Thursday, April 01, 2010

Pros and Cons

Joe Haward sums up a lot of what I was feeling about blogging at the start of Lent, and still feel to a large extent now:

So I'm checking my blog a lot, reading other people's blogs and spending my time like this. I've noticed that it's starting to have an impact on my prayer life and spiritual health, so it is a problem. Therefore I'm going to have a break from all things blog. I need to have a spiritual workout.

It was noticeable how many bloggers were reviewing their blogging around the start of Lent: Doug Chaplin and Maggi Dawn decided to change their patterns, others quit for the season, I left it open about whether to resume or not.

And to be honest I'm torn. In the 'against' column is everything I wrote 7 weeks ago, plus a few observations since then:
- It feels like I have a lot more time than before

- It feels like I have more energy, and am less preoccupied than before

- Resisting the temptation to opine on things was quite a test, but a good one. I don't
suppose anyone noticed the world ceasing to turn.

- I'm getting to bed a bit earlier, and with less on my mind, because there's no longer the wondering of whether anyone's left a comment during the 10 o clock news. On a couple of occasions I've had awful nights after getting a critical comment or two, and spent hours stewing over them. Not good. Nick Baines notes in his Radio Times column this week (well worth a read) that you have to have a bit of a thick skin to do this. I don't have one of those.

But there's a 'for' column too:
- I enjoy it

- Blogging gives me the chance, and the challenge, of interacting with other points of view and processing my thoughts. Writing stuff down helps me to work out what I think.

- It's a way of continuing conversations begun elsewhere, occasionally sparking off comments on Facebook, or people from other local churches chatting about something I've written, or once in a blue moon actually printing it off for their church leadership to look at.

- With 85 Google Reader subscribers, 490 Twitter followers, plus other links in sidebars and on Facebook, there's a reasonable network/audience linked here now. It doesn't mean that that many people read this thing - I'd be concerned at the waste of time involved if they did. But it does mean that the blog, sometimes, can be a useful signpost, or part of a campaign. Perhaps it would do better at that if I got back to the original goal of this thing, which was to be a place for resources and discussions about mission. It seems to have splurged all over the place a bit!

- One or two comments here, and people I've spoken to, have said how much they appreciate this blog.

- The election: though the overload of verbiage which accompanies it probably won't be any the better for me hopping aboard the bandwagon.

It's a tricky one. I remember a saying 'the good is the enemy of the best' - we're tempted by the things which seem good, but sometimes they get in the way of something better. I don't really want to lose the greater peace of mind, sense of time, and easing in skittishness which the blogging fast has given me. The issue is whether I've the self-control to engage in blogging at a lighter level than before. This is my 1500th post. Is that a good place to stop, or just a good place to take stock?

PS if it's an April Fool you're after, the Guardian has a cracker on Labours new election tactics.


  1. Hi David
    I find the impulses and insights from your blogs or tweets helpful. Can understand your struggles and appreciate your honesty. Wishing you peace in your deliberations.

  2. Hi David, good to see your blog being revived (or should that be resurrected?) - I do hope you'll continue to discuss the things that are important as I usually find something worth thinking about further. All the better if you're regaining the focus on mission.

    Also, congrats on 1500 posts - my very next post will also be my 1500th!

  3. Obviously it's your decision, but I hope you will find 1500 (congrats) posts is a time for a stock-take rather than a full-stop.

    You have a valuable and distinctive voice, and I've missed it in Lent.

  4. OK, so I'm a week late ... but welcome back! :)