Monday, September 01, 2008

For Better, For Worse: 5 Ways Blogging Changed My Life

Brooklyn to London

Memes. I've always had mixed feelings about them. But right from the start I've always participated (okay, unless I forget, which I sometimes do... sorry to anyone whose meme I've forgotten to follow up on!)

Which brings me to this. I never thought I'd actually CREATE a meme. Well. I was thinking about all the ways blogging has changed my life, for better or worse, and I thought how I'd love to share these things with you... and have you share your blogging stories with me and others in the blogosphere.

Anyone who has followed Seedlings for any length of time knows: I'm not much for following meme rules. So it feels odd to create a few of my own— which, of course, you can feel free to break... maybe even SHOULD break, in honor of my informal meme-breaking policy.

Here are the rules:

1. Write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected you, either positively or negatively.
2. link back to the person who tagged you
3. link back to this parent post (I'm not so much interested in generating links, but rather in tracking the meme so I can perhaps do a summary post later on that looks at patterns and interesting discoveries.)
4. tag a few friends or five, or none at all
5. post these rules— or just have fun breaking them

Now for the 10 ways blogging has changed my life ...

1. Through blogging, I met author Scot McKnight, who changed my thoughts on how and when to develop book ideas. Consequently, I started developing my second book, God in the Yard, far before I considered seeking a contract.

2. My very first published article was about blogging. I couldn't have written it without being a blogger.

3. I met Marcus Goodyear through blogging. Now I write for his organization and participate in High Calling Blogs.

4. Because I met Marcus, I later met Lauren Winner at a retreat at Laity Lodge (I knew Lauren by email for three years but had never gone in a paddle boat with her, which I did at Laity Lodge.) I wouldn't have gone to Laity Lodge if I hadn't been working on a logo for The High Calling's Win a Free Retreat blogging project.

5. Andrea once blogged about Sabbath in such a convincing way that I changed the way I practice Sabbath. Now I often take a nap, I don't work, and I don't blog or check email on the Sabbath.

6. At one point, I blogged far too much. It was the first time in my life I understood, in even a vague way, the anatomy of addiction. Practicing a technology Sabbath on Sundays has been key to reorienting me at least once a week. And if you've been with me for a while, you probably see that I blog far less than I used to (sorry this means I visit you less!). As a bonus, I'm far more compassionate towards people with addictions. I just bought Mays' book Addiction and Grace, and I trust this will give me further insight into an issue I never cared much about in the past.

7. Christianne, who I met through blogging and later met face-to-face in Florida, taught me a few things about the heart. And about being grace-filled. In some ways, this converges nicely with what I mentioned in number 6.

8. Though I met Charity Singleton at the Calvin Festival of Faith and Writing, it was through blogging that I solidified my relationship with her. And eventually, when she was diagnosed with cancer, I was able to assist her a little bit, emotionally and financially. In return, she has unwittingly ministered to me, giving me a sense of immediacy and depth concerning each day's gifts.

9. Sara enchanted me with her commitment to The Compact. My Visa bill has trimmed considerably.

Okay, for better or worse, I tag...

Ann Kroeker
A Musing Mom
Callapidder Days
Jim Martin
Brandon Satrom
Jennifer at Snapshot
Ted Gossard

Oops. I broke my own tagging rules. ;-) That's neither a few, nor is it five, nor none at all.

Brooklyn to London photo, by L.L. Barkat. (Very cool. There was this contraption down near the Brooklyn Bridge, where you could stand and see people in London and you could wave at each other, as if you were standing face to face with only a bit of glass between you. I had an ice cream cone and the people in London started licking the air, begging for a bit of my cone.)


Ted's book club post: Climbing: Justice


House of Lime's Friday 55 Da Count in Meme Form, Scot McKnight's Weekly Meanderings, Reading to Know's Tag, I'm It!, God-Writing's My Blogging Habits are Causing a Stir, Susan's Double Tagged, Arlene's How Blogging Has Changed Me, Nancy's For Better For Worse: Ahhhhhh!, Susanne's A Blogging Meme, Matt's 5 Ways Blogging Has Changed My Life, Kim's Mini Blog Celebration, Crow's I've Been Tagged, Brother Maynard's 5 Ways Blogging Has Changed My Life, Lisa's Blogging: For Better for Worse, Ellen's I've Been Tagged, Dawn's Tagged!, JD's Five Ways Blogging Has Changed My Life, The Upward Call's Because I Love to Blog About Writing, Becca's I've Been Tagged, Minutes to Memories Today's Assignment, Wendy's Five Ways Blogging Has Changed My Life, Futurist Guy's Five Ways Blogging Has Changed My Life, Lara's Grand Prize Meme Rule Breaker Blogging and Me Meme, Suey's Ways Blogging Has Affected Me (love the cartoon over on this one!), Ronnica's The Affect of Blogging, Mama Blogs A lot's It's a Meme: Just Do It, Tykerman's I've Been Tagged, Kathy's Blog-Tag-Fun, Tulsi's A Tag that is Not a Tag, Lisa's Blogging Meme, Spaghettipie's For Better or Worse, Dianna's I Was Tagged by Lara, Jill's Five Ways Blogging Has Changed My Life, Louise's Five Ways Blogging Has Affected Me, Jill again : ) 5 Ways Blogging Has Changed My Life, Allan's For Better, For Worse: Five Ways Blogging Changed My Life, Tony's I've Been Tagged, Rev J's 5 Ways Blogging Has Changed My Life, Mel's Awards, Giveaways and Memes Oh My, Frank's 5 Ways Blogging Has Changed My Life, John's 5 Ways Blogging Has Channged My Life, Will's Tagged: 5 Ways Blogging Has Changed My Life, Nick's Five Ways Blogging Has Changed My Life, Ann Kroeker's Monday's Meme-ish Musings, Liz's Blogging and Its Effects, Keith's For Better, For Worse: 5 Ways Blogging Changed My Life, Kirsten's 2 Memes: 4 Things and 5 Ways, Natural Systah's I've Been Tagged, Every Square Inch's How Blogging Has Changed My Life, Kelly's Memed Again, Gnome's Five Ways Blogging Has Changed My Life, Henry's Tagged: But I Can Break the Rules, Trish's Why I Blog Meme, Bruce's For Better, For Worse: 5 Ways Blogging Changed My Life (including zombie advice!), Craig's mildly cheeky Blogging Hasn't Changed My Life, Birthday's 5 Ways Blogging Has Changed My Life, Eddie's I Am Eddie and Blogging Has Changed My Life, Kim's Memage, Katie's Five Ways Blogging Has Changed My Life, Nora's Blog Tag, Kelly's Blog Tag, Bellezza's Books and Photography and Blogging, Oh My!, Ben's How Blogging Has Tweaked My Life?, Lynet's Five Ways Blogging Changed My Life, The Chaplain's Blogging Meme, Billy's The Blogging Meme, Ordinary Girl's Five Ways Blogging Has Changed Me, Gabe's 5 Ways Blogging Has Changed My Life, Tina's 5 Ways Blogging Has Changed Me, Erik's Blog Tag, Anna's 5 Ways Blogging is Changing, Affecting, Uplifting, destroying, corrupting, and encouraging my life..., Jandy's Blogging is Life-Changing, Tommy's Meme: Five Ways Blogging Has Changed Me

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Blogger Joy said...

This will be a cool meme to read about as people answer. I found your answers enlightening and fascinating. :D I know that for me, I went through a period, as you did, where I became obsessed with blogging. On the other hand, I feel that the community offered through blogging has been a key to my sanity these last few years of mommy hood...sometimes reading my friend's blogs was the only way I would get 'adult conversation'. I consider my journey as a Christian profoundly changed by bloggers willing to chronicle their own walks (you, Andrea, and Ann Voskamp, to name a few!) Blogging, in it's own small way, has inspired me to go 'farther up and deeper in', and I am thankful for that. (And blog readers, like google reader and bloglines, really seem to help me curb the addiction, too.)

10:02 AM  
Blogger christianne said...

Hey! That's me! I made your blogging list. How marvelous.

You're so cute to make up a meme. It totally doesn't surprise me that you would. You are one of the most thoughtful, creative bloggers I know.

I'll have to put on my thinking cap about how blogging has changed my life. Love you!

PS: It's fun to think about having met you in person, over Greek salad and pepperoni pizza. I still love the thrilling hour of conversation we shared in the car afterward!

12:36 PM  
Blogger kirsten said...

Love that photo! That's terrific. :o)

And I do have a list. Boy, do I have a list!

How, I ask you, could I possibly resist an original L.L. meme??

2:30 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

What a great meme! I created one a few summers ago, and it was fun to see it make its way around, so yes, you need to give it a strong start with many tags.

I'll get to it early this week. I am in want of some prodding, which an interesting meme always is.

5:37 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Joy... thanks! I'm hoping to follow it a little through the links and perhaps come to some conclusions later on. I'm glad you offered a little advice for the blog-addicted too. :)

Christianne... the very same... yes, you. :) Thanks for the compliment. And I really liked your description of how we met.

Kirsten... the photo... can you see the people in London? Odd thing... the contraption was actually big as life and so were the people I was looking at. But somehow the camera captured it totally differently. I loved that. Can't wait to see your list.

Jennifer... I look forward to seeing what a little inspiration gives you. :) Were you happy with the results of your meme?

6:03 PM  
Blogger Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

This was very interesting to read. I'm discovering the need for a blogging sabbath myself, but I'm struggling to implement it.

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an interesting post! I read through each one of your points and thought about how interesting each one was.

I can identify with the various people who you have met and their contribution to your life in some way.

(I will be happy to participate in your meme)

7:15 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

LL - I like how much of what you mention here has to do with the people you met or who influenced you through blogs. Perhaps one day we'll meet. And I'm honored to be included in the company of those you've tagged.

9:15 PM  
Blogger Butterfly Mama said...

Cool photo and that thing sounds like fun! I think I might do this later this week...I'll let you know.

I enjoyed hearing your list,

12:39 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

LL, I love how most of your answers focus on relationships and how they've made your life richer and gave it more dimensions than it had before. Wow! And some people say that true community isn't possible in the interweb.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Great meme, and I loved reading your responses. I think it's particularly cool how God uses blogging and bloggers to impact us, shape our souls, convict us.

Thanks for the tag, too -- I'll put my answers up tomorrow.

3:20 PM  
Blogger Dianne said...

Interesting how blogging benefits everyone differently (and how in some cases we find it not to be such a benefit). My feelings about blogging seem to have run the gamut as well, to where now I just use it as a place to post some thoughts and bypass the interactivity. Neat meme though and I'm enjoying reading the responses.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Joy said...

LL...I updated with my answers. Now I am off to read what everyone said.

3:41 PM  
Blogger Craver Vii said...

When I read what you wrote about practicing the Sabbath, I curbed blogging on Sundays. I won't create any new posts on Sundays now.

My response to your tag is now up: caught in the Web

5:41 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

L.L., Thanks! you came up with a good one, tailor made for you, I guess! :)

I plan to do it soon. There is no doubt that blogging means meeting people and their thoughts and that is short of meeting them in person and getting to know them, but really we share quite openly in the blog world about what's important to us, or what we're going through, and often in our face to face with others, we do little of that. So it has impacted me, more than I can realize, I think. Certainly reflected in your answers here.

8:18 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

What you say here has come out to me over and over on your blog and in your book. I mean how others have impacted your life.

That's the way it should be.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Okay --- finally got mine up.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Mine is up, too.

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tagged by ted, meme posted!


10:10 AM  
Blogger Joelle said...

Addiction and Grace. Read it last fall while driving (yes, I was driving and reading at the same time--those western North Dakota roads are EMPTY). What struck me most was how our brains get used to a higher level of stress so that when we're ready to relax (Sabbaths, vacation, retreats, etc.), they think they need to produce more stress chemicals to keep everything "normal." Thus we're addicted to stress. Helped me understand why it takes more than a day to calm and settle. Shows that my life is out of balance and I just may be . . . addicted. Yikes!

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, I finally got mine posted! Thanks, this one was fun. Can't wait to see your summary.

12:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool meme idea -- here are my answers to the questions from when I was tagged.

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

2:59 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Have linked to you on Conversations@Intersections and hope we can cross pollinate by having my readers dip in to the goodness of your blog.

We'll see what conversations emerge and where they take us. J

3:23 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

I'm up. My thoughts are now posted and a bit wordy, but the process was good for me. I think I could have approached it several different ways. I've learned so much about fountain pens, good reads, snorkeling sites, etc from bloggers I read.

My responses are more personal and introspective, but hopefully not too tedious for those who don't know me. Thanks for the challenge.
Sorry. I'm a rookie and don't know the html to make that a hot link.

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LL--I have to say what a great moment I had as a blogger a few weeks ago. I went to the Brooklyn Book Festival after church. Joan Didion was scheduled for a panel at 5pm. I got on line for the free tickets. The ticket supply was exhausted before I got to the counter. Deciding that there had to be a way for me to get into that panel, I decided to go into the main building to talk to...somebody. Someone with a press pass caught my envious eye. Then I saw the Press table. I walked over. The publications expected at the festival were listed on a sheet.
I asked, "Did you have to register in advance to get a Press Pass?"
"Yes most of the publications that are here did register. But there were some no shows, where are you from?"
"I'm not from anywhere. I'm a blogger."
"What's the name of your blog?"
I told him.
"OK. Well, here you go. (He handed me a Press Pass neck tag) You can return it when you're done."

Wow! Wow! I'm a blogger! I'm Press! Wow!

4:02 PM  
Blogger Anna Blanch said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Anna Blanch said...

Mine is up over at Goannatree Thanks for challenging me to do this meme, it was worth the time and effort.

9:31 AM  

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