The world of blogging is fascinating, but if I’m being honest, it’s one I’ve struggled to fully understand. Blogs first began popping up in the late 1990s, and the practice has dramatically evolved since then. It’s extremely difficult to reliably determine the number of active blogs in the world as new ones are always popping up or being abandoned (even without solid stats, the number is in the hundreds of millions). The sheer number and diversity of blogs is evidence of the widespread appeal of this medium. There’s a blog on anything and everything. Friends of mine have blogs on their travels abroad, fashion advice, attractive men they meet, their business adventures, the Beatles, and the list goes on and on.
My view on blogging resembles classic marriage advice that’s given: It’s better not to have a (blog) than to have a (blog) and wish you didn’t have one. Sound eerily familiar? Starting a blog is a pretty easy feat, but the tough part comes with the continual grind of producing new content. Running a blog and finding content that will connect with your audience requires dedication. This is why I’d pretty much avoided the blogging bandwagon until I began my internship at Boundless. Blogging for Boundless pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I learned many things about myself and life in the process. If you’re currently blog-less and either don’t think it’s for you, or maybe you’re like me and you’ve considered it but are too afraid to make that leap, sit back, relax and let me convince you why blogging is a practice from which everyone can reap value.
First, it makes you practice what you write. Not only is blogging a great way to improve your writing and command of the English language (which is one of the most practical skills you can have), it also provides a built in source of accountability. Blogging serves as a digital stage. Even if you can count the number of readers on one hand, the important thing is that you now have a network of people who can approach you if they see an ongoing pattern in your life that doesn’t align with what you’ve been writing. The topics I’ve written about at Boundless are ones God has placed on my heart and convicted me of as areas I either a) need to work on in my life or b) am currently struggling with. It’s easy for me to read spiritually uplifting articles by other authors and automatically assume they have their lives together. But the truth is – writer or not – I am desperately dependent on Jesus. We all are. The beautiful thing about a Christian community is that we are brought together first and foremost by what Christ has done for us. When we see a brother or sister in Christ struggling with sin, we are told to extend them the forgiveness and grace we have received, but we also must speak truth to them in a spirit of love and gentleness. Blogging makes a writer vulnerable to this kind of correction in love but also encouragement and affirmation.
Also, it’s hard, but good, to be vulnerable. I’ve always enjoyed processing my thoughts and emotions through writing. However, I usually do this in the form of personal journaling. Over the last two months, I’ve realized how secretive I am when it comes to my desires and fears, even with the people who know me best. Realizing my family and friends would potentially read my blog posts was more frightening than knowing that thousands of unknown people would see them!
It’s difficult to come up with topics when I’ve closed myself off to subjects that require me to open up, bare my soul and pose questions I don’t have answers for. Though being vulnerable may not come naturally, we are held back if we never let our walls down. I think this is one of the main reasons why so many of us love reading articles like JB’s “Fat. Single. Christian.“. Darkness only has power over us when we shy away from Jesus’ light and truth. Jesus says to “confess our sins to each other and pray for each other that we may be healed.” Being closed off can serve as a stumbling block for growth in relationships. God uses our personal trials and tribulations for good by placing others in our realm of influence who are struggling with the same issues. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “In confession there takes place a breakthrough to community.” We were created to do life together, which includes taking off our masks and being ready to listen when others open up.
Writing is humbling and exhilarating at the same time. When I first arrived at Focus, I assumed that most members of the Boundless Community were my age. I soon learned that I was on the younger end of the spectrum of our readers. It was humbling to have a platform to address a more mature audience of people who have already experienced more life and hardship than I have. I couldn’t help but ask God, Who am I? and What do I have to say that might touch any one person’s life? God reminded me that it’s not I who speaks but He who speaks through me. When the Word of the Lord goes out, His purposes are accomplished. I’m merely a tool God can use for His glory.
There are many different reasons that motivate millions of people to write a blog, but none have ever compelled me to start my own before I began blogging for Boundless. Ultimately, I’ve learned that it is important to blog about what you believe in and are passionate about because in order to shape and influence our culture, it’s not enough to merely engage with preexisting content. We must be content makers! As Christians we are called to share the good news and be transparent by testifying what Christ is doing in our life. In my humble opinion, there’s no better reason to start a blog than that!
“Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!” (Psalm 96:3).