I’ve been thinking about a lot of things recently. And one of the things I’ve been thinking about is blogging and how my blogging has changed.
If you look at this site rhettsmith.com it will say that I posted my first blog on Dec. 17th. That is true, but I actually started experimenting with blogging on our college website in the summer of 2004. So I’ve been going at it for about three years. And it comes and goes in waves. Sometimes I post a lot and sometimes I almost post nothing for days at a time.
One of the things that I have noticed that has changed drastically (at least I think so) is my tone. In the earlier days I was more prone to try and stir up controversy, which was super easy to do.
The formula for blogging success (i.e. internet traffic, comments posted, etc) is to post anything negative about John Piper or John MacArthur….it doesn’t even have to be negative…just that you disagree with them. And then post anything pro Emergent and the emerging church.
That is instant success in the blogging world. Try it. It works.
But what most of you don’t know is that the last two years have been an amazing “inner-personal” journey for me. In the summer of 2005 I began seeing a therapist every week. That’s a lot of sessions. Today was my last day after two years of going every week. I will return again some day, but for now I am on hiatus.
There were many reasons why I went to see a therapist: 1) seeking personal growth; 2) working through past issues/personal baggage; 3) if I’m going to be a therapist which I am planning to do after finishing my MFT, I better have done some personal work and figured out what it’s like to sit across from a therapist. I consider it almost malpractice if I hadn’t.; 4) after being in ministry for so many years, one needs to do some work; 5) figuring out that our identity is not in what we do, but in who we are. Etc., etc. I could list millions of reasons.
But after two years as I reflect back on my journey and I look at my blogging I can trace many trends. And one of the major trends that I noticed was that I became more secure in who I was. Blogging (and I don’t think I’m alone here) is a way for many people to make an identity for themselves, be in the mix, see who comments about them, check on their traffic, etc. All of this feeds a crazy addiction (that most people won’t get…but those of you who blog do) that somehow makes you feel that your blog and you are one and the same. How your blog is doing, somehow gives value to how you are doing. Are you important? Are people reading you? Is traffic up or down? Are people linking my site?
Sounds super crazy I know.
But finally, I think I’ve come pretty close to being in a place where blogging is where it should be in my life. I do it because I enjoy it primarily. Not because I feel compelled to do so under pressure. Or worry that traffic will drop if I don’t post everyday.
And I can credit all of this to my journey in therapy. I’ve learned more about myself in the last two years than I did in the first 30. And I still have a long ways to go. But I also think I’m beginning to become more and more comfortable in my own skin and in who God created me to be, rather than in some image or personality I draft up in my blog.
So in the end, I’ve let go of that 1, 2, 3 formula for blogging success. Because it really doesn’t matter. In the end, we are just people posting thoughts online in our free-time. (for the most part 🙂