Blog Intentions

Written by David on April 14, 2016

I thought it’d be beneficial to explain why I write on this blog, not that I necessarily have a lot of readers or anything (actually, I have no idea - I haven’t checked my traffic metrics in at least half a year). I wanted to make some disclaimers just to explain why I write the way that I do and why I write at all.

In short, I write the way that I do because I want to share about my life transparently, and I hope it will encourage you, ultimately into seeing and knowing God the way that I see and know Him.

If you want the long version…

I like writing a lot. I’ve never been that great of a writer, but I am still a far greater writer than I am a speaker. Back in the AOL Instant Messenger days, I didn’t know how to talk to people face to face. But if you talked to me on AIM, I could actually talk to people, probably because I could be more calculated with my words. I think my screen name was ihaveweirdpants. That was pretty lame, but I think lame screen names were normal back then. Later, when I got a Xanga, and then a Blogger, (sorry LiveJournal), I’d sit down for an hour and write about my thoughts and the things I was going through. I wasn’t writing for anyone in particular - I guess I was just writing for myself, for the contemplative and introspective process. My writing wasn’t exactly accomplishing anything externally - it was more just internal, for me. But it was nice to realize I had a voice.

[I never really got into Facebook Notes that much, even though they recently overhauled it. I actually wanted to work on Facebook Notes because I think this exchange of longer-form writing is very valuable. I am, though, a big fan of Medium (part of that is also just my being a big fan of Ev Williams).]

Back in those high school days, there was an author named Donald Miller who had a book called Blue Like Jazz. His writing was very informal and conversational and he openly and humorously talked about how he didn’t know certain things and didn’t even try to hide things about himself that others might have looked down on. At a certain point, I started trying to mimic his writing style, which I don’t think I ever lost. It’s the reason I use a lot of “I think” and “I guess” statements. He was my favorite author for a while - he even wrote a book called To Own a Dragon about fatherlessness that made me cry at the time, and then helped start a non-profit called The Mentoring Project that is actually doing a lot of great work in Oklahoma City - but I’m honestly not that big of a fan of him anymore.

I try to write to transparently share my life. I don’t think it’s helpful to write if I’m not going to be honest (though there are some things that require discretion). Honestly, my life is basically composed of my relationship with God, relationships with my church, reading and memorizing the Bible, programming, running, and marriage (though I think that’s a bit underrepresented on this blog). I actually care very sincerely about each of those things. I don’t mean to boast in any of them. If you don’t know me personally or haven’t talked to me much at length - I’m surprised you’d be reading this, but I really don’t mean to be writing to boast in myself.

I know Jesus is very clear when He teaches that we shouldn’t do things so that we’re seen by men, but we should do them in secret in order that God will see them instead. He applies this to prayer and to fasting and to giving, and I’m sure this applies to a million other things. I think the difference, though, is the motive. I don’t think we need to hide everything we do, but we certainly need to be double checking why we’re doing them. If the reason is so that we’ll be seen by others and so that we’ll bring ourselves more attention, then I think there’s a problem. But if my intention is not to boast, but to try to encourage other people with what I’m doing, trying to give younger Christians an example to imitate, trying to convey the significance of my faith and that I’m pursuing fundamentally different things for a fundamentally different end… I think that that’s okay. That’s one of the main reasons I write openly about the Scripture passages I memorize or the books I read. I think it’s encouraging to other Christians, whether they’re more mature or less mature than me.

The other primary reason for doing this is because I’m writing for myself and so that I can come back later and see what I was going through and doing. Whenever I look back on my old posts, I wish I had been more open about my progress (like in 1 Timothy 4) so that I could go back to it and realize more vividly how much I’ve changed and how far I’ve come.

I try to write once a month because if I don’t put any sort of timeframe to it, I’d only write 2 or 3 posts a year, and I would be far less introspective and intentional about my actions.

[On other less important notes, this blog was also originally made so that Suzi could write more too. That hasn’t really happened, but if you scroll to the very beginning of the posts, you’ll see three posts Suzi did in a single night. Buying the domain gave me a place to host our wedding website though, which was lost when I switched my hosting from GoDaddy to Github. Also, I used to write more programming articles because I was (sorta hypocritically) trying to make a name for myself and make the front page of Hacker News. I used to write basic tutorials and tweet them at people and end up in newsletters that I didn’t really belong in, like JavaScript Weekly, which used to have terrible curation. (By the way, they fired their curation problem and I haven’t been in it since!)]