On blogging.

I can’t help but notice.

Impossibly cute outfits with a myriad accessories. Clean, happy, gorgeous children. Artsy and organized spaces. Stunning photography. As our social worlds shift more and more toward online networks and communities, I am constantly reminding myself (although it feels more like convincing) that people aren’t really that perfect…. are they?

I’ve always loved the idea of blogging.  I’ve had multiple blogs that have eventually fizzled out and I knew starting this one that I wanted to stick with it even when it got hard.  I love having a space to be creative and spout off and get on a soapbox, and I love equally having a place where people can come ask questions and give me advice and speak into my life. It’s truly a give and take. But, as with most things worth doing, blogging is honest to goodness painfully hard sometimes.  If you don’t keep a blog yourself, you should know something:  bloggers tend to make blogging look easy. But my mind reels sometimes when I see other peoples’ sites. How much time did that take them? I think. Blogging costs a good bit of time and even a good bit of money sometimes; it’s an investment that requires frequent deposits if you expect to get anything back.

These are all practical concerns. There are even more intangibles. Do I dare to bear my soul? Do I share only impersonal information? One can be awkward and invasive; the other is boring. And more: Do I write for myself or for my audience? Do I give my blog a strict focus, which may make my blog more “useful” to readers, or do I let my thoughts wander ALL over the place? How can I approach controversial topics with grace? When I write about my faith, do I sound preachy or honest? And the big one: Does keeping a blog ever cause me to be overly self-focused? Do I ever fall into the trap of thinking, somehow, that I am qualified to make judgments about people and things, and that my audience somehow needs me to get by? Do I try to make my life look more perfect than it is?

As I glance around the blogosphere, I realize how easy it is to view blogging as a way to make my life look glamorous or to make myself look knowledgeable and wise.  I feel sin in the form of jealousy, resentment, and judgment take hold of my heart when I see beautiful, young, put-together women with any combination of GAP babies, doting husbands, devoted friends, and  successful home businesses.  If I’m honest with myself,  I want that.

So why tell you all this? Because I’m considering the future of this blog, and I want more than anything for it to be an authentic place of learning and wrestling and thought and discovery for writer and reader alike.  I’m considering my direction, my focus, my blog’s personality and design, my readership.  I want to incorporate more of my personality and my interests into this space, making it truly “mine,” while at the same time keeping an open-door policy and writing about topics that invite real, refreshing conversation – letting it be yours, too. By God’s grace I hope to get there, someday.  If you have any suggestions, please feel free to send them my way!

This year at Brynna Begins has been a learning experience — from WordPress hosting to self-hosting, several series, good intentions at following along on “blogger challenges,” etc.  My thoughts have often felt scattered or unimportant, my ability insufficient, my writing contrived, and my best attempts at consistency falling very short of perfect.  But plenty of good has come about, too — posts I’ve felt proud of, times blogging felt like the most natural thing in the world, encouraging words from readers.

In the next week or so, I’ll be rolling out some big changes. I’m working on a redesign I’m excited about, that should *hopefully* fix the RSS reader problem we’ve been having, as well as add a little more focus, personality, and organization to this space.  Keep your eyes out for fun things coming your way.  And, as always, feel free to start a conversation by messaging me with any questions or thoughts.

Happy late birthday, blog!

Here’s to keeping it real.

Love,

  • http://krameymartin.com Kaleigha

    It’sexcitingtomakechamgesonyoursite.Ithinkpeoplewilllovefollowingyouasyouembarkonyournewjourney!:)

  • Rachel

    Bravo seester! I struggle with all the same things! Blogging is NOT the dreamy flowy perfect thing I thought it would be. Never give up! I prefer to read the imperfect blogs. It’s relatable. I read the fancy perfect ones, rarely now, and quickly shut themout because I can’t imagine every creating the embroidered mixed media pillow sham or the almond crusted veal they rave about in detail. I’m a mess so I like reading honest blogs.

    Keep up the great work! I love you! :)

  • http://www.coleandlaura.blogspot.com Laura

    Keep up the great work, Brynna! I always look forward to reading what you so eloquently write!!