So I guess I should try to post more here!
I didn’t want to write this at My Friend Amy because I didn’t really want to stir anything up, but I kind of want an outlet?
Like, lately I’ve been thinking about blogging and why I do it, etc. and it’s not really something I want to give up, but book blogging itself is starting to feel like something that’s not really me.
I think strangely enough, it’s that I actually have no purpose in writing about most books. These days I’m lucky to finish a book a week. And out of all the books I read, maybe I actually want to talk about 1/4 of them. Which…that’s like a book review a month.
It’s just that the majority of books I read I really have nothing meaningful to say about them. A book has to spark something in me to get me to talk about, to touch on interesting themes or my life, etc. Otherwise I’m just saying a few essentially meaningless things–at least that’s how I feel.
And most reviews don’t get comments, which, we all know, but if I’m blogging to engage–and these days that’s the number one reason, it’s sort of pointless.
I don’t know, it’s just so weird, I don’t really know how this happened. I feel like I’m just bumbling along with my blog. Every once in awhile I want to write about something, but mostly I feel quite aimless with it, without motivation or purpose. I still do things out of habit, like accept author guest posts, etc. But I just don’t feel like I’m really a part of the book blogging world anymore, and I don’t just mean that I can’t keep up with the still thriving community, I mean that it’s something inside of me, too.
I still want to write things sometimes and sometimes just thinking about writing them makes me feel better even if I never do. I guess I’ve just lost my drive and it’s weird and I don’t know what I’m doing.
I feel like I’ve exhausted the subject at My Friend Amy, but I culled my Google Reader tonight. And it was an interesting experience. I had not maintained it very well, so there were all these old feeds in there, like even Southwest Airlines Blog!! (whyyyy) It was like..taking a trip down memory lane of my blogging career. It was very very bittersweet.
I’m glad I culled it though, though I could probably stand to do a bit more. I almost feel like I’m getting a fresh start. I also deleted almost all of my tumblr posts and I plan to really try to keep my activity there to a minimum. I like fandom, but I think it also can make things I otherwise love less fun. I want to keep up with a few friends I’ve made, but other than that I think it’s something else I should let go of or be more like Ana who barely posts.
Carrie at Books and Movies talked about quitting blogging altogether and I have to admit that thought has crossed my mind more seriously than in the past. Sometimes I wonder what I’m doing. Right now I’m working so hard on the INSPYs and I’m not even sure if it makes any kind of difference, it feels a tiny bit like an exercise in futility. I’m also pretty sure I’ll either retire BBAW or pass on the torch once I fix that blog.
It’s so weird how this thing–Google Reader shutting down is making me evaluate everything. I guess really what it’s done is bring all of this stuff that was piling up but I wasn’t dealing with to the surface and you know…I guess that’s a good thing. I’m the kind of person who needs a clear line in the sand where I can say this thing is the thing that’s going to make me change every other thing. It was too easy for me to coast along doing what I’d always been doing without thinking about why.
So there you have it. Lol of course, you’ll only see this post if you’re still subscribing to RSS probably!
There’s nothing like finishing a huge book where you entered in deeply with the characters and watching a 40 minute live Andrew Peterson concert on the internet to shoot up my soul with an injection of feel good. I will never get over how edifying AP’s music is to me.
Sometimes I feel far away from myself and these are the kinds of things that bring me back…the music I love, the art that stirs and inspires.
(this is mostly a nonsense post but I had feelings, okay?)
I’ve been struggling lately with words and how we use them. As I’ve mentioned before, words of affirmation are one of my love languages. But there are a lot of people who aren’t comfortable with words or saying nice things and I’ve been trying to adjust to that a little bit in my social life lately. But even more than that, I’ve been trying to tone down what I see as a professional hazard…I am an educational coach–which means that I’ve spent most of my professional life working with people in situations where they are uncomfortable–and it’s my job to make them feel at ease, comfortable, and encouraged. What happens is that spills over in the rest of my life and people end up thinking I’m being quite patronizing, when really I’m just…I don’t know, attuned to trying to be encouraging.
If I could be like anyone, though, I often think I would like to be like Mister Rogers. Lately I’ve been reading stuff about him and I often end up quite teary eyed. I like that he was encouraging without ever seeming patronizing. That he genuinely cared about people, and that children, including myself when I was young, felt respected, loved, and encouraged when watching him.
Today when I saw this video, which I’m sure so many of you have already seen, I felt something bloom in my heart. I guess in a way it’s my responsibility to surround myself with people who are encouraging and who make me want to be better. There’s a wealth of cynicism, criticism (and I’m not saying that criticism is bad, it’s all in how it’s delivered), degradation, hatred, fear, etc. out there. But genuine kindness and goodness is so hard to find. I hope that I can be the kind of person that genuinely encourages people, that they will know that I love them, and that we can spur one another on towards love and good deeds.
So I’ve kind of been neglecting this blog because somehow the last time I updated wordpress I broke stuff in the template and I haven’t been motivated to fix it.
In fact, I’ve been pretty unmotivated in the blogging/writing department all year. I think a lot of it has to do with just how much things have changed and I sort of don’t really know how to fit in. I feel like a lot of my friends have moved on to bigger and better things and I’m sort of in the same place I always was. And I’m not even gonna lie, a certain recent sale really grated. In fact, having to be quiet about so much stuff over the last couple of years has been hard.
And then today I was looking at graphics for something completely unrelated and I got to thinking about how much I want to update my blogger template and then I was chatting with a friend and I realized that I’d love to just give it a whole new look. Now suddenly I feel like I desperately need a new look to my blog and that it will help me ~leave behind the old and start new.
And all of this is really irrelevant to your lives, but it was a huge revelation to me. I don’t know why I’m always so slow to change.
Everyone! I will write more when I get home, I have things to write about after all! Meanwhile, I hope you have a wonderful New Year’s celebration.
I was listening to Nichole Nordeman the other day and wondering what happened to her. I found out she wrote a CD about the Bible this year! So I looked it up on Spotify and was depressed to discover it was boring and horribly uninspired sounding.
Her first two albums are still my favorite. It’s hard to believe she went from such gorgeous and deeply moving songs like “River God” and “Small Enough” to the blandness of her music now.
I guess it’s as good a reason as any to disappear though. Sometimes you have something worth saying, sometimes the life you are living requires you to dig down deep and create and produce something resembling art out of your experiences and questions. Once those go away, it can be hard to keep finding something to say. I think that’s why some novelists write so little, making a career out of storytelling seems like a daunting task. Some writers have one story to tell others have many things to write.
I have these things…you know issues that I care about and have argued a thousand times and today I realized that in a way I just don’t care. I mean you eventually cross this point where you can’t be bothered to really listen anymore, it’s just easier to classify people and things into whatever they’re spouting at you then to even try to dialogue. And there’s this part of me that wonders if most times I’m just making a big deal out of something that doesn’t even matter.
Like whether or not YA should be taken seriously or if the ending is as important as the journey. Is there an objective standard to measure greatness? Boys and girls and gender and women being president and people of faith being cool and the Help.
I’m just so tired and sometimes I wonder if I just consciously seek out the opposing opinion and go against the grain to feel…I don’t know relevant? Alive? Like I exist?
But then I think, I know I’m not alone because sometimes I’ll read something and realize that person gets it in a way they can express or I’ll hear someone say something that feels deep down true. I know the problem is that trying to exist in the tension will always be exhausting. Really listening will never not take enormous amounts of energy. Seeing past differences will be increasingly difficult in a world that highlights them. Always considering the full humanity of another is never simple.
Maybe I just need to talk less and listen more, I don’t know. I mean does it really matter if at the end of the day YA books are regarded as “great literature”? What really matters, I reckon is that the people who need to read them read them.
I need Christian music in my life.
There’s a part of me that wants to rebel against even writing that but it’s the truth. I think I need it in the same way I need books that grapple with faith, and more often than not those books end up getting called Christian fiction.
I am a person of Christian faith. It’s the faith I was raised in, and while I’ve had periods in my life when I was farther away from it than others, the truth is that I’m happiest and most at peace when I am at peace with being a Christian, or at peace with God, so to say. Therefore, I like to see the very real struggles and hopes of my faith reflected in the art I choose to engage with.
Life is difficult and it doesn’t turn out the way we want it to. Sometimes it feels overwhelmingly mundane and then suddenly something terrible happens that tears into the fabric of our ordered worlds and makes us desperate to grasp onto the mundane as much as we can. It’s so full of hurt, disappointment, and pain. The moments when we feel joy can be so fleeting–you know those moments when you hurt in a way that feels good and right because your heart cannot contain its happiness.
I’m a pretty melancholy person and prone to depression. I have to fight against meaningless addictions of my mind all the time by which I mean becoming consumed with thinking about one thing that has no impact on my actual life, but isn’t harmful either, in and of itself. Blogging might be a good example of this.
Sometimes, music is the only thing that can coax me out the darkness. In the same way that music sometimes becomes a friend in the low places, it also can be a light out. A gentle voice reminding me.
Unfortunately there’s such a limited amount of Christian music that really moves me. Obviously, you all know I love Andrew Peterson. I also really like Shane and Shane for the times when I need be gently reminded that there’s something more. There’s some emotional depth to their music I connect with even though I think that their lyrics don’t always quite deliver. Jeremy Casella is a more recent addition. And Fernando Ortega.
One of my favorites is actually the old hymn, This is My Father’s World, which for some reason makes me teary almost every time. It’s so sweet and full of hope. And this week, it was this song, “Take Heart My Friend.” It’s funny because it kind of sounds like a typical CCM song, yet it is exactly what I need to hear sometimes. It’s the only truth I really need to know…I can take heart because God is with me still, just as He always been. It’s the one real promise I have–not that life will turn out beautifully, not that I’ll know happiness or worldly success..but that I’ll never be alone.
I’ve included both songs below…because they gave me hope this week, a feeling I almost sometimes prefer to kill:
PS I have no idea what happened with my theme. When I upgraded I lost some of the formatting so I had to switch themes for the time being. When I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll do more with this blog.