Today’s ‘Daily Prompt’ Question is one of the best; simple, yet profound:
Why do you blog?
For me, the answer is straight forward. I blog for several reasons.
1. A creative outlet
Firstly, because my parents encouraged me to find an outlet which used my gifts and also engaged my brain. As a person with significant impairments, it is very difficult to find enough to keep me occupied without exhausting myself at the same time. I have discovered, that this is a common problem. To know I am not the only one who faces this precarious balancing act on a daily, perhaps hourly, sometimes minute-by-minute basis is a massive relief. It is also useful to share coping strategies and tips, and simply to talk about the frustration this particular battle can cause. There are days where I am simply too exhausted to type. Additionally, if another part of my disability is out of kilter, say I am in excessive pain, or the bag is being particularly difficult I may well have no energy or head-space left to blog, as has been the case of late. That said, to have found an outlet which I enjoy, uses my gifts, engages my brain, and connects me with people who have similar interests is a joy. I have to admit, I needed encouragement, or a ‘boot up the backside’ to actually start writing. Bryony had been telling me for weeks that i should start a blog. When I joined twitter, she introduced me to Bex as the friend she had told her about who was going to start writing for BigBible, which Bex now works for, as they had been on the lookout for someone like me. Introductions made, I had no choice but to start. This was the boost I needed. It was a thrill to be one of the #digidisciples whose work featured in the top ten of most shared posts of 2012. The reaction to my first post was something which has stayed with me ever since, and I often bring to mind when I am in need of encouragement with my writing.
2. God is using me, and my writing
This reason for blogging is also connected with the first point. It is God who has given me the brain and the gifts necessary to make a good go of my blog, and my hope is to use it for His Glory, as should be my aim with everything I do. Many of my non-Christian friends or family like to read my posts, so this is a motivation for me to show how my faith makes a difference to the difficult times in my life, of which there are plenty. I hope and pray this will be a witness to those who read it. I decided early on that as much as possible I would keep my blog ‘real’, by writing honestly, including the good, the bad, and the ugly, without dramatising things but also without glossing over the tough stuff. I wanted mine to stand out. Not just a single-issue blog but something that reflected the variety of my life, and also so that as many people as possible could find something in my writing which speaks to them or with which they identify. Occasional feedback from readers is proving this to be true.
3. Semi housebound, but reaching the masses without leaving my front door!
For my first #digidisciple post for the Big Bible Project,. I wrote about the benefits of social media in general and twitter in particular when it is impossible to interact with the world in other ways. To go out, I have to book care, of which there are limited hours in a week, and/or a wheelchair taxi. Many of you reading this will understand just how expensive this can be. This all also depends on me having the finances to cover the cost of transport and having a good day energy wise to be able to go out. For both those reasons,. the places i go to are often limited to a specific list of places, or if in Leeds, a specific area meaning I frequently meet the same people. Online, however, it is a different story, and I can reach a much broader audience. My father recently referred to me as “a master blogger”, and commented on,the variety of people who read my work. I aim to be different from disability activists, as I do not feel this is my gifting, there are others much more adept at lobbying the policy makers, council leaders, whoever needs to be told. Having said that, I aim to inform as many people as i can about the complexities of life with significant needs, and deep Christian faith and to live as full as life as I can. I am aware of other disabled people I know who live fuller lives than I, even with a more significant physical impairment. Though I would sometimes wish my life was more varied, in general blogging is my way of being ‘out and about’; reaching people I would not otherwise meet and finding a creative outlet, while having a lot of fun at the same time!