After writing multiple times in the past year about the changing world of blogging, taking a sabbatical (and living to tell about it), and then jumping right back in, I would like to add a couple more thoughts...
Actually, I'd like to let Charlotte add a couple more thoughts. She wrote a rather thought-provoking post this week as she announced a blog break. She's wiser than I in that she didn't set a timetable for her absence -she simply gave herself permission to go.
Her post affirmed the direction that I discerned for my blog during my sabbatical . I know what she's talking about. It bothers me. But I left, got my peace back, and returned with a firm sense of purpose. I have a blogging identity. It has nothing to do with any other bloggers out there... and everything to do with how the Spirit is working in my life.
Then there is Mary's post (that I saw just minutes before I intended to post this), which is further affirmation and confirmation for "mediocre" bloggers who are really the heart and soul of the Catholic internet community. She, like Charlotte, reminded me to look neither to the right or the left and just keep looking up.
I have my blogging blinders on. I have a firm purpose which I worked out with much thought and prayer while on sabbatical. I am committed to that purpose and to fighting the tendency to blog someone else's vision. I am also no longer in high school... and I refuse to allow likes, dislikes, accolades, links, awards, pettiness, or any one person to define my major actions or my purpose.
So... do you blog?
Because if you do, I want you to read those posts when you have a moment. You may find that you know what these lovely gals are talking about.
And then I want you to repeat after me...
I am a uniquely gifted woman of God. My beauty lies not in how much my blog looks like anyone else's, but by how perfectly I am responding to His holy will for my life.
Because my own blog sabbatical yielded so much fruit, I encourage all bloggers to take one of their own. Unless it provides a necessary portion of your income (and maybe even then), you should step away at times to remember what it is like to breathe and work and laugh without turning it into a blog post. God wants great and good things from you and perhaps you are having trouble listening over the noise of blogging.
In addition to the blessing of being available for God's plans, I promise that you will learn two things:
1) That you have (in some measure) an unhealthy attachment to the blogging world.
2) That almost no one truly cares if you blog again or not.
I don't mean to sound harsh but it is the cold internet reality that "when you move your feet, you lose your seat." You will be missed by a few but it is unlikely anyone will even cry. People move on quickly. If number 2 causes you feel a lot of anxiety, then please recall number 1... and take steps toward a good spiritual cleaning.
If we're honest, then most of us can admit that we've been guilty of putting our blogging egos before our holy purpose. Yes? That would be me. But the appropriate response to that self-knowledge is to fight like heck to get things right.
We can be savvy without being worldly.
We can be confident without being arrogant.
We can protect our intellectual property while still being generous.
We can earn some money without being covetous.
We can accept compliments with humility.
We can embrace criticism as a means to sanctity.
So what does God want from your blog? Not what do YOU want from your blog or what do you think God wants from your blog... but what is His actual dream for your keyboard. I discovered through my time away that it wasn't actually what I thought it was and I am grateful for the redirect.
If you need some silence to figure out your blog purpose (and you likely do), then take a break. Make sure it's long enough to sever unhealthy attachment. Return to blogging if He wills it. And if you've used your time well, you'll be humbler, happier, holier, more authentic, and more fruitful than before you left.
I am dreaming of a blog revival. We can never go back to the way it was in the beginning but we don't have to... the Spirit is here with us in the present. It's about ongoing conversion. Let's give everything and watch God light it up.