This is my response to Heather's questionairre:
1. Why did you start blogging?
My husband discovered it, I saw how much attention it generated,and I wanted to get me summa dat.
2. Do you feel that you've developed meaningful relationships on your blog? If so, tell a story or two of a relationship that made a difference to you. How are these relationships different and/or similar to your in-person relationships?
I've met a lot of lovely people through this venue. I would have to say that some of my best surprises are real life people who I'd already met in person, and so they'd have to be polite and listen to me rant in real life...... but some of these people voluntarily come around and anonymously read my thoughts. "They LIKE me! they really, REALLY like me!!" (Woops, did I write that out loud?) One of my favorite surprises has been my sis-in-law; we didn't know each other really well, yet she voluntarily has become a faithful reader. (really, I don't pay her, or anything!) It has given me such a sense of warmth, and my visits to the family gatherings there have become more precious as a result.
3. Have you used your blog as a place to work out tough situations in your life? If so, what was the situation/challenge, and how did the blog help?
I have made references to some of my personal struggles, without actually spelling out in blatant terms what the deal it. Its like therapy for me- write down the good that I believe, then re-read it. Somehow I believe myself better that way.
Of course when my brother became ill with terminal cancer, my blog was an invaluable tool. I was able to get in touch with my emotions by just letting the thoughts flow out.
4. Were there people you met through blogging who helped you through those tough situations? What did they do that helped?
Local people brought me flowers and meals and prayers. Far away people expressed their love and support, shared their prayers, identified with my pain.
5. Were there ever things that you felt you could talk about on your blog to "strangers" that you couldn't tell your flesh-and-blood friends and family?
Oh, sometimes I wish I were more private....
I kind of think of everyone as my friend and family until proven otherwise...
6. Do your family and "in-person" friends read your blog? Why or why not?
Many of them do, and I have no idea why. It must be some form of ministry.
7. Have you ever regretted admitting really personal things on your blog? Why or why not?
Yes, once. And the next day I deleted the post.
8. Have you come into conflict with anyone on your blog? Did it destroy a relationship that you valued, or was it someone you didn't care about?
I once overreacted to a question asked in my comments. I think if I had remained more calm, I could have kept his readership and been more useful and loving instead of just scaring him away.
9. Do you ever think about quitting blogging? Why or why not?
Never, ever. Not in a million years. When I was a little girl, I used to fall asleep making up sentences in my head. I used to dream of writing books. Eventually I concluded that it was about as likely as me becoming a marine biologist, or an aerobics instructer.
Now, I'm so grateful to be able to write.
10. Any other interesting stories that might be applicable.
I have met a psychologist who is writing a book called "Every Woman Has An Eating Disorder". Her work is fascinating, and relevant.
I have begun work on a fund-raising project for the women in Darfur, in partnership with one of my favourite bloggers, "Bobita". This work was inspired by one of her posts expressing her anguish and sense of helplessness for the horrible abuse that our African sisters endure there on a daily basis. Within the proximity of our own homes, we have "met", shared a passion, and are now embarking on a pro-active mission. That's empowering.
I'll end on a very personal note.
My brother Ken lost his ability to walk early this summer, the first of his many losses due to the cancer. One of his lifelines was his blackberry, which we affectionately referred to as his "crackberry", and my father tended to confuse as a "blueberry".
Ken spent hours communicating with his friends on that little gadget, and it enabled him to send love messages to his parents, which will be treasured eternally.
Ken is a very intelligent man. I have spent a lot of energy in my younger years looking for and craving his approval. He was always very popular, very front and center. He seemed to be good at anything he put his hand to. Last December, less than a short year ago, Ken won first prize in a local newspapers writing contest. I was proud of him, and remember thinking-- oh gee, that just figures! He just puts his hand to it, and Presto! he succeeds. Ken's first girlfriend love was Miriam Toews. I mean, this guy never did anything boring or by the regular passageways.
All this to say that one day when I visited Ken at the hospital, he told me that he had been reading Chronicles of Blunderview.
"It's good", he said, "If I were you, I'd keep writing."
Blogging for me, has been one of the most humbling, most therapeutic, most healing outlets in my life.