730 days of blogging

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.

Copyright © 2009- 2011 Sherry Meneley . All Rights Reserved . soiledwings.com . sherrymeneley.com . soiled wings

28 thoughts on “730 days of blogging

  1. Sherry, a couple things on my mind…

    First, congrats on your consistency & your persistence. Good job!!!

    Second, you really do have a gift for writing & I’m glad I get to read your stuff.

    Third, thanks for the good practical thoughts today on blogging – both instructional & inspirational for me. I’m in a huge transition moment right now & am barely holding on to my blog and my sanity, but these thoughts help me as I stumble across this current bridge and keep my eye on the other shore.

  2. Hello Sherry,

    I have to admit that I do enjoy being an anomaly.;) I don’t read the comments made on the blogs I read. And I only make a comment when the wind blows from within and I feel compelled to. It had taken me a long time to simply accept and allow it, because doubt would make me second guess everything that came out in response to a post – “how dare I be so arrogant?”, “Is my comment even relevant to the post?”, and “Someone probably has already made that point.” are common. Over time, I stubbornly found that people will accept and enjoy most any thoughtful comment so long as it is sincere and maintains a certain degree of humble decorum. No matter how strong the wind blows from within, we are still responsible for how it all comes out.

    In the end, to me, comments are like presents; they are only good if they are sincere… if someone buys a present for no other reason than they think they have to it is obvious, uncomfortable, and disappointing. Not to mention some of the new amazing things (to me at least) that come out in the comment as I write.

    Keep up the great blog!
    Craig

    • Craig – totally agree. There are some blogs where readers comment like writing their name on the bathroom wall – it’s all so they can say “I WAS HERE.” And yet I still get a kick out of “most” of those comments too. And now I’m sitting here thinking, “oh gosh, I hope my #1 item isn’t a needy solicitation for comment.” (oy vey)
      ps: I’ve got to be in a strange giddy mood because your “No matter how strong the wind blows from within, we are still responsible for how it all comes out.” is making me giggle like a 5 year old (who laughs at “gassy” sounds, comments, etc…). So, thank you for giving me a good laugh – an yes I do understand the adult version of that sentence, but 5-year-old me is taking over a bit this morning.

      • LOL! It is a good thing I didn’t notice the 5yo perspective or else I would have been too bashful to post it. I might have to get my nephew to edit everything for me. 😀

  3. Congrats Sherry!

    I would love to say that I have been there by your side everyday, but I have not! I’m just not that much of a computer person, not because I don’t enjoy it, but because I don’t use it much I find myself spending hours upon hours doing just the menial of tasks. Because I’m the type of person that crams as much as possible into everyday, and expect myself to complete everything I feel guilty for doing so. On that note, when I have indulged and gone beyond my comfort zone I do read your blog. And I can tell you with all honesty that I can’t think of a single blog that I have had the opportunity to read that did not make a difference in my day. Your creative writing has always put a new spin on situations in my life that have allowed me to see things from a new prospective. Always refreshing! Keep up the good works Sister.

    Love ya

    • Glenda – you got my first offical tear today. Again I don’t have prizes to offer today, except a big thank you from my heart. Thank you sister-friend!

  4. I love how real you are. I learn from you. So glad that you like the comments that your readers put. It tells me that you don’t think your thoughts and ideas are the only right ones. Thank you for your writings! May God continue to bless you!

    • Thank you Tammy – seriously, if my readers had blogs, my world might get lonelier – I’m in awe at others takes/insights. But again, thank you 😀

  5. Aww Sherry, you’re just amazing and I love the way you write. And I’m not just sayin’ that so I can say “I was here.” I don’t always comment, and a lot of times I don’t even get to read the blogs I want to with any consistency (kids, homeschooling, life gets in the way) but I always come away with something to ponder when I read yours and it always makes my day a little brighter. So, a big thank you to you!!

  6. Sherry – congratulations. Two years of solid and consistent blogging is a REAL milestone. I always look forward to Friday nights (timezone thing) and reading your posts. They make me laugh, cry and think (sometimes all at once which is unusual for a male – we don’t multitask as a rule).

    What I love about your work the best though is that it’s YOURS – unique, real and so inspiring. It’s a powerful combination and your readers really respond to it. Your blogs often spark a thought or idea in my head that turns into a poem or a word for someone.

    Sherry Meneley – you are an inspiration. Know this – God works through you in a mightly powerful way and impacts lots of people and lives. Be still and be encouraged.

    Oh – and Happy Birthday two year old 😉

  7. Yours was the first blog I had ever read and haven’t missed one! They make me laguh, they make me cry, and they teach me a whole lot about life and God. Love your writing and love you my friend!

  8. Thanks, Sherry! God told me to write for him too, almost 4 years ago. No details of what to write (Blog? Short story? Creative nonfiction? Advice column?), just to write for him. I waffled & pulled a Moses, saying I was unqualified and lacking writing technique. Since then he’s been moving collegiate mountains to get me through grad school (English major w/Creative Writing emphasis); all I have left is to complete my thesis.

    Thanks for writing this, Sherry; it reminds me to stop being self-conscious and my own worst critic, to just *write* and let it flow out as it will. God wouldn’t have called me to write if he thought I couldn’t do it.

    You inspire us all in so many ways. 🙂

  9. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! I am a new reader of your blog and I count it such a blessing. There has been many a tear shed ( happy and sad ), reading your post. Keep sending the BLESSINGS…

  10. You wrote: “I’ve got two posts that have been out-right stolen.”

    You have some nice reads, personally find it amazing you have only two taken. Which ones are the two taken? Just curious.

    Thanks for sharing your blessings.

    Mrs. T.

  11. WOW! A lot of comments. I look forward each week to see what you have to say. I’m amazed at how much is in you. I’m proud to be your Dad.

  12. Sherry, thanks for this blog. I’ve been going to start a blog for the two years you’ve been writing. Guess this will nudge me over the top. I’ve held back for all the reasons you listed. Just need to have help with the set-up.
    My favorite blog this year is about feeding the birds.

  13. 730 days, outstanding! Congratulations Sherry, I’ve enjoyed reading 35 weeks of your blogs. I think my favorite blog so far was “Without Parachutes”. I love hearing stories of people stepping out on faith, taken a leap, or however one describes it, I enjoy hearing their stories. It’s was my intent to reply just to let you know how much I enjoyed the read, something just evaporated my time. I haven’t gotten the urge to follow any other bloggers; I guess I’ve gotten stuck on your blogs and your web page. Like you said, the page design has a lot to do with fact, to stay or not to stay; to read that is. Reading your blogs give me the impression that you are very much connected with the Universe. I guess that is why I enjoy your blogs. Your insight gives me the feeling that I should hitch a ride, and listen to others. So, I think I will do that, just to hear some others perspectives. I would love to know your web page designer! Keep up the good work and maybe someday, I will get the courage to blog.
    JLem

    • Thank you so much – and I am my own designer. I’m a bitty-bit of a computer geek… but not overly so. So I had just enough knowledge and guts to go this blog designy thing on my own. And I’ve totally enjoyed making the header, finding elements to keep a “teal-ish” theme, etc… Again, thanks for following – I’m honored – truly.

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