Thursday, May 8, 2008

What's In a Blog?

Blogging is fun, huh? Fun to do, fun to read. I like to visit other blogs, see what folks are thinking and saying, and as I've been doing so, I've wondered what brings visitors back? What keeps people interested and reading?

While I was at Mount Hermon Christian Writers' conference a few months ago, one of the speakers in the track I help lead (the Career Track for published authors) was John Olson. He was talking about something that hit me, square between the eyes. Was it blogging? No, but it made so much sense for the blogging I do that I wanted to jump up and cheer.

So here's the scoop: John was talking about the need to be focused on your passions. On the things God has planted within you, made a part of the fabric of who you are. As he talked, I thought about the blogs I visit and why I go back to some and not to others, and I realized it's all about that. Shared passion. So I sat down a little later and made up a list of what my true passions are:

1. The faith journey. Talking and hearing what God's doing in lives today.
2. Animals. Big time. Domestic, wild, those that run, crawl, slither, swim...if it's part of the animal kingdom, I'm drawn to it.
3. Writing and reading, especially fiction. Like the title of my blog says, the power of words, the magic of story.
4. Laughter. If there's one thing my family instilled in me, it's a sense of humor. The ability to see the funny in life and in myself and delight in it.
5. Nature. I love the beauty that surrounds us. The clear evidence of God's creative genius and of his desire to delight us.

So here's what I've decided. I'm going to alternate my blog entries so that they focus on these different passions. Why am I telling you? Because I want to know what you think! Let me know if the blog feels too fractured, or if you like one segment but don't care so much for another. Because this blog is about another of my passions: relationship. With you.

So please let me know what you think.

And to start us off, here's a wonderful little YouTube video I discovered, showing polar bears playing--yes, playing--with some huskies. Now, you all know how much I love Siberian huskies, so when I first saw the listing I thought, "Oh great. Some idiot let his dogs get chomped." But what I saw was absolutely delightful. Admittedly, one bear seems a little too affectionate with the cinnamon husky at the end, but I know this about huskies: if they don't want to play with you, they're gone. These guys are fast and strong and can slip out of the most powerful grip. So it seems the dogs are enjoying the encounter as much as the bears.

Man, I would love to be there and actually see something like this. Reminds me of the Scripture about the lion lying down with the lamb...someday, folks, we will get to see what it's like.

I can't wait.

His peace to you today.



Nicole said...

I couldn't agree more, Karen. It's all about being real and letting passion have its expression through the things we love. Yes, of course, with some people that's a dangerous thing, but not here.

I can't do anything but "real", and, although I can appreciate those who can be laid back, without passion I suffocate. If those who read my blog don't see anything else there, they see my passion for the Lord, for writing, for the things of God, for people.

Bring it on.

Camille Cannon (Eide) said...

Hi Karen - just what I needed to hear about focusing my blog. I've been blogophobic and only posted once or twice a month since I launched it, thinking it had to have a mind blowing, earth-shaking, world peace-promoting theme. Well, it does have a theme, I guess. ME. And my snark.

I was AT Mt Hermon and I guess I missed John Olson's talk, drat. Actually, I missed a number of workshops because I was praying for wisdom and the nerve to go talk to Nick Harrison and that Karen Ball lady (I didn't catch her though) but thanks to God's blanket of peace and the loan of a tongue not my own, I was blessed to get an invitation from Nick to send a full ms. And thanks to Randy Ingermanson for tons of great coaching on the one sentence summary from his blog.

I like your ideas and plan to put them into practice for my blog. I also like your blog, and will link to mine if you don't mind.

Thanks much, hope to meet you at the next conference.

Rel said...

Great stuff, Karen :) I know how great John is - you just need to read his recent interview on my blog!!! Fabulous...and confessing Pride and Prejudice is his favourite book. He has all my readers clamouring for his books from that comment alone - hehehe!!!

There is such a difference between duty and passion - so much of what we Christians do is out of duty. The difference doing things from our passion rather than duty is awesome but it has taken me a long time to learn!

Kay Martin said...

You're right about identifying our passion and stay on focus in our reading and writing. I'm new to blogging; and life interrupted my writing for a few years. My enthusiasm sometimes dilutes my focus. As a committed Christian I share many of your key areas. Now, I sense a calling to tell my stories with much humor. Laughing and seeing the positive in things has always been a part of my life. But writing and speaking with thought to bring laughter is a new terrain for me. Love your blog keep it up.
Kay SC