I can’t believe it’s been two years. That’s how long I’ve been a consistent, not-miss-a-beat blogger.
While two seems like a small number—it’s actually quite GIANT in the world of blogs. Sure there are blogs that have been around for longer (for instance my cats’ blog—I kid you not) but those blogs post only once every blue moon. In fact, did you know, a blog without a post for more than 60 days is considered a “Deaf Blog.” Hum, that means I own a deaf blog—again that would be my cats’ blog. (I can be very good at displacing blame).
Anyhoo, I’ve learned a lot about myself (and others) through blogging the last 730-days. So here’s ten “things” I wanted to share today—God willing I’ll have another ten to share next year.
1) Bloggers (meaning me) thrive on comments. There is not a single blogger—not even ONE— I’ve met that does not relish their readers’ comments (even the dumb-WTH-comments). If you think about it, it’s really the only form of compensation that can be paid to a blogger.
2) Readers love reading comments. I thought I was the only one who read ALL the comments on the blogs I follow—but as it stands many others feel the same way. I cherish all of you, but there are two commenters to Soiled Wings that get kudos for amazing remarks: Ron and Doug. These two guys, who (whom?) I admire, are mentors in my life. I often hear how others enjoy reading their comments, it’s not surprising as they are both excellent writers and witty thinkers.
3) My best posts are when I’m myself. Which equates to two things:
a) Write your heart, don’t censor based on fear of what others will think. This is rather easy advice to follow when you aren’t writing about God. But as soon as you mention God, or Christian, or Jesus—you are supposed to fit in a box that makes everyone comfortable and leads no one astray and is very black and white. And that’s fine if you actually feel black and white and love that box. But as for me, I’ve got black, white and A LOT of grayscale. I think we get a little crazy over finding how to be overtly black and white. So naturally, my grayscale—or neon pink—makes some people angry—or worse yet they worry over my soul (at least that’s what they tell me).
b) Write with YOUR voice. Writers love to talk about “voice” and rightly so. It’s that je ne se qua style of writing that makes someone say “oh that sounds just like _(the writer)__.” Voice is the magic ingredient to any writing.
4) Don’t be offended by plagiarism. Yeah, I’ve actually settled into being okay with this. I’ve got two posts that have been out-right stolen. One by a Sunday-school curriculum company and the other post shows up on other female written blogs over and over. A neat little feature of Creative Commons (an internet licensing company) lets me know when my words get used. And the truth is—what would I, could I, do about it. I used to write emails, but those emails never got responded to—and I figured it was just bad business on my end. I’d be lying if I didn’t wish to get some royalties from the Sunday-school lesson, but in the end I’m honored that God gave me an idea that helps small children understand a spiritual discipline.
5) Spelling and grammar checks are important—but not everything. I was born a terrible speller and I always will be—I don’t even have a complex about it. I also have a special knack for using words in their wrong context. It can be embarrassing—but I figure it’s just wacky me. That’s why I’m really thankful for spell-checkers. But when I over work a post for perfect grammar and removing all the “that’s” and other writer faux pas, I can lose the oh-so- important voice and message.
6) Writer’s block is my friend. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I had nothing to write, yet forced myself to sit and start “something” — “anything” — and before long an idea comes to mind and halfway through writing I start to see the end and how to wrap up and conclude the post. I give all that glory to God, because I’m seriously not that good. I’m smart, but not that good.
7) Self-deprecating humor is golden. People get it. They get you. They see themselves. Ta-da!
8} People actually seem to care (and comment) on how Soiled Wings looks. And when I go to a blog that seems ho-hum-homely, well I get a little disinterested. So how a blog looks seems to be important.
9) Spam can be delicious. I hate to admit this, but my dad taught me to love Spam (from the can). Although he can eat it raw—I prefer mine thinly sliced and fried very crisp on the outside. And I actually like the SPAM on my blog. Some of it is quite hilarious (and repulsive, and odd, and in Russian). But that’s not why I read it. While WordPress is very awesome at catching SPAM, every now and then it misfires and a bona-fide real comment sits awaiting my approval. So if you blog, don’t just dump those 53 SPAM comments—scan them over—just in-case.
10) I’ve made a difference. Some days I honestly want to give up the whole bloggin’ deal. But on April 6, 2009 God said “WRITE”. He gave me the name “Soiled Wings”—because again I’m just not that clever. I obeyed, got this blog, and started writing. And I’ve been under the impression that I am to write until He returns or tells me to stop. As far as I know, neither of those has happened yet. Truthfully, it can be hard to keep writing. It’s hard to be okay with insecurity and putting myself out there and all that. And now and then—when I get really down—an email arrives—outside of the public comments you see. And in that email someone expresses how a Soiled Wings post made a difference—how my writing is helping others. And honestly, I cry every single time. I am humbled to my knees. It’s the best reminder that it’s not mass fame that matters; it’s not how my stats are doing, or how many times I’ve been Retweeted. Instead it’s all about doing my part in Kingdom work. It’s all about the ONE person it mattered to. To think that God trusts me to write anything that would make someONE move into a relationship with Him—blows my mind and I’m just not that worthy. And that’s NOT self-deprecating humor, it’s the honest truth.