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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

On Pause

I appreciate all the encouraging notes and comments I've received during my unplanned blog silence the last couple of weeks (months?). I'm sure I've lost some readers by not posting in a while; after all, who wants to keep up with a blog that is never updated? If you're still watching this space, thank you.

A couple of months ago, I experienced something that has never happened to me. I sat down in front of the computer intending to write another soul-searching, thought-provoking post (thought-provoking for me, anyway), and the strangest thing happened: nothing. I couldn't write. For some reason, everything that I wanted to write seemed boring, redundant, petty, annoying, worthless, or just silly.

My newfound writer's block may have been due, in part anyway, to several conversations I had with readers. One was asking for my advice on starting his own blog. "How should I do it if I don't want mine to be as focused on denominational politics as yours?" he asked. That got me thinking; Is my blog about denominational politics? That's certainly not what I ever intended!

Another faithful reader told me that lately my posts had been lacking the "edge" that he had originally found so attractive. "I used to love when you'd really let people have it on your blog!" he said. I've never wanted my blog to be that, ever. I'm not trying to sling accusations or publicly challenge anyone about anything. This guy obviously hadn't perused the comments sections of any of my posts; if he had, he would have seen what an inept debater I am.

The most interesting comment I've received lately about my blog was from a new reader who told me that he had stayed up all night one night reading every post I had ever written. "You kind of repeat yourself a lot." he said. "Your posts are good, but you seem to be saying the same thing over and over." I tried not to point out that his two-sentence comment was itself redundant.

The thing that bothered me about his comment was that I agree with him. What's the point of writing once a week about how uncomfortable I am as a missionary, and how much I think the people in the churches back home misunderstand me? Why fill the (virtual) pages of a blog with complaints and things that only serve to discourage those within my organization?

So until I come up with something worth writing, I won't be posting here. Thank you for reading, and for participating in the discussion.

8 comments:

Watchman said...

stepchild,

the reason why i read your blog is displayed in this post. you're honest about the things that are pertinent to your life, whether tidy or not. most blogs i come across i can tell in a sentence or two if i am going to continue. i read very few consistently, because very few tell their story. the thoughts are rambling, the detail incoherent. yours are quite the opposite.

when i set out to write my blog a year ago, i told myself that i was writing first for me, and that i am not writng for an audience. i was wounded and depressed, so it became a way for me to express something of my own story. my mom and my three others readers could probably say the same thing about my posts as was said of yours, but i'm not writing for them anyway.

all that to say, i appreciate what you just wrote here, even after a long silence, you had something to say. I'll keep checking in from time to time.

amanda said...

I appreciate your honesty and humility in this post.

May God richly bless you.

Strider said...

Thanks for filling us in. We have been impatiently waiting. I am not interested in denomonational politics I was very interested in discussing philosophy of ministry stuff here.
I hope you can come back to the story God is telling in your life and work. I am sure it is worth telling.
One thing though. I used to write poetry. Some of it was ok and some of it was truly aweful. One day I looked at the corpus of my work and said, 'Until I grow as a person this is going to continue being drivil.' I stopped writting it. But what I did not understand then was that writing the drivil was what sharpened me to be better and become more than I was. So, take a break, but don't stay away too long. Failing often is the only way I have ever known to grow.

Watchman said...

stepchild

i'm with strider. you can write, which is why so many people tune in. you have something to say, and may i offer it to you this way; don't take that away from us. sure, take some time, sort things out, but don't ever reject the fact that your words have the power to bless.

i used to play guitar but have left it sit in its case for the last two and a half years. part of the reason for it is that i'm not really sure why i played it in the first place, so i'm still sorting that one out. maybe i'll get back to it, maybe never. i don't know if thats the same with your blog, but whatever the medium, you have something to say. dont lose the voice.

Outoftheshaker! said...

Stepchild,
With the time I have to write is short, I started reading your blog because of the encouragement that I recieved knowing that I wasn't the only one going through the different thoughts and trails laid before us as so called missionaries. I encourage you to continue to write. I do not have the talent to express myself in words the way you do. May God continue to bless your Ministry.
Michael

Perry McCall said...

I've missd you. I understand waking up one day and planning to blog and nothing being produced. Keep it up and welcome back.

Anonymous said...

To me your blog comes off a little paternalistic when it comes to compasion and understanding of the very Americans who pay your salaray. If they are so bad and being a missionary such a thing to be ashamed of, why don't you get off the CP dole and get job?

stepchild said...

Anonymous,
Thanks for reading, and for your comment. I apologize if what I write here seems patronizing or ungrateful. The reason I write is to let the people who support me know what I'm learning, questioning, and thinking through. I also hope to challenge my supporters (and the organization I work with) to think differently about missions.

As for getting off the CP "dole," and getting a job, that's an excellent idea. Do you know of any job openings that I might be qualified to fill?

Thanks again for reading.