Monday, July 06, 2009

On Being Disciplined About Blogging

Aware that I have not been blogging as much lately, for a lot of complex reasons (never mind the name of my blog! You'd think that would inspire me to use the blog to process said complexity!), I've wondered how much blogging should be subject to inspiration (being led by the spirit), and how much it should be a matter of discipline, intentionality, commitment. For example, I am inspired by the regularity of Johan Maurer's blog, ("published every Thursday (mostly)," as he says on his site).

So, I've started experimenting with being more disciplined about my own blogging -- not here, but on Bible Wonderings (a posting every Sunday), and a new blog I've created, A Query a Day (every day).

I haven't announced this yet here, until now, because I wanted to try it for a couple of weeks to see if I could really sustain it. I'm still not sure. But I am finding it interesting to try! A Query a Day seemed simple and excellent at first, and then I went through grave doubts for a few days, feeling a bit burdened and trying to avoid the temptation of becoming frantically random just to keep it up. Then suddenly during a late evening when I had almost forgotten to post something and was frantically looking for something (forcing myself nonetheless to follow all of my "rules" of the new posting not being too similar to the one before, and from a different Yearly Meeting, and yet reflecting authentically something meaningful to me in my own life at the moment), I realized that this was good for me. It was good for me to be honest with myself about what's real in my own life, and to try to take that from being just about me to presenting it in a way that maybe others might find value in as well. I have no idea whether anyone is reading that blog at all. It may not ever be something that would be meaningful to anyone else. But I love queries, and I realized in that moment that this has become a new and important spiritual discipline for me -- to consider and post one per day that helps me to keep focused in my life on the values and reflection-questions that matter most to me.

At Meeting yesterday I discerned that it was time for me to start writing my own queries. I'll still draw from the ones from various Yearly Meetings (and other Quakerly sources) I have collected as well. It still feels experimental to me. I feel led, at the moment, to continue to be disciplined about this! But if I should stop feeling so led, I will let this go.

Bible Wonderings is something I feel led to continue no matter how long it takes! Slowly I make my way through. I've started Kings now. The weekly discipline of this is good for me and interesting. Doing it weekly helps me not lose the thread and forget where we were. What sometimes stalls me is that I don't always know what to say. Sometimes I'm very dismayed by the stories. I'm certainly getting tired of all of the violence and all of God's anger, and how the rulers who should know better by now keep making the same mistakes. It's hard to keep track of who everyone is.

Yet, through all of that, I am actually utterly fascinated. I am in awe of the fact that we have access to these ancient documents. I am moved by the struggle of the authors to make sense of what to them must have been a bewildering history: a history never fully arriving at the state of peace and reverence that they expected, or at least not for very long. Reading straight through like this is giving me a new perspective on a tradition and a heritage that includes you and me but that I, for one, realize I hardly know at all. For all the difficulty of these writings, they have meant a lot to a lot of people and have shaped our ways of thinking much more profoundly than most of us realize. (Even those who do not identify themselves with these traditions cannot help but be affected by them at least to some extent in today's world.)

So, for now, I will try to keep a disciplined approach to blogging in those two blogs, but will save this one, Embracing Complexity, my very first, for what I feel moved to write, when I feel so moved.


  1. Hello--thanks for mentioning my "regularity"--sometimes I think it is compulsiveness. With a mixture of pride and embarrassment I can report that it's been about four years since the last time I posted less than four times in a month.

    I hadn't caught on to your Bible blog but now I have it marked so that I'll be automatically reminded to read it. But I'm not telling you that to put pressure on you! Your sense of wonder and new perspective is inspiring.

    As for me, I'm sticking to just one blog. But I do stay moderately active with Facebook and with its Russian counterpart,

  2. Johan,

    Not compulsiveness -- commitment! Very admirable! Your readers (myself included) feel a sense that they can count on you!


  3. If you're interested, there are queries from North Pacific YM's in-progress revision at

    Click on the link to the right of the title of each individual section in the outline on that page.

    Some are new, some adapted, some held over.

    Jay T.

  4. Excellent! Thank you so much, Jay T.!