BEGINNING AT THE END
I find that it works best if I begin a blogpost with the conclusion already in mind.
I have been trying, as a part of this year’s Lenten discipline, to blog more frequently. I’ve also been trying to ride my bicycle more. I’ve done pretty well at both of these things.
Why blog for Lent?
The themes that I explore on this blog are inherently spiritual. I write about God and the Bible and such. Beyond this, the very act of writing is a spiritual exercise. It requires a certain openness, a certain honesty. The truth is, I find blogging to be very satisfying, but also very difficult.
Writing with greater frequency has helped me understand just why I find it so difficult. There are two things I fear: being mistaken and being taken amiss.
Avoiding mistakes involves a level of attention to detail that is not a part of my nature. When I write these essays, I spend more time than I like checking facts. But, if I say something like “Cyrus Scofield was a scoundrel” I want the weight of evidence on my side. I don’t mind if a reader disagrees with my interpretation of facts, but I like to make sure my facts are straight.
As for being taken amiss, I know that I am responsible for what I write but not for the way someone else reads it. Still, I often wrestle with words, striving to express myself as clearly and unmistakably as possible.
The twin fears of being mistaken and being taken amiss lead me to self-censor a lot. I probably discard as many words as I publish, if not more. Blogging more often for Lent has been an exercise in trust. It has required me to trust myself to say what I believe clearly and courageously, to trust my readers to understand me, and to trust the Holy Spirit to guide the whole process,
I have published a number of posts in the last few weeks that I would not have published before. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started to write a post only to throw it away because I couldn’t bring it to a satisfying end. I find that it works best if I begin a blogpost with the conclusion already in mind.
See what I just did there?