How blogs actually work

I liked this honesty from Tim Challies in an old interview with Matt Perman (What’s Best Next) on how most blogs (mine included) actually happen:

“Most days I sit down at my computer at 8 AM and just see what happens…After a couple of days of ruminating I find that the words tend to come quite easily.

“Occasionally when the muse is speaking I will sit down and write out several posts at once. But far more often I write and post all at the same time. I’m not nearly as organized as some might think.

“But I find this adds to the immediacy, freshness and honesty of the blog. What I’m thinking today I’m writing about today. Or that’s the hope.”

WBN

I especially like that last part and I hope it’s not a copout on not planning well. I think of it like this:

When I call a friend to discuss a game or event, I don’t plan ahead and do a bunch of research — I just give my unfettered thoughts in the moment.

This works especially well for sports blogs and, if you’re well-versed enough in your given industry, probably all blogs.

Gospel + the law

A rigid matter was the law,
demanding brick, denying straw,
But when with gospel tongue it sings,
it bids me fly and gives me wings

-Ralph Erskine (1685-1752)

Our greatest fear

This has been boiling over in my head for a few days now.

“Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”

-Tim Kizziar (What’s Best Next)

Don’t litigate with trolls

This is brilliant on trolls:

“Most of all, don’t litigate. Don’t make your case, call your witnesses, prove you are right. Because the troll knows how to sway a jury even better than you do.”

Seth Godin

That’s where most of my time-wasting comes in. I don’t let trolls beat me down long-term or necessarily affect me in the short-term, but I love to litigate with them.

Thoughts, not processes

This is from the terrific book on how and why Christians should be productive:

Here’s what Scott Berkun says about projects in The Art of Project Management : “More often than not, I’ve found that obsessing on process is a warning sign of leadership trouble: it can be an attempt to offload the natural challenges and responsibilities that managers face into a system of procedures and bureaucracies that cloud the need for real thought and action

-Matt Perman

Why you should read books instead of blogs

Ana Marie Cox on Andrew Sullivan’s retirement from blogging:

“Instead of reading most blogs, actually. I am excited to read the more substantive stuff he apparently plans on writing, because as a reader I want the writing I read to reflect the value of the time I spend on it.”

Daily Beast

I’ve been looking for an excuse to read books instead of blogs of late because of my blog-reading FOMO and this is a great one.

How writing initiates intentionality

All of Joshua Becker’s thoughts here on writing are great, but this was the one that stuck out most to me:

“Writing has prompted intentionality. Writing requires observation. And observation almost always leads to intentionality.

“Once I began writing about life and the thoughts that shape it, I began to think more intentionally about who I was becoming—and whether that was consistent with what I desired most.”

Becoming Minimalist

The facelessness of trolls

This from Stephen Marche on the facelessness of trolls on the Internet was fantastic:

“For the great French-Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, the encounter with another’s face was the origin of identity — the reality of the other preceding the formation of the self.

“The face is the substance, not just the reflection, of the infinity of another person. And from the infinity of the face comes the sense of inevitable obligation, the possibility of discourse, the origin of the ethical impulse.”

NYT

I’ve always thought it’s difficult to truly dislike (or even hate) anyone you come in contact with and this gives a “why” behind that notion.

Why you should journal

Why to journal — I started doing this again recently and was looking for reasons why to do it.

The point of the daily diary exercise is not to record what you already know about what happened to you in the last 24 hours. Instead, it’s an invitation to the back of your mind to come forward and reveal to you the perishable images about the day you didn’t notice you noticed at all.

-Lynda Barry (via Austin Kleon)

An unplowed heart

“There are so many graces that can only be pricked into us by the puncture of suffering, and so many lessons that can only be learned through tears, that when God leaves a Christian without any trials, He really leaves him to a terrible danger. His heart, unplowed by discipline, will be very apt to run to the tares of selfishness and worldliness and pride.”

-Theodore Cuyler (via Challies)

There exists within me two wills — that of wanting to be laid low by afflictions so that I might know Christ’s might. And the one that desires comfort for the sake of self.