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I don’t know what I’m doing!

February 11, 2007

It’s as plain and simple as that… when it comes to writing blogs, I am utterly clueless.

I’m quite skilled in the art of rambling. (Well, experienced, at least.) But a good blog cannot truly be synonymous with rambling. (Not that most of what I refer to as rambling truly fits the description either. I don’t like wasting my time with idle words. Even when there is no apparent or explicit point to my words, there is always a symbolic purpose behind my long-winded excursions into randomness. My writings can tend to have rather a wandering nature about them, though.)

My observations about blogging as a writing medium have led me to this conclusion: they are generally about all things random. And they are completely free; possibly the least formal writing to be found.

But I continually struggle with my inadequacy as a writer. Especially when it comes to speaking about God. (I kind of always have. Primarily because I care about it that much.) In the words of my wonderfully articulate friend, Richard:

I want my communication to at least bear resemblance to the beauty of my subject… I reach and grasp for words adequate to describe the indescribable, for language to speak of the unspeakable, for speech to express the ineffable. Therefore I labor not only for my heart to move, but also train my mind and tongue so that, when I speak, my lips might give voice to a sound that remotely approaches what He is deserving of.

Sometimes, these desires and the degree to which I know I fall short completely disable me. I find myself hiding again, afraid of my voice being heard. And it’s not just my ability to articulate these things that frustrates me. It’s my limited understanding… the constraints of my own perspective… the relative foolishness of some of my own thoughts and insights. For others to get a glimpse into how I view God is unbearably vunerable.

A friend recently challenged me in the realm of being a theologian. Challenged me to pursue the things that move my heart. Challenged me to speak up and share my ideas and insights with the world. Challenged me to take a risk.

It is so much easier to take someone like Richard (who has amazing insight, a brilliant mind, a heart that is truly moving toward God, and a great gift in articulating those things) and simply help and encourage him. I love looking at Richard’s writing and helping to make it just a little bit better. I love encouraging him to take those risks and supporting his theological pursuits.

It’s so much easier to take something that is good and do what I can to improve it and make it still better. My writing and my understanding of God has such a long way to go! And it is so much safer when it’s someone else’s ideas and someone else’s heart that is on the line.

Right now, these struggles are compounded by the fact that I am torn between two blogs. I wrote about this whole thing a little bit more at the onething blog. As it is, this personal blog has become the home of all things random while the things that are of utmost concern to me end up at the onething blog. This has two negative outcomes…

First, it takes away from the quality of my personal blog. Sometimes, I look at the overall content on this blog and it feels empty. No, it isn’t completely pointless… but I know that it greatly lacks the things that matter to me most.

Second, the fact that the onething blog is read by a much larger audience kind of multiplies my fears in writing about these things. And so I say much less than I otherwise might about God. And I only say anything at the times when I am able to muster all of the courage that is within me to take that risk and say something.

I know that I am hiding. And I want to stop.

Can anyone out there identify? Any insights on how to overcome?

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2 comments

  1. I can totally identify! I have a book I really, truly believe the Lord told me to write over two years ago. I have it all outlined, and have gotten the actual writing started. It’s pretty good, too. However, I suffer from the same thing you are talking about, fear of the audience. I stress and fret over each sentence, until I finally open a game of Spider solitare for a break, and only get back to the book to shut it down for the day.

    I have no insights to overcoming this to share, but can’t wait to see if anyone else has advice. Did I tell you I started the book over two years ago?… I both like and hate hiding…I think I have issues…


  2. i hide too. i’ve been support-raising, which is by far, i am convinced, one of the easiest places to wind up hiding at the most innappropriate times. i called my uncle today who is the pastor of a church back home and i talked to him incessantly about the family until finally the conversation lulled and i said “well, it’s great to hear about the family and all, but i called you mostly to ask you a question…” which was followed swiftly by a handful of qualifiers and then a very weak “so would like to support me, or at least consider it?” i wanted to crawl under a rock about then… no good.

    i don’t know what will happen. i know that i feel inarticulate about what i do here and it plays out with terrible timing. i know that i let my fear rule me in this area and instead of confidently saying “hey this is who i am and this is what i do, what do you think? would you be interested in supporting me?” i bumble around and hope for the best. i have no doubt that God can use it, but i wonder if it hurts his heart that i don’t trust him more.

    i have no answers. but i have a prayer life. and i’m putting both you and i in it more firmly. we will overcome, friend of mine, despite all odds. we’ve a God that is way bigger than either of us; the odds, however intimidating, are actually pretty much in our favor…

    bless you, and rest assured that i’m holding down the fort while you’re gone. : )



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