Posted by: Christine Johnson | June 28, 2007

Blogging Meme

Esther tagged me for this one. I’ll do my best here, but I actually am not sure these will be that interesting to anyone but me! šŸ˜‰

How did you start blogging?

I was reading online blogs a bit, especially The Corner, and during the 2004 election, I decided to take the plunge. I guess I felt a certain need to rant to someone aside from Hubby now and then.

Did you intend to have a blog with a big following? If so, how did you go about getting it?

YES! I was going to be famous. I was going to be contacted by lots of publications who would want me to write for them because I was so witty and smart and…

And then I woke up. Famous bloggers are, usually, famous already from regular writing or reporting. Or because they have some scoop. The only scoop I have is the ice cream I intend on dishing out to my children after lunch.

Getting a big following?

HA! No. But you know what? It’s okay. Really, it’s better for me in so many ways if I don’t have a huge following. But I won’t mind if anyone takes notice of me now and then. But I am not completely sure if that’s a pride thing or not. I joke sometimes that I have six readers – and I got that number from the nominations and votes for the Catholic Blogger Awards. I didn’t seek a nomination and I didn’t seek votes (I had no idea I was nominated until the voting was over). But six people thought my blog was the prettiest Catholic blog! How very nice! (Thank you to whoever you are.)

What do you hope to achieve or accomplish with your blog? Have you been successful? If not, do you have a plan to achieve those goals?

Wow. I haven’t thought about what to accomplish with this blog since I realized that I wasn’t going to get a deal with National Review for writing any articles. šŸ˜‰ I guess the purpose of this blog is still political in nature, but with a Catholic spin. I used to be called “GOP Soccer Mom,” but I realized that I was, at times, putting party loyalty above my faith. Bad, bad idea. So now I think that this blog is mostly for my own perspective on politics and life in general – hopefully with a genuine Catholic perspective. I am still, as Saint Paul put it, working out my salvation, and I strive to remember to put God first in life. Hopefully, my blog here is something that shows that and can help others do the same.

I do have another blog, and the purpose there is different. That is more about my vocation as a wife and mother. It’s about homeschooling, when I feel like writing about that. It is where my posts on the Faith (and my faith) tend to wind up.

Has the focus of your blog changed since you started blogging? How?

Absolutely. This blog started out very political. When John Paul II died, I felt as though I had been focusing on the wrong things. His death brought me up short, and I realized that I needed to focus on God much more than on America. For a while, this blog was for both faith and politics, but as I began to post more and more about family and faith and my vocation, I realized that I needed a new venue. Hence the second blog.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you started?

I wish I knew that what I say online can give a wrong impression. It’s important to be very clear in your writing so that there is no room for misinterpretation. Not completely possible, but still, it’s important to say things as clearly as possible. And, more importantly, I wish I knew that reading some blogs can be dangerous to your faith life. For a while, I was reading a lot of blogs that are hyper-critical of the Magisterium. No, not ones that want the Church to be a democracy, but the ones that make a habit of criticizing bishops left and right. Calling them “idiots” and such. The ones that see little to no use for the Paul VI Mass. Or anything but Gregorian Chant at Mass. You know what I mean, I’m sure. I wish I hadn’t gotten into reading those kinds of blogs so much and linking to them so much. Such attitudes are contagious (are any attitudes not?), and I caught the “bitch about the Church” bug. I’m still recovering. Still pruning back my blogroll, too.

Do you make money with your blog?

Nope. Well, I did make a little bit from ad revenue. But I don’t think that $20 in nearly three years is very impressive. It doesn’t even get half a tank of gas! šŸ˜‰

Does your immediate or extended family know about your blog? If so, do they read it? If not, why?

Immediate family, yes. Extended family, no. My immediate family is, politically and religiously, similar to me. I have extended family with whom I never discuss politics or religion because I’d like to be able to talk to them when we get together without fighting. So I do not share with some of the more strident family members. For example, as much as I like Hubby’s aunt and uncle, I’m not going to send them posts on how awesome homeschooling is and how much public school stinks because they are both working in public schools. Nor will I send Hubby’s Protestant families lots of links to articles that talk about the Catholic Church. (Our witnessing to them is limited to our examples. When you see people once a year and don’t email all the time, it’s kind of … offputting … to be too in-your-face, you know?)

What two pieces of advice would you give to a new blogger?

1. Post when you have something to say or share. Don’t post just for the sake of having a new post up.

2. I will have to agree with Esther on the second piece of advice: If you are not sure whether or not to post a particular post, especially if it is critical or negative, don’t post it. That way, you won’t regret it. Once something is said (or read), you cannot take it back. Even if you apologize later, the memory is still there.

If I may, I want to share a story that is especially helpful when you have to decide whether or not to post something.

A Jewish woman is accused of gossiping and is taken before the Rabbi. She insists she has done no wrong. She just stated her opinion and it’s not her fault if others repeated it, but she supposes she will ask for forgiveness.

The Rabbi says it isn’t that easy. He asks if she has a pillow. Of course she does–she has the finest, softest pillow in village. The rabbi asks her to go get it.

He sends her to the top of the hill. She is to throw the feathers on the wind. The woman stands on hill throwing feathers, repeating her excuses, watches where the feathers land.

She goes back to Rabbi. “Now, am I forgiven?”

“It is not quite that easy. Now go and gather up the feathers.”

She sputters but tries and comes back with very few feathers.

“What have you learned?”

“Well, I suppose my words are like the feathers. Once words are spoken, they are hard to gather up again.”

I’ll leave this an an open tag. If the Spirit moves you, go for it.

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