Becoming a Blogger
I really don't like being...
But when I'm sick on the Sabbath, there's a secret hurrah that rises up within me. I know I will stay home. All alone. There will be peace. There will be silence. And because I don't blog on Sundays, there will be reading. In between napping and cups of tea.
Two Sabbaths in a row, I've been sick (I'm sure my family suspects a ploy!). Two Sabbaths in a row, I have napped, sipped tea, and read books. And been inspired. Very inspired.
One Sabbath at a time. For today, let's go back to a sleepy afternoon. To Journaling as a Spiritual Practice.
I was supposed to read it slowly and do journaling exercises along the way. Oops, the pages just kept turning until, sigh, there were no more to turn. By nightfall, I was thinking about my first JASP post: this one, dedicated to three new bloggers I recently processed at High Calling Blogs.
Sweet Corn & Cairo. Hope42Day. And The Unknown Contributor.
Because I remember what it was like to be a new blogger. The wide world before me. So much to say and so little ability to say it. Millions of blogs to make my way amongst. Zero comments, zero comments. Then, oh! A surprise comment from some really big blogger who kindly deigned to be the Welcome Wagon of the blogosphere. It was... intimidating.
Just like opening a blank journal for the first time. All that s p a c e.
Helen Cepero offers this to the hesitant journaler. And I offer it to the new bloggers of the world. She says that a journal is a 'place to meet your particular life and befriend it.' She also says, 'Sometimes it is hard for us to claim our own voice with its specific timbre and accent, to walk down the pathway that lies before us, to choose the life that we are given.'
Then she offers a little exercise called 'Reflections on Your Name,' which goes like this...
Write your full name across the top of a blank journal [blog post] page. If you have... a nickname, include that as well. Look carefully at those combinations of letters, those words that somehow identify you. Think about where those names come from and all of the memories, feelings and stories connected to your full name. Begin to write openly and freely... Who named you? Have you ever renamed yourself? How has your name changed as you have gotten older or when you got married? Have your feelings about your name changed over time? How are your parents or grandparents or distant ancestors present in your name? How do you see (or not see) the outlines of your own story in your name?
Becoming a blogger is, in some way, making a name for oneself, as well as bringing one's name to the world just-as-it-is. No small effort, in my opinion.
So, a few things. Maybe today, you who have made your names, shared your names (and continue to share them), might walk on by and leave your own Welcome Wagon gift at the door of these new bloggers. Or maybe you'd like to try Cepero's exercise (let me know if you do and I'll link to you). Or maybe you'd like to leave your own wise thoughts on becoming a blogger, here or on your blog (again, I'll link if you do).
And for our new bloggers, the pathway lies before you. Remember, as Cepero quotes from poet Mary Oliver...
It doesn't have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
Hope42Day's Reflections on My Blogger Name
Billy's What's in a Name