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To blog or not to blog (and other thoughts on purpose)

It’s been a little long time since I last posted. For those of you who still visit me after two months of nothingness, God bless you. I am not worthy of your eyeballs on this page.

For the past two to three months I’ve been taking a hard look at everything I do and deciding which useless tasks to toss out and which to pour myself into. You see, I tend to get excited about lots of causes and opportunities and then I’m all over the place, getting very little sleep and unable to give each activity (or person in my life) the attention each deserves. So I decided to simplify, cut off some dry branches and just do few things with excellence.

In the process, this blog almost got the ax (hence, my absence). I’ve often debated the merits of blogging with my friend Sue. A contributor at Veritas Rex, a political blog managed by a handful of writers, Sue’s attempted to slap some blogging sense into me: “You have to feed the beast,” she warned, “and the beast is always hungry.”

While pondering her advice, I came across an intriguing post by Wildfire Marketing President Bob Eagar, entitled “The Dangers of Blogging.” According to Rob, blogs could be “the biggest time waster since Solitaire came standard on office computers.” He argues that, as busy professionals trying to grow a business, pay our bills and spend time with God and loved ones, we must be vigilant how we invest our time. (Solid advice so far.)

Plus, I’m thinking, there are lots of blogs that share the same focus as mine, except they do a far better job — why would I want to compete with them? Rob makes a pretty darn good case as to why I should chuck the whole shebang.

While I find myself nodding to Rob’s persuasive arguments (which you can read in full here), I’m still skeptical. It can’t all be bad, I’m thinking. And it isn’t (which is why Rob still maintains a blog). If nothing else, blogging can be an effective tool for fine-tuning your unique voice and focus.

It turns out my decision on the whole blogging dilemma was made much easier a couple of days ago, when the magazine I work for announced it is ceasing operations. Now that I no longer have to produce and polish a truck-load of content for a publication, I’m ready to blog up a storm.

I’m making some changes, though:

  1. I’m focusing more on personal stories and experiences, and not so much on exploring big concepts. Some of the folks on my blogroll (over to your right) already do that exceptionally well.
  2. I’m not going to obsess about appearing ultra professional, polished and spiritual because, frankly, real people are flawed and don’t talk in über-articulate, politically-correct prose all the time. So get ready: My quirks and penchant for drama are about to come out.
  3. The Bible and Seth Godin both have me convinced that generosity pays better than anything else. So you’ll find free goodies here from time to time, like book downloads, nifty tools and such. I might even start giving away the stack of pre-release books I often got from publicists when I was an editor. (We’ll see. I hate going to the post office, but I’d like to find some of these babies a new home.)

How about you? Have you slowed down enough to reconsider why you do what you do, and why you do it the way you do it?

Ps: If you’re in the greater Indianapolis area, I’d love to meet you. Drop me a note in the comment section below and we’ll do coffee sometime.


8 Responses

  1. I’ve had these struggles too. For me blogging is the way I process information in community. I still have my journal, but there’s something about community.

    Glad you’re back!

  2. Thanks for not abandoning me, Marcus!

  3. Andrea… Just a quick note to say ‘we’re still here reading when you post’. *smile* [and aggregating you into our sidebar]

    I suspect most bloggers continually ask themselves these questions frequently. My answer keeps coming back… Maintain a personal blog… but MOSTLY get involved in a collaborative blog, to lighten the load on each person while still maintaining the critical mass of at-least-daily posts. [Thus, http://IndyChristian.com is open for all you ‘driven Christians in the Racing Capital of the World’.]


  4. You bring up some great points! I regularly try to evaluate what I am doing, and put things into priority. In fact, I have recently stepped aside from a young adults (20-somethings) ministry that I have led for about 5 years because I had other things that required my attention more. It is difficult sometime to step away from some very good things, but it can be the right thing to do.

    Regarding blogging, I see Rob’s point, but disagree on one thing. I cannot compare blogging to solitare. Playing solitare has really no impact on my life. It is an absolute time-waster. With my blogs, even if no one else cares what I am writing about, then I am still learning and growing in the process. Like Marcus, I have found it to be a great community-builder, but more that that I have found that I need to blog as a part of my own personal growth. I think that there are large personal benefits, and sometimes it can be a part of a greater ‘business’ strategy.

    I’m glad to see you back! I look forward to hearing more from you here… quirks and all!

  5. I’ve grappled with so many of these issues, so many times (and blogged about it!) It’s always enlightening to see others in the same boat.

    Blogging is complicated. Once you start, it’s always there. Of course, the feed-me thing is challenging. Personally, it’s always hard for me because it opens up whole new worlds to me of what other people are saying and doing, and it’s hard to ever feel satisfied when you realize you can’t do your thing and everyone else’s thing too.

    So I have had to come to a point where I’ve defined the value of it to myself. And that value is in relationships. I have ideas all the time, every day. I can barely keep track of them. So if I can share my ideas (which often takes courage, and of course, invaluable time) in ways that help me form relationships, then I value that.

    Anyway, I just discovered your blog (not sure how it’s eluded me all this time, seems like we have a lot in common) so I’m looking forward to reading your journey. Glad to see you’ll be sticking to it!

  6. @Dan & Indychristian — nice to hear from you again!
    @Tiffany – nice to connect with you; thanks for the visit!

  7. Sounds like you’ve enjoyed a good dose of discernment recently. I enjoy seeing people think about the whats and whys of life, and I hope your new approach produces a blog you really enjoy.

    Press on.

  8. Your are Great. And so is your site! Awesome content. Good job guys! Interesting article, adding it to my favourites!

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