Friday, December 7, 2012

8 Ego hazards of religious blogging

If you think blogging about faith and religion is a walk in the Garden of Eden, let me tell you about eight hazards to watch out for.  (They’re like sssssssssnakessss..)

#1  When I figure something out something in the scriptures that I never knew before, I think, “That was awesome!  Lord, give me a teaching calling!”
(Then I realize that it would take about 4 minutes to explain what I just learned and I’d have 30 minutes of lesson time left to fill.)

#2 When someone disagrees with me, I think, “You are going APOSTATE!”
(Well, not really.)
(Well actually, yeah, kinda.)
(And then I realize I forgot to take into account some other scriptures that disagree with me too.)
(And then I remember that I have a right to be wrong.)
(And then I remember that means others have a right to be wrong too.)

#3 When someone else blogs about the same thing I was thinking of blogging about, I think, “Gee, I must be in tune with the concerns of the times!”
(And then I realize that two people thinking about the same thing does not necessarily mean the rest of the world is thinking about it too.) 
(And then I realize that two people saying the same thing about world problems become two witnesses, which, you know, is practically prophetic.. )
(And then I remember that mass media repeats certain messages that we wouldn’t necessarily want to pattern our lives after, so there’s always the danger of being falsely-prophetic.)

#4 When I look at the number of followers on my blog, I think, “A bunch of people think I’m awesome!”
(And then I see some other blogs (cough) Middle-aged Mormon Man (cough) and see they have about six times more followers and gained them in half the time and I realize that my appeal is not nearly as wide as I think it is.) 

#5 When another blogger (or even the Mormon Times bloggernaclebackbench) links to a post I’ve written and riffs off it, I’m think, “I have arrived at the status of internet authority and expertise!  Everyone should listen to me!”
(And then I remember that in a day or two, I will be right back in “non-authority” status again as people move on to link to other cool sites.)

#6 When I do research on a block of verses or a chapter and find someone has blogged about it and given about fifty times more insight than I have gained so far, I’m inclined to bow in profoundest humility and link, while trying to smother envy that they posted on it first.
(The humility isn't the hazard.)
(The envy is.)
(And then I realize that the Lord allows other people to have insight too, and the gospel didn't come out of me.)

#7  When a General Authority says something extremely close to what I’ve blogged about, I think, “They read my blog, they liked it, and decided to quote me!”
(And then I read a prophet biography, realize how freakin’ busy they are, and realize it is much more likely that the same spirit that enlightened me also enlightened them on the same topic without them actually having to even know my blog existed.  It’s ninja spiritual skilz, I’m tellin’ya.)

#8 And, on a semi-annual basis, after listening to at least 32 fabulous talks in general conference and anticipating composing a post of conference highlights, my reaction is:  OVERWHELM  FAIL
(And then I realize that I don’t have to obligate myself to say something about everything.)


Sometimes I have to tell my blogging to Leggo my Eggo….er.. Ego.


Rozy Lass said...

Don't stop blogging; I really appreciate your insights and since I live in an area where there are few spiritually insightful sisters I enjoy yours and pretend that I know you and am thankful for you sharing.
AND I know exactly how you feel! But keep up the good work.

urinalsoftheworld said...

MMM's blog is enough to make every religious blogger cower in awe. Oh that we were half that clever and witty! Keep blogging for yourself and the rest of us will eat up the crumbs that fall from the table and feel filled. And--for the record--I'm sure those GA's are poaching your stuff :)

Thanks for your insights.

Ramona Gordy said...

Thanks for your candor on this subject. Self introspection keeps us humble.(Well I can only speak for my self) I really enjoy your blog,it is refreshing and you seem to have committed to a theme and you work hard to maintain it.

What I have learned, and what the Savior is teaching me is humility and charity. So I had to figure out how to be humble in my expectations for my own blog. I wanted followers, so I did everything except join face-book, so there are 6 people following who may or may not admit it. So I pouted over that and threatened to quit writing. But the Lord kept working with me and opening my heart to receive his teachings,and I invited people to read my blog in the hopes that something that I wrote would bless their hearts,and every now and then someone will come up to me and hug me and say thank you, your blog helps me.
I am learning to be charitable in my blog, by doing my best to not "preach". So I try to share and listen to the Spirit for guidance on what I should write.

But most of all for me, I try not to compare my blog to others, or beat my self up if it seems that no one reads it. One of the most profound scriptures I have read was in
Malachi 3:16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.
I really believe that our blogs, our records are read.

Michaela Stephens said...

You guys have no idea how much your support means to me. I'm struggling with lots of feelings of inadequacies right now.

catania said...

This is a good post, and very relate-able. There has been a time when I have felt each of the points! But, as the other commenters have mentioned, don't stop sharing and blogging!

(Unless you are feeling spiritually prompted to do so, I suppose).

When I'm feeling insecure, then I remember that there are many different types of blogs, and that I have to stay true to me. As much as I'd love to write a funny blog like MMM or something really maternal and inspiring like some other blogs, I keep realizing that I love blogging because I love to dive into the scriptures and write as if I'm in an institute class or similar.

I have to say, I'm amazed at what I've learned from both blogging and reading other's blogs. Yours included! In fact, I'd have to say that your blog is one of my faves. It is exactly the kind of style I love to read. And I'm sure there are loads more people who feel as i do! :)

oh...and I love what Rozy Lass says - pretending that I know you! I often feel the same way. Any time I go down towards tempe or mesa, or the temple, I wonder about you! not in a stalker-ish way, I promise! :)

Papa D said...

9) When I write a post about which I feel particularly good, I realize a couple of days later that I've read thousands of posts from hundreds of people over the last five+ years, so my post probably was inspired by one of them.


Michaela Stephens said...

Catania, I also try to remember that my blog has a certain style to it; of course, that doesn't mean I don't ever wish I could transcend it. And I wonder about you too (also in a non-stalker way)..

Papa D, great point. And sometimes it is hard to pin down exactly how we are influenced or how much..

Thanks for reading.