The Things I Don't Blog About

Wednesday, June 11, 2014



On Monday I spoke at a workshop for high school journalism advisers sponsored by the Foundation for Progress in Journalism. My presentation was about how to start and maintain a school blog. And part of my talk focused on using social media to promote a blog, business or message.  Ironically, I've been pretty quiet for the past few days both here on my blog and on my social media channels.

My mother was in the hospital. I was scared and I was sad and suddenly social media and blogging seemed about as significant as pocket lint.

My mother is much better and she's back at home. But as I sat down to catch up on social media and to brainstorm my next blog post I began to think about how most of us only show one side of our lives online.

Though I do believe great friendships can begin online (and many of mine have) I don't think you can truly know a person simply through virtual connections.

My life is not my blog. My life is not a status update, a tweet, or square snapshot with a sepia filter.

I blog about my fitness goals. I post to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter when I run six miles, go to a spin class, or conquer another Jillian Michaels DVD. I blog about being determined to exercise every day this year despite suffering from a connective tissue disease. But I don't blog about the times when that disease nearly gets the best of me and I'm in so much pain I cry myself to sleep.

I blog about being a feminist wife but not about the days when my marriage is nowhere near as perfect as it seems.

I blog about the latest small group I'm leading, but not about my doubts regarding whether or not I should be attempting to lead anyone through anything. I don't blog about the days I feel out of God's favor. I don't blog about how I feel out of place in nearly every Christian circle I'm a part of because of my liberal beliefs. I don't blog about how sometimes I wonder if the conservatives are right.

I didn't blog about my dad losing his job or the financial and emotional stress I endured trying to support two households with a teacher's salary.

I don't blog about the days I want to quit EVERYTHING.

I don't blog about these things because The Writeous Babe Project is my blog, not my therapist.

This isn't to say I don't blog about my problems. I do. And I think I should because no one trusts a person who pretends to have it all together. No one trusts perfection. But I make it a point to write about my junk after I've made my way through it so that I can help my readers sort through their junk too.

But my point here is this: don't judge a person by her blog or her Facebook status updates.  Don't envy a person because of the fun, happy pictures she posts on Instagram or the delicious meal ideas she pins to Pinterest. They don't give the full picture of a person's life.

I love blogging and social media and probably always will, but they are simply one dimension of this crazy, beautiful thing we call life.


15 comments:

  1. LOVE this post! Thank you so much for sharing and I am glad your mother is doing better and is back home! It is so important to remind everyone that what we do as blogger sis just a small piece of who we are as people. Keep shining!

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  2. Javacia, I am so happy your mother is doing better. Sometimes I find myself questioning the life/blog balance, and I needed this reminder. Nobody is obligated to share or not share when it comes to social media -- and regardless of what you put out there, your actual life extends beyond words on a screen more than some realize. It's so easy for bloggers to get caught up in. Thank you for writing this!

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    1. Thank you for reading and for taking the time to comment. Life/blog balance is hard. And I do think it's important to be vulnerable and transparent to a degree because sharing your story can help others, but I think sharing EVERYTHING can be dangerous and for me personally I've decided to share problems only after I've reached some sort of solution.

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  3. Thank you for your honesty. There are times when I could blog about each and every negative thing going on but I have a life coach for those times. But your vulnerability in sharing the many things you don't blog about let me know we are all normal. We all have real lives that don't make it to the social media screens and that can be...a good thing. Keep writing and thanks!

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    1. It's all about balance. No one wants to read a blog that's all negative all the time. Like you said, that's what a life coach is for. But I do think it's important to be vulnerable and honest too.

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  4. Thank you for sharing your perspective on this! In our world that is overwhelmed with Tweets, Instagrams, and Facebook posts, it's easy to get jealous and think that others have it all together. We're all human, and we'll all face the same struggles eventually.

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    1. I actually decided to write this in part because a friend told me that my online life makes her jealous. As you said, we all have issues!

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  5. Javacia, thank you for this post. I have been thinking about how social media can suck every bit of creative energy from me sometimes and how I feel "obligated" to do it, even at the expense of my other writing. I love what you said about writing about "my junk after I've made my way through it so that I can help my readers sort through their junk too." But sometimes it is the actual writing about the junk that helps you work through it, so maybe (at least for me) more accurate to say I don't hit the "post" button until or unless I have something to contribute by my angst. So very glad your mother is better. Hold her close.

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    1. You are absolutely right that writing can help us get through the junk. And I do use writing to deal with issues. But that is writing that I keep private in my prayer journal. As you said I hit post after I feel I have something to truly contribute.

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  6. LOVE it and you!! This is a blessing to so many women. Thank you for being transparent. Praying for you and the family.

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