Why I’m Coming Back to Blogging

Why I'm Blogging

Last Monday morning, I dropped my youngest off at a friend’s house, went over to my favorite coffee shop, and finished the second major revision of my book.

I have been working on my second book obsessively since I got home from Armenia in March —  every day, working through paragraphs, restructuring sections on card stock using Post-Its, crossing out and underlining and inking big green questions on my draft: What are you really trying to say here?

Writing. Deleting. Writing. Deleting. Getting a refill of coffee. Deleting, deleting, deleting. Yes, Pandora, I AM still listening.

Writing in this way doesn’t allow much space for the very different work of writing blog posts — at least for me. At least now — with small kids still around most of the time, still needing so much from me, still climbing on my shoulders while I sit at the kitchen table, writing.

So I let myself off the hook for the last several months. For most of the year actually. I wrote a post here and there, but mostly, I let myself be pulled under into the depths of this new work.

But on Monday morning, I finished that second major draft. Hopefully the next batch of edits will be smaller, simpler. Hopefully the deep underwater work of this story has been completed.

I closed my computer and brought my empty coffee cup to the counter. I wanted to tell someone, but the baristas were all in the back, and the counter was empty. The two old farmers who have coffee next to me every morning weren’t there, and neither was my pastor friend, Rick. So I just grabbed my stuff, slung my purse over my shoulder, and quietly made my way back into the world.

*

I gave myself a week away from my computer. I cleaned and went to IKEA. I learned to use a drill, re-did my kids’ new shared room, and made Liam’s old bedroom into (gasp) my office. (We’ll see how long this lasts, but I’m beyond excited. I’ve never had an office.)

I had a last-day-of-school water fight with my family, spent a few days at the beach, washed the windows, and read novels on the deck. I closed my eyes and paid attention to the summer breeze and watched the baby ducks trek up, single-file, to eat seed from our bird feeder. I went to sleep early and slept in as late as the boys would let me and didn’t worry about wasting writing time.

I sat in a sand chair at the edge of the Lake George, and I let myself brainstorm essays I might want to write, new writing projects I might want to pursue, new blog posts I might want to share.

It was a good week.

*

The first post I read when I logged back into the Internets yesterday morning was an insightful article by Amy Julia Becker at Christianity Today about “Why Bloggers are Calling it Quits.”

Becker’s points were solid and familiar. I too, struggle with what she calls “tyranny of the present” and the pressure to “to remain beholden to the constant information cycle of blogging and tweeting and posting photos online.”

I get that. There is nothing that stresses me out quite like a Major Cultural Event and the sudden, intense response of the blogosphere — a thousand megaphones shouting at me from my Facebook newsfeed, demanding my outrage. It makes me feel like a failure when Facebook reminds me that I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve never figured out, really, how to be “awesome” on social media, and that stresses me out.

And yet, at the same time, the blog world is still where I get my favorite book recommendations, my favorite recipes, my best IKEA hack ideas.

The Faith and Life blogs that I read regularly have a way of helping me to orient my heart around what matters. Where else but the blogosphere can you read something called “Go Forth and Be a  Little Jacked Up” by Glennon at Momastery? Where else can I read along as  Micha gently processes spirituality and motherhood and as Leigh works through life transitions for herself…and for all of us who find ourselves in transit?

Where else can I get glimpses of insight into things that I don’t understand…but want to?

I click over to Humans of New York and read the small, enormous stories of regular people. I read Emily Freeman and find permission to be unremarkable. I read Brené Brown and find permission to be vulnerable.

Where else is there such a powerful reader/writer connection — a conversation, a call to interaction, a buffet of topics and ideas and thoughts and insights? It’s an invitation into the living, breathing, fighting, wild, loud, raucous international family of humanity. It’s the coolest thing.

Listen — I believe in the long works. The memoirs and novels and essays and collections. I am passionate about them…and I’m a mom in her Tired Thirties, so I barely use the word “passionate” to describe anything in my life.

I just finished that second draft of that second book, and I am grateful for the time I spent away from the Internet, letting my mind orbit around the  questions I was asking, letting the words and sentences stretch long into places that I didn’t think I was going. I love writing books. I hope that I will continue to write them (although I’m about ready to take a break from memoirs, because holy smokes.)

But also, I love the experience of blogging. I never thought I would, but I do.

(Granted, I’ve never been one for writing about stuff that is newsworthy or relevant. I’ve had very few posts go “viral.” I don’t touch “hot-button issues” with a six foot pole. But still.)

It turns out that I actually like being a Blogger. Who would have thought.

*

There is a verse in the Bible about how God is working, all the time, in us. About how, in light of that, we should continue working out our salvation. (Philippians 2:12).

I don’t really know what that means, but I think this is where I do that.

This is where I take hold of the edges of my ever-changing faith and hang on tight.

This is where I write it out, where I find people who get it, where I feel less alone, where — sometimes — I even feel God in that way that we always hope we will. Where, when I don’t feel God, I can still find a way to engage, to move forward, to write toward the wholeness I so desperately want.

And I hope, somehow, that this blog does some of that for you too.

Anyway — all this to say, I’m back. It seems a little like I’m walking back into a room that everyone else is leaving. But I’m back anyway.

Talk to me.

75 thoughts on “Why I’m Coming Back to Blogging

  1. Addie,

    I have been praying for you and the process of your 2nd book, but this post made my heart just a bit fuller for today! Your words resonate with me, and they help grow/sustain me in a way that makes me think and makes me better. Continued blessings on your heart and your family as you listen to the Spirit’s inclinations!

  2. To so much of what you wrote, all I can say is a giant “me too,” Actually, your absence has encouraged me, because it’s given ME permission to be absent when I leave Blog World to go into Book World. (I’m with you; I looooove Book World.) So welcome back, Addie, and thank you.

  3. As an aside, I just read Amy Julia Becker’s piece on bloggers and thought she nailed it. All of what she wrote, except maybe for the trolls, is why I decided to take my own blog from weekly to occasional. Sure, that doesn’t build audience, but neither did the other way–at least not for me–and the bigger point is that I’m still trying to learn the importance of doing this writing thing for faithfulness’ sake and not for results. So thanks for the link too!

  4. Glad you’re back, and I can’t wait to hear about the new book! I read that article too, and found a lot of truth in it. In fact, I’ve been blogging less and feel the need to pull back from blogging (not quit completely though) to focus on my writing projects. To me, some of it is just internet weariness, like when you were talking about all the bloggers screaming about controversial events. Sometimes you have to retreat from the noise of the internet. But it seems like you have found a happy, peaceful medium. 🙂 Maybe I can find that, too.

    1. I agree with the article in a lot of ways too. for me, it’s about seasons and boundaries and finding healthy ways to engage and disengage. Not always easy, and I definitely don’t always do it perfectly! Or even well!

  5. Glad you’re back 🙂 I’ve given up completely on the whole “blogging” thing, myself, and basically given up on writing for any public consumption at all. Or, honestly, I guess, I’ve stopped writing completely. But YOU, my friend, are a very different creation. YOU, are, without doubt on my part, the best writer on the Internet. YOU. MUST. WRITE.

  6. I,for one, am SO GLAD you’re back! I read a LOT of blogs….but nobody gets me QUITE LIKE YOU DO!

    I do wish you wrote about “hot topic” issues – because I think you would have a great perspective, but I realize why you probably don’t!

    Can’t wait to read your new material! Blogs – and books!! <3

    1. You’re so sweet Mandy. Thank you! And I sometimes wish I had the stomach for writing about THE ISSUES, but I’m afraid I would end up an emotional mess if I tried. It’s too much for me!

  7. Ohhhing yes, I love your response to that article because I felt the same way, I love blogging as a reader and a writer. So glad you’re facing down the tyranny of the present so we can have your words – thank you!!

  8. Hi Addie. I’m so glad you’re back! I started following you during your break and look forward to your messages in my inbox 🙂

  9. I’m like you – I don’t touch hot button issues. Mostly because I have no desire to be writing what others are expecting me to write about or what everyone else is writing about. I write my blog posts only when I have something I want to write – hopefully that makes the posts more about quality than quantity. Anyway, I’ve been following you for quite a while now, and though sometimes I wish for a new post – I’d rather patient and wait because I know you’ll always have something worth saying when you do write again. So don’t feel obligated by blogosphere rules and expectations… we’ll be here waiting if we need to 🙂 (and hey if anyone is interested to check out my blog (memories mostly – not “evangelical” by any means…) I’m at https://iwillnotliveinvain.wordpress.com/ 😉 )

  10. So happy you’re back. I love your words and hunger for them when they’re not available. No pressure, just an observation. 🙂

  11. As a reader, and a vunerable, messy writer, I’m so thankful for your voice. I’m also so thankful for the way you graciously live an example of the fact that you can’t be everything in every season; there simply isn’t room for everything all the time. That’s so refreshing to me, and gives me permission to strive a little bit less.

    All of that to say…the work you do on this blog is important. The work you do in your book is important. Your voice is important, and it matters. Glad you’re back, Addie.

  12. Good response. I stay away from hot-button issues too. To me it’s mostly clickbait. I’m on the fence right now. I like my blog, but I’m having trouble figuring out where it fits in my writing schedule as I shift my emphasis to fiction. Plus there’s the time commitment. On the other hand, I’ve put so much time into it already and people have liked what I’ve written. Also, I still wonder if there might be a book in the blog somewhere–if I go back to non-fiction. So conflicted. ARGH!

  13. See! We are still in the room, some of us trickling in late, but it’s summer. It’s the time for easing back into things, the days are long, and sometimes hot, and the pace is so much more forgiving. So pull up a chair, and we will too, and we will share this lovely, sacred space that you invite us into with words, words that unite and explore and delight and sometimes sadden. Welcome back. We knew you were away doing good stuff, but we are oh so happy to have you back.

  14. So glad you aren’t going anywhere. I feel like I learn from you how to do this whole blogging thing and get a glimpse of how to find faith in every day life every time I read your posts. 🙂

  15. Welcome back! I love your blog, and I know I’m not alone in that. It’s definitely part of the path to wholeness for many of us. I’ll keep writing, and meanwhile, I’ll be looking forward to your next book!

  16. I’m thrilled that you’re back and clearly so is everyone else! I’m so glad you like being a blogger so we get to read you , AND I’m so excited that you’re so far into your second book process! (Wow, Janice, cut back on the exclamation points.) I have kids – I think you’re a machine to have written what you have in the past couple of years! (crap – another exclamation point snuck in…)

  17. I read Addie Zierman, and find permission to be myself and to have hope. 🙂

    Welcome back, Addie! Congratulations on finishing this next big step toward the completion of your book!!

  18. Yay! I’m glad you’re back. I’m feeling like I’m running on fumes, and need to take it easy. But long term I’m committed to blogging, partly because a certain Esther Emery convinced me that it’s good as a spiritual discipline. And I think she might be onto something. So pleased for you re your book, friend x

  19. I’m so happy that you’re back! Thank you for this blog. It has been my lifeline during dark days. You always manage to put into words what i’m feeling even though i don’t even recognize it myself. Thank you again.

      1. I found your book in January of last year in the middle of a depression and discovered your blog from there. I grew up in the same background and just felt like someone was verbalizing my thoughts and emotions. Thank you for being so open and vulnerable and sharing your story. I know it’s not an easy feat, but reading your words made me feel less alone and helped me work through my faith instead of just throwing the whole thing away. So thank you!

  20. I have appreciated the example of balance you have kept but writing when you can. Sometimes people try too hard to get it all in and it doesn’t make anyone happy! I love the blog world. I like my little blog just to have fun conversations within my own community!

  21. This is what I’m trying to figure out, too. I blogged less the last year and a half, with writing a book and then rewriting. Also, I write in my job, so sometimes it’s just been too much. But it has been very good for me, too. I’m doing a once a week thing this summer. After that, we’ll see.

  22. It is so good to see you blogging again! I have missed your words. Also, I wanted to let you know that I recently recommended your book to someone I know who has really been struggling with her faith. 🙂

  23. So glad you’re back! Can’t wait to see what you’ll write next. And I can’t wait for your book!

  24. YAY! Glad you are back! I like your blog because you don’t write about the hot button issues every time! you just write about your life/thoughts.. more enjoyable to read! more like a conversation/hangout then a lecture/class. 🙂

  25. Yay! I’m glad. Blogging is a lovely space, and I like that it gives us grace to leave and come back and it lets us evolve right there in the posts. Blogging doesn’t judge us. Now I feel a little certifiable, but you know what? I’m glad you’re blogging. AND that you finished your book revisions! yay!

  26. I follow maybe a dozen and a half blogs with at least some regularity – and yours is consistently one of my very favorites. I am so thrilled you’ll continue to share in this space. I find myself nodding my head “YES” so much when I read your writing – your words feel so frequently relate-able in a way that is just incredibly satisfying. XO

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

^
Back To Top