Last week I was honored with a mention by the esteemed publisher/author Michael Leach of Orbis Books on his blog, Why Stay Catholic? Michael apparently stumbled upon my writing while perusing the offerings over at Catholicmom.com, and has named me on his list of favorite bloggers. It wasn’t the worst way to begin the day, especially as a new admirer of Michael’s work.
As Michael mentions, “cyberspace is flooded with light” through the many faith-filled writings one can discover there. He also points out that we’re lucky to make even the smallest of dents in reading all the good works available to us on the Internet. And though it can be downright overwhelming at times, I liken discovering a good blog to attending a dinner party filled with potentially shallow conversation, and then inadvertently meeting an unassuming soul over by the punchbowl and discovering he or she is an absolute delight. The air shifts, clouds part, a miserable evening is saved as the conversation with a fellow soul sister or brother ensues.
That’s how I see blogs like Michael’s — a delightful, surprise. Anyone out on the Internet for any length of time is bound to experience such crossings on occasion. It’s one of the greatest blessings of today’s technology and one of the reasons I’m “out there.” I don’t want to miss the chance meeting that could give me a new blast of food for thought and sustenance for the soul.
But Michael brings up another important point in his shout-out post: “One thing to know is that virtually all Catholic bloggers write not for money but to express truth or beauty or humor,” he says.
I’ve had opportunities to make money from blogging but have never followed through. To me, it’s sort of like being paid for watching your own children. Sure, it would be wonderful to make money from being a mother, but somehow it seems that receiving a paycheck for the work of your heart could lead to the work becoming tainted. When you’re doing something for the pure love of it, even if it contains some amount of sacrifice, monetary compensation is not only unnecessary but would somehow spoil the joy (and freedom) involved in the process.
That’s not to say that blogging is futile and shouldn’t be considered real work (anymore than mothering should be excluded from the category of real work). It serves many valuable purposes, including keeping one’s work fresh and vital, and possibly, leading to paid work. Aside from that, God gave me a desire to move through life in a reflective way and to record those experiences. He also laid on my heart the yearning to not keep the good stuff to myself. It’s not a chore for one who has this propensity to observe, record and share. It’s part of who and what we are as writers, and we’re mighty lucky to have such a format for doing what satisfies our soul.
Please also don’t misunderstand this: I enjoy being paid for my writing. In fact, I really wasn’t ready to jump into the blogging world until my paid writing work was fairly established. “Don’t give your best stuff away,” they say, and I still abide by that. But with a life as full as mine is, I highly doubt I will run out of material anytime soon.
So for now, when it comes to blogging, I’m going to keep lettin’ the piggy rest, allowing him to turn his back for a while and think on whatever he pleases, rather than be obsessed over who will place the next coin in his back slot. As long as I receive a few grateful comments from time to time and continue to believe it’s not for naught, I’ll show up here, thankful to do so even without promise of pay. And I’ll continue to keep my eye out for the blog treasures of others that abound.
Q4U: What pursuits have you taken on for the simple joy of it?