Monday, May 12, 2008

interview about blogging (4) - blogging and writing

Here's one final excerpt from my interview with Susan about blogging, on a topic I touched on last week: how blogging helps with writing.

How do you decide whether a blog is worth stopping by at and reading?

Can I read past the first sentence without yawning? Does it carry me to the next paragraph, and the next, and the next? Is it well-written, punchy, challenging, and inspiring (it needs to be, like most of us I don’t have much spare time, and online reading is hard work!)? Is it biblically sound? Is it personally encouraging? Is it honest, open and true to life? Does it push my thoughts into helpful new territory? Does it make me want to love God and serve him more passionately?

What advice do you have for people who might want to start blogging?

Think very hard: this is a bigger step than you might realize! Blogging has gone from something I knew nothing about, to an enormous part of my life, very quickly. Know why and for who you write. Realise we’ll be skim-reading, and tell us what you want us to know quickly at the start of each paragraph. Don’t beat around the bush, don’t use long words, don’t try to impress us. Be brief, funny and engaging. Keep it intellectually challenging and grounded in God’s Word, but also personal and deeply-felt: if we want a commentary, we’ll go find one (I know the guys may disagree with me on this one – I love challenging theology, but like most women, I like my theology applied). Don’t preach at us, but tell us what impact God’s Word has on you: that’s enough to make us want to live it too. Love God and others in what you write. Pray about what you write, and pray for those who read it.

Has blogging and reading blogs replaced your other writing?

No, they’ve kick-started it (although I must say, I’m struggling to find time and energy for other writing!). I went from not much writing, to wanting to write, to blogging. One of the reasons I started blogging was to practise writing and get feedback. Other people read the blog and told me I should write more. I’m joining the new Equip book-club blog team as a direct result of my blog, so that’s exciting! And where it goes from there … well, that’s God’s job to figure out, not mine.

How has blogging expanded your world/knowledge/experience?

It’s made me read more – blogs, newspapers, magazines, books. It’s introduced me to many people I would never have met otherwise. I now know how to speak “hotmail.” I wish I knew how to design my own blog.

The rest of Susan's interview with Nicole and me may be found in the current issue of RedWhiteYou. Thanks, Sus, for permission to quote from the interview. Have a look at Nicole's answers, she's a far wiser and more experienced blogger than me!

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