No, Really, I’m Fine

I've gotten many kind e-mails from people who have wondered why I've not been blogging as much lately.  Are you shutting it down? they've asked.  Is something wrong?

(By the way, thank you to those of you who have asked.  I'm amazed and flattered that anyone would even wonder.) 

No, I'm not shutting it down, and no, nothing is wrong.  On the contrary, things feel very right right now, as I've wandered through a sweet period of reflecting and wrestling and breathing and re-evaluating what my place should (and shouldn't) be in this curious on-line world.   

I've wondered if I should articulate some of things I'm learning and realizing.  I have now officially started and then deleted eight posts on the subject.  It's the quintessential dilemma for a good Southern girl–balancing one's need to offer an explanation without presuming that anybody really requires one.  Not to mention, one of the most convicting realizations I've come to is that blogging may just fuel in us (and by "us", of course, I mean "me") a need to articulate everything.  I wonder sometimes if our culture is veering away from the very fine art of simply keeping some things to ourselves.  Sometimes the best words are the ones we don't say.   

(In other words, I think writing a 47-part blogging series about Why We Probably Shouldn't Be Blogging So Much might be a little disingenous, don't you think?)

In a nutshell, I entered the Lenten season several weeks ago in a state of burn-out and exhaustion–all of it entirely of my own making.  The reflectiveness and quiet of Lent helped me get a fresh perspective on a few things–things in both my on-line world and in the real one.  I'm coming more and more to the conclusion that we (I) seem to be operating in a fog of sensory overload.   We blog and Twitter and Facebook.  We have cell phones and multiple e-mail addresses.  We're so plugged in we're almost motorized, and it's exhausting. 

I have (and please, insert giant flashing lights here, because I want to be sure I make this clear) been able to witness some beautiful, even life-changing things happen as a direct result of blogging.  There's plenty of good in it, and I would be remiss not to point that out.

But there is undendiable part of blogging that feeds a part of us (me) that is, perhaps, not the most sensible part: the part that craves to "measure" ourselves, the part that is naturally drawn to a false sense of urgency, the part that needs to be heard even when there's not really anything to say. 

In other words, I've spent a little time evaluating (unpleasantly, at times) whether I was not only affected by this problem, but maybe I was also part of it. 

Ouch.

Despite a very sweet time of feeling refreshed and reflective, I can't say that I've come to any brilliant conclusions.  I do not think that blogging is pure evil and must be avoided or society will surely fail.  But I also think that I've probably let myself go a little off-course, when I reflect back to why I started doing this in the first place.  I look back and wonder if I've contributed to the "noise level" that seems to be wearing out me and so many of the women I know.  I think I have, at times, and I'm sorry.

What I do know is that I want to keep at this, but in a way different than I've done it before.  It's almost become something of a personal exercise, seeing if I can navigate this peculiar world in a way that is more balanced.  A very dear friend (and brilliant writer) reminded me recently that the best words are the ones that are punctuated with enough silence between them.  

As evidenced by the rambly length of this post, I clearly do not have much of a track record with silence.

But I'm working on it, and this, for now, is my little workshop. 

111 thoughts on “No, Really, I’m Fine

  1. Amy @ Finer Things says:

    Thank you, Shannon. I’ve only been blogging since July, but I’ve struggled with the “noise.” You’ve very eloquently shared the same things I’ve been thinking.
    And now… what am I going to do about it?…

  2. edj says:

    I’d wondered where you were!
    I agree…it can all be too much. I recently joined FB but am keeping it limited. I refuse to twitter. But I know I spend way too much time online. I don’t where the balance is either, but I’m trying to find it.

  3. Linda Sue says:

    Quit FB , won’t twitter and blog only for a rarified group (as in – mebbe five)of people who like my goats, dogs and recipes. I often watch people in the bloggity world just tell far too much to far too many and then either bail on it entirely or find a way to cut back. Glad you gave the explanation you gave – I’ll continue to check for your new postings because – well doggone it we just like you! Balance (BTW) is that thing you have when you realize – much of what you are doing is a self inflicted wound!

  4. Carrie says:

    I definitely understand exactly what you mean! I only use the internet when my son is sleeping & my husband is gone or playing a video game – so whether/how much my son naps determines how much I write & read blogs. But, yeah, it’s definitely a priority thing, and when I write a post & get some nice comments, it’s definitely an ego boost! πŸ™‚ It’s definitely a balance issue.

  5. Cathy {{Mommy Needs Motivation}} says:

    Hi Shannon, I’ve only recently started reading “you”, and yes, I have held this blog up as a standard. But I don’t think that you have anything to apologize for – if I’ve held you up as a goal for myself, that is my choice, and probably my error. πŸ™‚ Not that your blog isn’t a great place, but I’m not sure I could handle fame and fortune with grace! Have you heard MckMama? Oh. My. Word. Think the OPPOSITE. And that would be why God has me on this writing/ journaling/ communicating/ blogging world, SLOWLY. As in – I can’t quite figure out why my MOM doesn’t comment. *roaring* Anyway, apparently I have some work to do in the silence department too. πŸ™‚ Thanks for posting!

  6. Jen says:

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve been thinking, too, about littering others…even with “good” info and wondering if it helps or harms. good to think about, pray about and give to God.

  7. Sue from Navel Gazing says:

    Amen. I recently had my own day of reckoning, and I decided it was time to just knock it off. It was feeding something unhealthy in me – mostly a whole lot of narcissism. It was hard to admit that to myself, that I was wasting so much time on something that was essentially just a big ego booster. It felt awfully self indulgent.
    I love to write and I really DO value some of the friends I’ve made online, so I’ll never quit entirely, but I’m trying to do it in a more balanced way – when I have something worth saying, when I’ve met all of my other responsibilities, when the kids are in bed or at school.

  8. Kim says:

    So is the fact that I blogged about my well stained potholders today considered “noise”? LOL. It probably is. It is only my hope that my blog brings people a smile when they’ve had a bad day, or a laugh at the end of a hard week. I would exhaust myself if I tried to gather too much thought about my blog. It is what it is. I have personally enjoyed your posts. Even the goofy and sometimes random ones! I love to laugh myself and there are few blogs out there that are just for that.
    You rock! LOL.
    Hugs.
    Kim

  9. Robin ~ PENSIEVE says:

    Hey friend,
    I just got in and saw your note…and headed over knowing what I’d find…. I know your head; and your heart; and the two are leading wisely right now.
    You know my own reflections on this (and thank me now…you should see the email dissertation I’ve been writing for over a month now, carefully squirreled away in “drafts”, lol) and my answer to balance (at least in part) definitely comes with a cost attached. Choosing to write more than I read/comment elsewhere does affect those who stick with me.
    Anyway…you’re speaking what so many are contemplating themselves; your words are affirming. Perhaps in one sense you’re holding up a mirror and friends are taking a careful look for the first time. Either way, this is a good choice for you, potentially others, and your kind encouragement will make a difference.
    Love you…and I’ll see you “around” :).
    xo

  10. Holly @ Crownlaiddown says:

    I like what your brilliant friend had to say.
    “A very dear friend (and brilliant writer) reminded me recently that the best words are the ones that are punctuated with enough silence between them.” Good words and true.
    Walking this journey with you with my own little workshop, as I figure out when to hammer and when to sand.
    Much love,
    Holly

  11. aSprinkling says:

    I completely agree with you and also struggle with how much to be involved in the online world. What I do know is that the women that I listen the most to in the real world are those who don’t talk too much. When they do speak, it’s something worth listening to.

  12. Emily says:

    Thank you for articulating what I have felt in this connected world.
    A new reminder that what is good, is not always better and what is better is not always best!

  13. Laura says:

    The noise is something isn’t it. I don’t think I realized exactly how to word it though until I read this. You do have a beautiful way with words my friend. Glad you are achieving some balance.

  14. Jo@Mylestones says:

    Shannon, I so appreciate you sharing your heart and thinking on this–and articulating so well the dangers to health and balance in the feeding of our false sense of urgency, the need to measure (and measure up), the need to be heard…
    May you continue to find that balance and refreshment as you walk purposefully, be it on or off line.

  15. Sandra says:

    Shannon,
    Just recently a very good friend of mine said that “blogging was becoming like high school with the popular girls getting all of the hits”. Somehow, those feelings from school are never far away, are they?
    I do not belong to Face Book or Twitter because it is simply one more thing that could take me away(although, I continually get invited to join FB). I struggle enough with my own pride so I know that at this point, I can not add one more thing.
    I pray that God will use my writing and thoughts to bring Himself glory – if one visitor comes or thousands!!
    Thank you for being willing to listen and actually hear what God is saying.

  16. Colleen says:

    How strange God works. I’ve been struggling with all those thoughts for the past few weeks myself. I have felt God yelling at me to ‘find the quiet’ (yes, I see the irony in that statement). Blogging has started to feel like a highschool clique, and I’m certainly not part of the in group. I had started to wish I was the popular blog out there instead of just enjoying writing when I was inspired and had something to say. I was starting to fret if I hadn’t blogged for a few days, worried that I was losing readers.
    Thanks for sharing. I’m going to find the quiet.

  17. April says:

    Beautifully written. i’m a long time reader and I do think this is my first comment….I’ve been struggling with my blog as well. What was supposed to be a place to practice my writing sort of morphed into a journal and then a place to complain about anythign and everything. And then suddenly, I become more concerned with catering to the people that I thought might be reading my blog and I worried about what would draw them in and keep them. I worried b/c no one was commenting, I worried and I worried. And only in the last day or so have I decided to just chill. To use it for my intended purpose and not to cater or wonder. Just write.

  18. Going Green Mama says:

    Shannon, I appreciate what you’re thinking. I’ve gone back and forth about writing too much, not enough, etc. I forgot what I started out to do – document things I found to help others out and the funny experiences along the way. When you do it because you feel you have to, you lose the joy.
    So for the last few months, I write when the moment hits. And it feels good to do it that way.
    Keep whatever pace feels right for you.

  19. Katrina @ Callapidder Days says:

    Oh, how this post resonates with me! I’ve been working through many of the same feelings, and trying to deal with that “noise level” — the one that is louder when my laptop is open in front of me, the one that I fear pulls me away from some of the things I should be holding close. No conclusions here, either, but I so appreciate reading your thoughts.

  20. Lucy says:

    Well, I for one do not think you are part of the problem (if there is a problem). I found your blog (and several others) at a time in my life when I needed to know that others felt the way I did. You have ministered to me over the last couple of years in a very real way. And you have always honored your family, even when writing about the ridiculous things that happen in families. You are a very gifted writer, especially for young mothers.
    That being said, I can see how after blogging for as long as you have, that it’s time to re-evaluate and maybe go a different direction. Just know that I have always valued your posts. Of course, it’s slightly hypocritical of me to encourage you in your blogging, since I’ve never actually started a blog. Just can’t find the time. Nor do I twitter. I barely FB.
    But please, please, please don’t EVER stop posting about LOST. Who else will ask important questions about Daniel Faraday and polar bear poop?

  21. Jane Anne says:

    Shannon, I took a blog break during Lent. I have been struggling with many of the same issues that you mentioned. I am convicted that I need to be more a part of my community – my neighbors, the people that I interact with at my kids school… the people I come in contact with on a day to day basis. I need to devote more time to those I interact with on a real level- so I can be more real with them. This is where my heart is right now. I haven’t found the right balance online. That is what I continue to work on.

  22. Janet Burkenpas says:

    I’m glad your back. I missed you. I don’t think you are contributing (sp) to the noise. I think each person’s noise level is there own choice. For awhile I had way to much noise, but it was my choice. Now, I’ve turned some of it off. You have to do what is right for you and not worry about others excessiveness. Thanks again.

  23. AmyG says:

    I believe you’re right, in a lot of what you’ve posted. I think we are way to plugged in, me especially. I’m trying really hard to pull myself away. It doesn’t always work, but little steps… Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  24. Sarah @ Short Stop says:

    Thank you, once again, for stirring something within me that needs to be stirred.
    I realized a couple of months ago that I was blogging only for what others might think of each post – and not for the joy that writing initially brought into my life when I started blogging.
    SO, I started blogging what I wanted – and when I wanted. And, I realized that I have little to say most days, but I find deep seeded joy in cooking and baking and taking pictures along the way. So, my blog is now morphing into a place of joy – with lots and lots of food. And, I’m loving it this way.

  25. Michelle says:

    A big fat AMEN to this…..I just blogged today about how I am wanting to hear what God has planned for me, but there is just too much noise…..
    You are a very wise and inspiring mama~
    Peace~
    *~Michelle~*

  26. Pam says:

    Thank you for your honesty. I don’t have a blog but enjoy reading yours and a few others. I love the Lord and am thankful for His grace and mercy. There is so much sadness and negativety in this world it helps me to read insightful-fun-thought provoking posts. God Bless, Pam, South Bend

  27. Rebecca says:

    I have evaluated & reevaluated my blog and looking at why I blog and how much time I spend on the computer (writing blogs, reading blogs and various other things on the computer). I’ve cut back as a result, some intentional and some because real life was keeping me too busy & entertained to sit at the computer. And you know what, I like it better that way. It is tricky in finding that balance though. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  28. Jen says:

    Shannon, I don’t comment much here, but I am a FAITHFUL reader, and I love, love, love reading your posts. Sometimes they make me laugh (and I so need that), sometimes they make me think and reflect. I appreciate your humor & your humility & your openness. I hope and pray you find exactly what God wants you to do with your blog and that we will all be able to witness it and share in the blessing! πŸ™‚

  29. mzzterry says:

    I understand. I even agree. But, I value your words. You are gifted as a writer.
    You have made me laugh, cry, pray,give,think,pause to consider,look a bit deeper, grow as a person……..all because of the words I have read on your blog.
    I will pray you find your perfect balance. God bless you, my friend.

  30. jen says:

    I’m right there with you. Started blogging two months ago and I feel like it can so easily take over my life! I’m trying to focus in on why I’m dong this and keep trying to balance it! Thanks for sharing yourthoughts

  31. Haley-O says:

    You articulated a lot of what I’ve been thinking/feeling lately so perfectly. I recently took a long break from blogging. Now that I’m “back” I’m trying hard not to get caught up in the pressure (self-imposed) to write, to respond to comments, to check the site metre — to “measure myself,” as you put it. Good luck with your workshop! πŸ™‚

  32. Only Daughter says:

    Shannon I want to share this well known verse with you. As soon as I read your post God layed this on my heart for you.
    From Ecclesiastes 3
    1 There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under heaven…
    7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak
    He will bless you in your seasons for He planned them for you.

  33. Anne Marie @ Married to the Empire says:

    You totally don’t know me, but I feel as if I know you, so I’ve been wondering if you were feeling a bit burned out. Your line about a false sense of urgency hit home with me. I’ve been a lot busier as of late, and I’ve not had as much time to blog; yet, I’ve felt as if I have to. Like I’m letting people down if I don’t, which is really pretty ridiculous when it comes down to it. Faithful readers will come back if I’m gone for a while, and if others don’t, well, what’s it really matter?
    I think blogging can create a false sense of importance, to be perfectly honest. The truth of it is, it doesn’t really matter if none of us blogs another word. (Well, it might matter to my mom if I stopped, as other people’s mamas might mind if they stopped, but that’s about it.)
    I enjoy your blog, and I’m grateful for the time you’ve taken off a bit if it means you come back refreshed. I’ll be interested to see how things change around here. Admittedly, I am hoping you’ll bring back your What I’d Like For You to Know series (or whatever the title actually is if I’m remembering that incorrectly). But if you don’t, that’s perfectly all right.

  34. jolyn says:

    I just want to thank you for putting your whole feed in google reader. And I’m glad you’re not disappearing completely. Taking a step back seems to be a blogging trend lately, and I applaud you.

  35. Brenda says:

    You were among the first and I think we are all trying to figure it out. Personally, I think you have a particular, important voice and I hope you continue and maybe even grow stonger. Selfishly, I miss your links on Saturday when you don’t get to it πŸ™‚

  36. Catez says:

    One of your best posts here Shannon. It’s your blog – you set the parameters. πŸ™‚ Whether you post all the time or not you’ll have a place in my heart.

  37. Monica@DailyDwelling says:

    Great post!! I am constantly reminding myself of the reasons why I am writing and keeping myself in check to keep things in balance. We can crowd our lives with so many things that are just not that important.

  38. Denise says:

    Sniff, sniff.
    I still miss you, even though what you write makes a lot of sense. And of course, I will always support you in decisions you make for yourself.
    Sniff. Sniff.

  39. Will Blog For Shoes says:

    I found that my blog, as meager as it was, was really affecting me. I was composing posts in my head at night rather than sleeping. I was mad at my kids if they were being too needy to let me post. I felt the need to really dial it back a couple hundred notches. I quit for a little while and then missed the connection aspect of it, so I started back (though I only post 1-2 a week). I love my new “less is more” approach to blogging! It’s done wonders for my sleep! πŸ™‚

  40. Laura@HeavenlyHomeamakers says:

    I think there is noise…and then there is the gentle hubbub of community. When we find ourselves flitting around in all the noise…trying to figure out where we belong amidst all the noise, we have simply discovered…noise. Yet when we find friendship and oneness with those in the online community…those that fit into our lives where no one in our physical world seems to fit…we discover hope.
    Blogging can be God’s tool to help us learn and grow together, but Satan recognizes that power and wants to turn the goodness into something well…noisy.
    Thank you for writing this post.

  41. Beth (A Mom's Life) says:

    “…the part that needs to be heard even when there’s not really anything to say…”
    That part really made me nod my head up and down. Seems like lately I come across a lot of blogs where the writer starts by saying that they don’t have anything to blog about however they manage to write a very lengthy post about nothing. It seems as if they feel they will explode or lose a reader if they don’t put something new up.
    I appreciate this post because I think it is something that we all feel and struggle through…trying to find the right balance in our lives is difficult.

  42. Lisa Q says:

    you’ve said what I’ve been feeling. you said it so wonderfully. thank you for being so transparent. i too have been struggling with the why and how much of blogging…thank you for saying this so well. I have much to think on. and pray on.

  43. SarahMay says:

    Well stated. I figured you were re-prioritizing based on some of your posts in recent months. Good for you in leading by example (Crystal of BiblicalWomanhood.com has done a similar thing) and not letting the online life crowd out your family.

  44. Katie says:

    This very thing you blog about has been on my mind lately as I pray about starting a blog purely for ministry purposes. I know that if asked I have a very good reason why I want to start it but I also know that the heart sometimes has its reasons for doing things that reason knows nothing of and I don’t realize are part of it as well. I want to blog as a ministry but then I am praying about making sure this isn’t some popularity contest where we all compare each others comment count.

  45. Jes says:

    So well put. I don’t stop to comment much, since I am really trying to keep my blog-wandering time down now, but I just wanted to say YES to what you’ve written. You just put it so right. Thanks.

  46. Traci says:

    I am proud of you. I know the hours the computer can take up and afterwards, there’s really nothing to show for it. And it’s true, we bring most of our exhaustion and noise upon ourselves, so only we can change it. I noticed your more frequent absence and knew exactly what you were doing and was proud of you the whole time for pulling back a little for your own refreshment.

  47. Sarah (GenMom) says:

    Wonderful post! I had the opportunity to meet several older writer who thought us young folk put too much out there too fast.
    A little time and reflection does help us sit back and look over what we are doing in this world. Here is a post I thought you might enjoy.
    http://www.genesismoments.com/awritersjourney/2009/04/spiritual-filters.html
    I just created it for our Metro-West Presbytery PCA newsletter. I have much to learn on writing well but it is a start! You are an inspiration to me to always look at improving -whatever form that takes.
    God Bless,

  48. Kathy Jo says:

    Just another note to say Thank you. Your posts have made me laugh and think and reflect on my own world many times. Your heart shines through brilliantly. Take care.

  49. Daiquiri says:

    Sometimes I wonder if the Lord is speaking the same messages to all of his daughters at the same time! I’ve been feeling this very thing lately. WHY do I do this? Is it pride? Is it making friends? Is it wanting to feel interesting or needed?
    The past 4 days have been ones of bloggy burn-out. I just don’t CARE about blogging. In the mean time, I’ve been so much more present and involved in my “real” life – the one with the people I share a house with. It’s been so sweet.
    And the best part? That “bloggy” voice – that voice that turns everything in my day into an automatic post has been blissfully silent. I’ve so enjoyed snuggling and chatting and doing art and making nice meals and even cleaning. Now, that says a lot!
    All that said, I have made some real and genuine friends through blogging. I really do love having made all these connections.
    Anyway – can you tell I haven’t blogged about anything real in a while? The feel of the keys under my fingers is especially nice right now. I’ll spare you more though πŸ™‚
    BTW – yours is one of the very few blogs (like 3 I think) that I check on a regular basis. I’d miss you if you decided to stop blogging. Thought you might just like to hear that real people “out there” care πŸ™‚

  50. To Think Is To Create says:

    I so hear you, and I think that as God calls our souls this way and that way, it doesn’t mean that the path thus far was wrong, but that perhaps it’s time for a new (or maybe just reinvented, less this and a little more that) path.
    I really enjoy posting and then leaving those words to echo for a few days. I’ve never been a daily writer, because usually a post takes so much out of me.
    While blogging just scratches the surface of my world, that scratch goes deep.
    Love.

  51. World'sGreatestMommy says:

    Oh, Shannon! Thank you. I’ve been going through some health issues lately that have made it difficult to be the “good blogger” that I want to be. Having someone I admire as much as you write a post like this…well, thanks. And I’ll leave it at that πŸ™‚

  52. Lenore Buth says:

    Well said, Shannon! Obviously, you speak for many of us. You’re right. The “noise” around us crowds out the quiet voice we need to listen to. I think few of us carve out enough time to just be still.
    As a writer, part of my struggle is that writing a blog isn’t perceived as “real writing.” Yet as a writer, I want my blog to reflect well on me, so I take time and care with it.
    Blogging is seductive, too. First there’s the immediate satisfaction of getting what one writes out there right away. Then there’s the temptation to read my stats and gauge my own ability by however many readers dropped by. Does either of these really matter?
    Besides, I have other projects I’m working on, so I’ve cut down to once or twice a week.
    Thanks for sharing your journey and your thoughtful reminder to keep our priorities straight. God bless you and your family.

  53. Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam says:

    Yes, yes…a hearty “amen.”
    As someone who loves IRL time so much more than blog time, I have found myself slowly crawling behind a screen and my influence “in the world (one of our family’s core values) has become more influence “in blogland.”
    This isn’t what the Lord has for me as I know that blogland is always on “my time/my convenience.”
    Thank you for your ponderings; we will chew on these wise words as well. πŸ™‚

  54. Heather C says:

    Excellent post, Shannon. How we all need to let the Lord guide our steps and balance all the things in our life out. All things in moderation, right? πŸ™‚

  55. Kristin says:

    that measuring deal is precisely why I took a long hiatus last year, and now I only blog rarely…Facebook is much easier for me these days…I get to communicate with who I want, when i want…thank you for perspective, again

  56. Danielle @ ExtraordinaryMommy says:

    Beautifully said. I, too, in my relatively short time online, have wondered about all of the questions you posed. Balance is this elusive little sprite constantly dodging behind the closest tree – and likely giggling at me as I struggle to track her down.
    Thank you for putting it all down on paper for me (and everyone else) to see.

  57. Jen G says:

    Shannon, thanks for your honesty. I read your blog every day until Lent began, when I decided to fast blogging (reading and writing) during that time. After the first few days, it was refreshing to not feel like I was missing out on something if I didn’t read my blogs! It’s good to hear from you and other bloggers as well that you struggle with the same thing. I enjoy your writing and humor immensely, as well as your perspectives on parenting. Thanks for sharing yourself with us so regularly!

  58. pam @ Without Fear says:

    This is one of your best posts, bar none. It causes me to hearken back to the early days of reading you and sensing a kindred spirit there.
    I’ve struggled much in the same vein and still not come to any earth shattering conclusions either. I echo your sentiments and applaud your time of reflection.
    Blogging does have its place and does a world of good as you noted via Compassion and the Mother Letter project, as well as the body of prayer warriors it raises up for the needs of its community. Yet, balance is crucial, and I am right there with you on juggling that aspect.
    Thanks for sharing your heart, Shannon. I truly appreciate you and your place here in the blogosphere. God has used you mightily in this forum.

  59. Lea says:

    I’ve been thinking about blogging for almost a year now since I so enjoy reading so many blogs on a regular basis. This is precisely why I haven’t started. It’s something I struggle with. I don’t Facebook, Twitter or have a cell phone for these reasons as well. Thank you for atriculating it so nicely! Enjoy your time of silence and quiet and I hope you find your own place of balance. Grace and Peace, Lea

  60. Marcy says:

    Thank you for sharing your perspective. The noise has been getting to me lately (including my own) and while I don’t know what I’m going to do about it yet, it’s nice to know that I’m not alone.

  61. Missy says:

    You’ve already received a zillion comments and perhaps someone has already mentioned what I’m going to say. In your post you kept referring to yourself and wanting to be clear that you were not implying anyone else has a “problem” with blogging. But honestly I think it’s important for successful bloggers such as yourself to challenge the rest of us. Challenge us to not let this blog world become our entire world. Challenge us to put our husbands and children and God first. Because if we are all just a little honest we would have to say that often times the blog is #1. And it’s ok for you to hold us accountable to our true calling in life – child of God, mom, wife, whatever. Thanks. Hope that makes sense. God bless.

  62. Amy @ Cheeky Cocoa Beans says:

    Yes. Well said! When I started blogging (only started in Oct. ’08), I wanted my blog to be sort of replacing the mass emails I would occasionally send out to family and friends…the ones where I was sharing news or funny stories about the kids, and I would always feel like I was missing someone in the recipient list. Then I started my blog…and it became something entirely different very quickly. I think I’ve found my balance at this very moment πŸ˜‰ but it’s soooo easy to get off track. I enjoy writing about my kids and daily life (cheap therapy for me), I enjoy photography, and I enjoy writing up the occasional Bible study notes. Right now, at this point in my life, that works!

  63. Lizzie says:

    I guess I don’t know what I think about this.
    My blog was started as a direct result of God’s prompting and has very much become a ministry.
    Because it has a defining purpose, I think that it helps me keep on track. I know that God wanted me to do it. I’d never in a million years tell the world about what we’re dealing with. This blog belongs to God.
    I do pray about what to post, about what directions to go, what to share.
    For me, it’s been an amazing journey and I look forward to what God will do in the future.

  64. Stretch Mark Mama says:

    First, let me say “I agree” and “I’ve thought the same things” and blah blah blahbeddy blah blah blah.
    However, on the flip side…
    I have given great thought to the rambling, ohhhh, the incessant rambling that we women bloggers are so well known for. There are days that I think to myself, “Why don’t I just blog about stuff that Really Matters?” but then that would turn me more into a reporter / salesman and less like a person.
    Example. Let’s say you care about Compassion. If you blogged frequently and regularly about that, and only that, we’d all puke from the overexposure and it’d feel like a sales-job and like you cared about nothing (read: us) except that.
    But when you blog about underwear and boogers, we relate to you. We come to like you. And we eventually like the things that you like, because we’re friends, and we TRUST you because we know you’re a real person and not just some salesman for XY and Z.
    What I’m saying in all this rambling is that an online social presence, a realness, can be HUGE in motivating people to do what is good. And not just in the big things, but in all the little steps of change along the way.
    So to wrap this up, I say: “Yay for the bloggedy (facebooky, twittery, networky) world.”

  65. jennifer says:

    “…the part that craves to “measure” ourselves, the part that is naturally drawn to a false sense of urgency, the part that needs to be heard even when there’s not really anything to say.”
    YES. That was so well said, especially the ‘false sense of urgency’. I have felt so bad lately because I have not read as many blogs. Who says that I HAVE to read so many blogs? Me, or actually Me the Blogger is demanding that I do all of that reading.
    I can’t say that I will take a break – my circumstances are such that blogging fills a major social need at this time – but I would like to think that I will begin to actually SAY something, instead of the “noise”.
    Excellent post. Thank you for your perspective.

  66. Louise says:

    I, too, have recently felt the need to step back from the internet world. I quite Twitter, cut down my facebook friends to family and people who actually ARE friends, not people I’ve only met once who I don’t even know at all, trimmed down my reading blog list …
    And discovered that hey, life goes on even if I’m not connected to the internet every moment of the day. In fact, in some ways it is much sweeter. I still try to blog every day (as a personal discipline for myself as a writer, no other reason), but if my mind is really blank, I am now much more apt to let a day slide without blogging than blurting out whatever random thoughts are rattling around my brain. If I can use my blog to edify, it is a good thing. If it becomes a tool to boost my ego, not so much.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the matter!

  67. Rena Gunther says:

    You said it so eloquently.
    I’ve found myself in this exact place. I want my blog to reflect my life, not be my life. And ultimately, shouldn’t my life be a reflection of Him?
    Ouch!
    It’s pretty much like everything else. We need to find a balance.
    Thank you for this post. I so appreciate your honesty. I feel a need to check my motives. It stings a bit to realize this. But it’s necessary, isn’t it?

  68. Jennifer Baker says:

    Thanks for your post and your honesty, and vulnerability. I have been using my blog to be vulnerable and share my faith and my struggles in the deepest places of my heart. It is amazing how people crave honesty and reality in this high-tech fast paced tech world. Hope you will stop by. – Jennifer Baker (www.peaceofjennifer.blogspot.com)

  69. Stephanie says:

    As you consider ways to “cut back” or “be more silent” or what-have-you…please, please, PLEASE don’t give up your LOST re-caps. I love those to pieces! πŸ˜‰

  70. Dana Jones says:

    Oh I know the noise you are talking about, I’m overwhelmed with it sometimes too.
    I started blogging as a thing to have all to myself. I have a blended family and it seems like my life is not my own at times. My blog helps me, maybe stingily, focus on what I am about.
    And I have only a couple rules about blogging,
    Keep it positive, play nice, speak well of others, always. (I am wondering if I kept this rule at all times.)
    And don’t invade the privacy of my family. (My new grandbaby was an exception that I struggled over and decided she must be announced.)

  71. Nicole says:

    So well said, Shannon. Funny how us women like to take on 1000 things…whether its online or not. I’ve been feeling the same things…and I’ve only been at this for a year. We (I) definitely need to find a balance. Good luck as you do…

  72. warillever says:

    I also gave up blogging for Lent, and have found that I have no ambition to become an everyday blogger anymore. Ever moment on the computer is a moment not spent with my husband or children.
    I love the relationships that I have built online, but 90% of it is pure noise.
    Ironically, I posted on my blog about this exact phenomena today. Are we all making a lot of noise about too much noise?

  73. Pam says:

    Oh how I needed to read this! I just started a blog literaly 2 weeks ago and I already feel “behind” – I’m not blogging every day, keeping up with other bloggers, etc. I constantly am thinking of things to blog about (yes, I would consider this brain blogging overload) but just don’t find the time to do it. I don’t Twitter, Face Book, or even text on my phone. I really find that my brain keeps going and going and going when it should be reflecting on Godly things or just be silent.
    So you’ve helped me decide that I’m not blogging any more. I would rather spend MY time reading, with my husband and kids and just resting. Thanks for this post.

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