Thursday, January 30, 2014

True Confessions of A Blogger

ATTENTION

I have a confession to make.

Somebody accused me of something recently and it's true.....so I'm just going to come out with it.

Are you ready? Brace yourself, because it could be rather shocking.

I hope you don't judge me too harshly for this, but here it is:

One of the reasons I blog......is to get attention.

I apologize for the shock this has probably created. It's possible that none of you thought for even a minute that bloggers blog to get attention, but I am here to tell ya, that I write blog posts hoping to gain attention. Yep. It's true! I desire an audience. I hope to captivate people and to keep my audience waiting with baited breath to hear more of what I have to say.....well, maybe not with baited breath, but you know....lurking around, checking in to see if there is anything new, that sort of thing.

This may also be disturbing, but after interviewing a few fellow bloggers, I have learned that.....wait for it............they blog partly for attention too.

Did I just hear an audible gasp?

Seriously, it's really quite surprising what people will do for attention. Things like writing books, public speaking, singing, playing instruments, sports, dancing, social media etc.. I'm pretty sure anyone who engages in any of these activities is hoping to gain attention as one of the rewards for their efforts. Don't get me wrong. I write because I love to write and other people do the things they do because they love to do them, but there is an element in all of us, that hopes to gain attention for the things we do. It's built into our humanity.

Do I blog out of insecurity? Probably, at times. In fact, I'm pretty sure that would be a yes. It's happened. I'm also pretty sure I'm not alone in this.

A profound thought has been brewing in my mind (it's a rare occurrence, but it does happen).

Every single human being desires attention. If you observe people.....really observe them, you will see that it is true! Everyone wants to be noticed, to know they make an impact on people, to know that what they think, feel, say and do is important. Some people behave negatively for attention. Some people gain attention through perfectionism, good grades, their intelligence level, perfect house keeping/decorating skills, their personal style, climbing the corporate ladder, excelling in sports, music, drama, speech, debate, parenting, art, acts of service, giving, cooking, knowledge, fitness, nutrition etc.

So, is it a weakness to desire attention?  It certainly can be if it's out of balance. If you get upset because nobody is checking the "like" box or leaving comments, this could be a problem. I mean....we all like to know that we have an audience, and those are the only measurable ways to determine if anyone is reading what we write, but honestly.....it doesn't matter if there are fifty comments or zero....it is not going to bring true fulfillment to have a following. It just isn't.

Attention on Facebook

If you have been accused of being an attention seeker, consider the source of the accusation; is this coming from someone who genuinely loves you and is trustworthy, or is it coming from someone who is an attention seeker themselves, who may be threatened by the attention you naturally receive? Take an objective view of your own actions by asking for an honest opinion from three or more people in your life that will love you enough to tell you the truth and if the answer is yes, take the time to explore just why you feel such a strong need for it. The Bible says: "Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right." Proverbs 20:11.  People around us know the truth about our character before we do, much of the time. We all have blind spots and there is a great freedom when our own eyes are opened to see them, so we can own them and begin to change them.

Remember, it's okay to seek attention for the right reasons. I mean....when I was accused of seeking attention for blogging my first thought really was...well "DUH!"  But seriously, I also do not want to be imbalanced so I explored a little deeper into my own heart. During my quiet times, I searched the scriptures prayerfully regarding this subject and I saw all kinds of people who wanted attention. Guess what....their names are in the Bible. Their stories are in the Bible and many of them left a huge impact because they were willing to be the center of attention in some powerful ways! Some of them got negative attention and some got positive attention, but God being the perfect parent and Creator of our souls gave them all attention, in the right balance and for the right reasons. I also noticed that He designed us with certain needs and He fulfills all of those needs in us, if we are in tune with Him. Proverbs 17:28 gives this warning: "Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent." It also says in Matthew 5:15-16 "Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Obviously there is a balance here. We should be willing to gain attention for the right reasons, but it shouldn't be an idol or a measuring device for self worth.

Blogging has been an important part of my life for nearly a decade and it is a joy to me....a gift, really, that provides the opportunity to process with fellow writers and learn to develop better writing skills. The blogging community has provided the opportunity to write for an audience. Fellow bloggers have critiqued my writing, encouraged me, loved me right where I'm at and challenged me to grow. Over the years my blogging friends have been an incredible support system of people who really "get" the beauty of blogging. In the past eight years, we have supported each other in prayer, friendships have been formed across the miles of distance between us, family and friends have been able to keep up with our lives and blog posts have been written for each other during major trials, but best of all......I have a history of the years we have spent raising our kids, the births of my babies, and each new grandchild, and a wonderful way to measure the growth God has brought about in my life.

Attention in so many ways

I don't really mind the accusation of being an attention seeker, because I know it's true. I want attention just like every other person with skin on and that's okay, as long as it isn't out of balance and I know that it doesn't matter how many people check the "like" box or make a comment. My identity is not defined by the amount of people who like or don't like my posts. It is not defined by how many people agree with me. It is not defined by accusations, good or bad. It is defined by the One, true and living God and that's enough.

5 comments :

  1. Very well written, Mom. Yes, there must be a good balance. I do think it's okay to seek some attention, but its important not to overdo it, and also to, at least some degree, do it because you like to do it.

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  2. Thanks, Christine. :) I'm glad you understand that as a brand new blogger and I'm glad we get to blog together. xxxooo

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  3. Yes! So happy to read your posts and for you to read mine. <3<3<3

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  4. Oh Jana, you did it again. You had me nodding my head in agreement as I read! Very honest post and I love it! I have been reading your posts for many years, and I have never thought of you as an attention seeker. You have always been encouraging. And even though you look back on your posts and feel that maybe they were too 'my life is wonderfulish",(like my made up word), I think you have to consider the REASON that you were blogging. You said many times that you were creating a diary of sorts for your children to look back on. When I read your posts, I see the love you have for your family, you frustrations and solutions along the way, and of course your faith and convictions. Please don't change!

    I remember a post of yours where you shared that one of your little guys dumped a large pack of brown, organic eggs while trying to "help". I never thought that you had a "perfect" life. But I did and still do believe that you have a gift of writing and encouragement! Call if attention seeking if you wish, but please don't stop!! :)

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  5. Jodi, Thank you for your very encouraging comment. It still amazes me after so many years, the areas people will attack you on. If there is something we enjoy and want to share with others, for some reason, they like to attack that area of your life with the intent of making you feel stupid for it or like you are doing something wrong. At least at this stage in life, we can rise above it and realize that there could be a spiritual reason behind the attacks, right? I'm so glad you moved over to WordPress too. I've been trying to recruit some of our other fellow bloggers from Xanga days, but it's hard to locate some of them and some have lost the desire due to Facebook. Anyway, thank you. You bless me and I love reading your blog too....very encouraging and real. I have always enjoyed your writing style too. (((hugs)))

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