Friends from America mentioned that they no longer attend the Williamsburg, Virginia Church that we’d met them at.
The preacher had a knack of cutting to the heart of the matter, of looking at the things Jesus said in a new, startling way.
“Oh, why did you leave,” I asked surprised.
“Well, after listening to him for ten years, you’ve heard it all. Then it’s just repetition.” Oooh.
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Christian bloggers set themselves the same task as preachers do, sharing spiritual truth on a daily basis. “It’s like writing a short sermon every day,” a vicar friend said of my blog, in some awe.
And how then can a blogger keep her writing fresh, when those who speak just once a week find not repeating themselves challenging?
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1 First of all, accept there is no shame in repeating yourself. We are not celebrities who, apparently, wear an outfit once only, so much so that Kate Middleton, interestingly, has been praised for repeating outfits.
We do not need to generate 3650 fresh ideas every ten years. And besides, who needs 3650 new ideas?
My readership has increased ten-fold over the last three years which means that nine out of ten readers will not have read the posts from 3-4 years ago. If I think the same thing today, there is no shame in revising, developing (or, often, contracting) an old post, and resharing it, if it can be more of a blessing that way than loitering in my archive.
Writing entirely new stuff every day while good posts moulder unread in one’s archive makes sense if ideas well up naturally. However, the archive is good to root around in on tired and busy days.
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However, since my blog is a reflection of my spiritual life, I would like it to be fresh and green. Some other ways to bring this about.
2 Reading “Leaders read, and readers lead.” Reading about other’s people’s adventures in the holy wilds of the spiritual life makes me aware of heights and depths of spiritual experience which I have not explored—the possibilities of prayer, of transformation of the deep structure of the personality.
3 Suffering pushes us deep into God. When we are writhing in emotional pain, other people’s platitudes won’t do. We need to find our own truth, our own comfort.
Times of suffering can result in losing faith–or, alternatively, faith can become deeper, more real and life-giving.
(I think, given a choice, I’ll stick with reading rather than suffering!)
4 I am enjoying listening to swathes of Scripture as I walk. I am learning a lot about God, what He is like, what He values, how life works, and how to live life well. Several posts spring from this. The Gospels themselves with Jesus’s slant perspective on life never fail to challenge me.
5 Travel opens up new ideas, new experiences. As Mark Batterson says in The Circle Maker, Change of Pace + Change of Place= Change of Perspective.
I learn the history of another region, and a little about its great men and women, its religion, art and architecture. Travel provides numerous new ideas to explore on one’s return. And blog posts inevitably flow.
6 Prayer, placing myself in the force-field of God, invariably generates new thoughts, ideas and blog posts.
7 As do deep conversations, plunging into other people’s lives, thoughts and experiences.
What do you think? How might a blogger keep fresh and green, producing new posts without burn-out?