Thursday, January 11, 2007

For the Joy

What am I doing?

I wanted to write and now all I can think about is--what if someone reads it? What if no one reads it? Private or public? Over the last several months I have been experiencing a blogging metamorphosis. Stage I -- lurker. Stage II -- commenter. Stage III -- blogger. Or maybe that should read "wannabe blogger." I have been moved, entertained, and even provoked by some very well-written blogs. It's infectious--I want to be a part of it, but why? Yes, I like how writing clarifies my thinking and even inspires new thoughts. I also like to connect with people and to learn what they are thinking. I'm just a little concerned about how much of this is vanity for me. I want to be cool too. I know I could just put all this in my journal, but then there wouldn't be any hope for conversation. Feedback is fun.

So, I've been worried. I can see this venture becoming consuming if I am not disciplined. Maybe even becoming an escape that I might turn to when there are other less enticing tasks to do (dishes, for example). Then, I read this, "Attempt to be creative for the joy it brings. . . . Select something like music, dance, sculpture, or poetry. Being creative will help you enjoy life. It engenders a spirit of gratitude. It develops latent talent, sharpens your capacity to reason, to act, and to find purpose in life. It dispels loneliness and heartache. It gives a renewal, a spark of enthusiasm, and zest for life." (Elder Richard G. Scott said that in the April 1996 general conference and I read it from the Marriage and Family Relations manual.) Hmmm. I like it. Whatever other motives might be floating around in my brain, I choose joy. I'm doing it for the joy.

And the comments.


Darlene said...

I wrote a really similar post for my blog when I first started it. I doubted my motives. I still do. But it's still fun. What's amazing is finding out who cares about me--at least, who cares to keep up. I've been surprised. (Of course, that only works if it's a public blog.) It has replaced a lot of journal writing for me. But I am a really open person and don't usually mind what people know about me. Not everyone feels the same.

Jennifer B. said...

I went back and read your post. I really relate and you're right--in spite of the mixed motives, it IS fun! I look forward to finding out who will be interested and in seeing what comes of this.

Anonymous said...

hi jennifer -- two words in here caught my attention: 1) joy and 2) grateful! good idea to write about this. i like the way you write and look forward to reading more of your entries.

i like the quote you quoted that says when we are creative, we tend to be more grateful. makes me think a little of how one of the general authorities said one time that people who are grateful are the best people to be around ... to spend your time with. people who are grateful and joyful are rarely very negative and down on others.

i know i just barely started writing my blog a few days ago but i am enjoying (there's your "JOY" word again) this so far. like you said, i like how there is sometimes interaction/feedback, too. i have used email as a form of journaling for years, but now i see blogging as another (maybe better) way to still journal.

also, when i feel down, i sometimes find it helpful to go back and re-read past journal entries. i end up upon passages that upon re-reading sometimes help me feel inspired and hopeful again. it is in times of weakness/sadness, that passages like this (in whatever form of journal) can bring hope again. isn't that a good reason to journal?

good words. blessings to you :)

Jennifer B. said...

Thanks for your insightful comments, grateful. I hope you enjoy this crazy blogging world as much as I do!

JoLyn said...

It is 2009, a long time since you wrote this post. But I have to comment anyway, because this is the dilemma I find myself in right now. I am a fairly new blogger and I love the format. I've always wanted to write, and - dare I say it - I've always wanted people to read what I write. Why is that?

Can't I just be happy writing, even if nobody reads it? Can't I be satisfied with a good post, even if it has 0 comments?

Is it about good writing, or about being popular?

I love the quote you shared. I have bookmarked your post and I'll read it again. Hopefully it will help me keep my priorities straight, my life in balance, and my joy full.

Thank you, thank you!

And I'll be back to read more!