Blogging is a strange thing, and for those who are new to these rambling thoughts of mine, shared out across this tiny corner of the internet, I thought it might be good to explain a bit of my process in blogging. I blog because it helps me write better. Putting my thoughts in a public domain helps me to organise, process and note things along the way of life.
To be honest, most of my posts are the same year after year. I discover at least once a year that it’s good for me to write, I love writing and I love that people enjoy my honesty and how some of the thoughts I have are similar to theirs. I always write about advent and how much I love light in the darkness. I have a pretty good post about how crazy God’s love is and how knowing the Maker of the universe changes everything. I witter on about autumn leaves and winter trees. I talk of music I love and books I have read. Occasionally I rant about the state of Christian tribalism and in the last few years I’ve been trying to process parenting thoughts here. Oh and I write about hope for the future, the insanely brilliant reality that there is more to this world than we can see, taste or touch. I’ve been blogging about this stuff for over 10 years.
As social media has increased it’s influence on our lives I’m aware that more people come here who I am still getting to know, it’s probably a bit weird to read so much about my inner workings of my head if you haven’t even sat down for a cuppa and chat with me. You are very welcome here, and lets have a nice cup of tea and a sit down soon.
One thing you should know is that I have a pretty dark bent to my writing at times, I struggle with depression on and off and the best way I know of dealing with it is to write. I have always found it helpful to deposit thoughts onto a piece of paper or computer screen, since teenage angst days, struggles with singleness, struggles with working out the point of life, post natal grimness and more. Writing helps me deal with the darkness. I know my post on parenting last week was a little raw, even for me, but it helped me so much to process the thoughts inside my head. The part where I write down these thoughts is the point where healing enters in. Son1 and I have had much much better times of connection recently because I was able to start to recognise and notice some of my unhelpful responses to him. I’ve been much more able to see God at work helping me be patient and calm in the face of the post school angst.
If I’m writing this stuff down it means I’m in a good enough place to process and start to move forward in how I’m dealing with a situation. If I’ve not blogged for a while, then it might be time to get a bit worried. Then, if you know me, you might want to drop me a text and see if I’m ok.
I think we create in life to know we are not alone. We write, sing, paint, sculpt and more to share experiences and to bring into the light things that can sparkle and shine. Or we create to expunge the rubbish from our minds and hearts. I always feel lighter and less burdened when I have managed to express some of the darkness within. Creativity can take that darkness, turn it to beauty or hold it in a space that isn’t destructive to our inner workings. I think that’s what’s going on when I write here.
The act of writing helps me process my thoughts. It gets out the darkness and enables light to shine within. If I could draw I would probably draw a picture of a pencil drawing out dark clouds from a person and trapping those dark clouds on the paper. Blogging here is a bit like that. I’m grateful you want to come along for the ride (it sounds v odd to address a reader like that but I am grateful to you, the person who is reading this right now, I’m glad you are here, thanks for stopping by).
One more thing, I try not to blog here as a way of having a conversation that I should be having in person. This place is meant to be a secondary place to process stuff, rather than a woe is me place or a look at me place. I try not to write for pity. I blog second to having people I actually talk about this stuff with. Sometimes I get the lovely husbandface to read blog posts to make sure they aren’t going too far down the oversharing for attention rabbit hole that sometimes lurks temptingly. The darker things I put here have mostly been through the filter of a conversation with someone (which may have happened online but it will be in the context of a friend who I have a relationship with). I hope that’s reassuring for the people who have been concerned about me.
I sometimes wonder whether I should stop myself writing the more bleak thoughts I have in this space. Then I remember that someone out there might be thinking they are the only one and it can be enormously helpful to know that you aren’t alone. (Which is a theory I nicked from the excellent way Adrian Plass shares his stuff with people, and it’s an ambition of mine to write as well as he does about faith and weakness). Sometimes it’s freeing to know that someone else isn’t ok either.
I am a firm believer that talking honestly and openly about the hard stuff of life is a Good and Helpful thing. I struggle in this life. I know I do that from a place of abundance and privilege but neither of those things negate the times I also find life very hard. I believe that it’s ok to find life hard and it’s ok to share those thoughts. It’s ok to find your corner of the world tough and it’s ok to share that with others. Obviously compared to many other people my life is a breeze but, compared to others, it’s very hard. Comparing doesn’t really help. What I am seeking for are ways to bring the light into the dark in my head, to help me look up in joy every now and again, to see that there is more to this world than the twisty pathways of my mind. Writing does that for me. I think sharing this stuff sometimes helps others and that’s a good reason to carry on.
At the end of the day writing helps me kick holes in the darkness and it helps the light bleed in a bit. And I don’t care if that’s an 80s song cliche, an overused sermon illustration or something that most of you reading this have never heard of because we don’t use that phrase much anymore….
Your correspondent, determined to kick holes in the darkness around here for a while more.