would frequently spend several days working and reworking some of my posts and then pass them by my friend Susie who would edit the grammar and punctuation as well as give me feedback on how it all flowed and communicated the ideas that I was trying to get across.  Another interesting factor at this time was that I was really beginning to wrestle with theology in a major way in a post-Katrina world where many of the typical ideas on ministry and church were getting really tweaked.  I felt compelled to think deeply on God and culture and church so as to sort through the things that were worth keeping and those that could simply be discarded.  This combination of wrestling with theology and a desire to put out a higher quality of writing resulted in significantly fewer blog posts (2007 actually saw the fewest blog posts of any of the years that this blog has been in existence though the quality was getting better).

I have noticed over the years of recording music that sometimes I have gone in the studio to make one kind of album and then once the creative process gets going something else emerges.  This is what began to happen with the blog.  The blog was changing as changes were happening in me.  I was beginning to feel that writing wasn’t simply a side thing for me any more but that it was part of my vocation and calling.  The truth is I could look back to high school and see how this had been a thread in my life for years from writing for the high school newspaper to publishing my own underground newspaper (Purple Haze) to the three years of publishing a newsletter called The Lamp with my band Mary’s Den.  This all lead me to doing something that a person should never do on December 31, 2007—I made a resolution that I wanted to write a book by the end of the year.  I would name the book My Life as a Wrestler because it was becoming clear to me that wrestling with ideas had become one of the main themes of the blog.  Well, the book never came out and instead I changed the name of this blog from Crispytunes News to My Life as a Wrestler.

Recent History
Where am I today with this blog?  Over the past year I have tried to keep the content creative and engaging striking a balance between the longer essays that I put a lot of work into and shorter pieces to get the conversation rolling.  I am also trying to be more disciplined as a blogger taking blogging seriously as part of my calling.  This means that I am not simply waiting for inspiration but trying to live a more consistently inspired life.  A few years ago I would only write when inspiration hit but now I am trying to keep a folder of 5-10 ideas that I am consistently wrestling with which has in led to a more consistent flow of writing.  I have also begun to allow more time in my life for writing because I see it as something God created me to do.  I can honestly say that pursuing this path has really helped in so many other areas of my life particularly as I have embarked on church planting.  I am finding that I am a better pastor, teacher, and musician as I blog because my writing spills over into all of these areas. Will any of this wrestling ever turn into a book?  Maybe.  But for now I am content to simply wrestle with life, theology, and creativity openly with anyone who chooses to join me in the conversation.  I thank all of you who have joined me in this journey whether years ago or just in the last month.  Thanks for reading and thanks for your input.

Here’s to five years of wrestling and hopefully many more years of wrestling to come.  Happy Birthday Blog!

1 comment:

Pi Man said...

Indeed, it certainly is a vocation and calling for you Bro. I follow six blogs at the present. And while I do not have one of my own, I always enjoy reading and commenting on them, especially yours. And the main reason is you are truly sincere in what you are writing, and equally sincere about your own struggles and questions. And well, honesty like that is not easy to find these days. It's also the basis of integrity, and I have nothing but respect for that. Thank you for all you are doing, and may you continue communicating with us all, via blogs or other instruments (literally and figuratively)for many years to come. Peace. TA