A few weeks ago, I was asked by good friend and fellow blogger, Loralu Conville, to consider being part of something called a “Blog Hop.”
John Sutton, Flickr, Creative Commons
My initial reaction was to run. “Blog Hop” sounds WAY too much like “sock hop.” (And my own “sock hop” experiences are the stuff of multiple counseling sessions—if ever I muster up the courage to confront those painful junior high memories).
However, I did NOT run (if only because Lora can run much faster and farther than I). I asked for clarification. Lora explained that a “Blog Hop” is just “a fun way to introduce bloggers we know and like to a new audience.”
Lora is convincing. She can make doing your taxes sound like a week in Cabo. She has been known to talk her hiker friends into walking through bear country with ribeye steaks strapped to their thighs. So, of course, I said yes; nobody says no to Lora. (By the way, she blogs—very honestly!— here. Check her out.)
Today, in keeping with the official “Blog Hop” rules as set forth by the International Bloggers Federation, I will introduce you to a couple of bloggers I think you should know about. Then, I’ll answer four questions about my blogging habits (such as they are).
Chris Hanchey is a native of Ruston, LA, and a good friend. A skilled worship leader and extremely gifted communicator at The Bridge Community Church, Chris has been battling acute myeloid leukemia for the past 10 months and blogging about his journey. He’s honest and funny, and one of the best guys I know. You should know him too. A devoted husband to Karen and dad to three adorable kids, Chris doesn’t get to blog a lot, but when he does, it’s well worth the read. He blogs here. (FYI, Chris also has an unpleasant “sock hop” memory.)
Cassie Hammett is a young lady I know more by reputation than personal interaction (though she and I have met and have a lot of friends in common). How would I describe Cassie? How about “creative, bold, visionary, full of passion and compassion”? Cassie starts and leads stuff—innovative, life-changing ministries like The Hub, and Purchased. And God just keeps working through her in amazing ways! Cassie lives in Shreveport, LA, with her husband Brent, and they are parents to a beautiful adopted daughter, Liv Nima. Cassie has recently started blogging here. She’s someone to watch (and read).
Okay, now to the Q&A portion of this deal. (Can I say I’m really glad it doesn’t include a swimsuit competition? Hey, but if it did, I’m pretty sure I would go with my navy blue one-piece.)
1. What am I writing or working on?
I am just this week transitioning out of vocational church ministry after almost 25 years (a roundabout way of saying, “I currently don’t have a job”). I am hopeful this next chapter of life will allow me to do a lot more writing. Playing around with words is something I’ve always loved, but I haven’t been able to do much of it since 2008.
Right now I’m trying to get my head around this whole blogging phenomenon. Also I’m working on getting a few other ideas (both non-fiction and fiction) out of my head, off my many legal pads, and onto the computer screen. No question, getting that first draft is the hardest work of all.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I read an article this morning stating there are some 152 million blogs online, and that every half-second someone else starts another one. If that’s true, there’s got to be a ton of overlap, redundancy, and “copycatting,” right? I am trying to remember the old adage: “If I try to be someone else, then who will be me?” Hopefully, I can add my own unique voice and experience to the blogosphere.
3. Why do I write what I write?
Because I’m a lousy singer/songwriter.
Seriously, writing is how I tend to respond to mysteries, beauty, deep truth, troubling questions, or amazing people and experiences. Writing is the best way I’ve found to sort of wrestle life moments to the ground.
I’ve always been a reader. And it’s been through reading great thoughts, well-expressed, that I’ve been powerfully challenged, encouraged, reminded, touched, and changed. I’d like to hope my words could occasionally do that for others—prompting them to think more clearly, feel more deeply, and act more nobly.
4. How does my writing process work?
I scribble ideas on assorted legal pads and sticky notes. Then I let those ideas “steep” in my mind for a while. I jot down related thoughts and additional details as they show up. Eventually, the one idea that keeps rearing its head above the rest gets my full attention. I’ll brainstorm a bit more and then sit down and write. (My optimal writing time is in the early morning hours.)
Because I was an editor for a couple of years, I have a tendency to edit myself as I go. I’m trying to practice the mantra: “Write recklessly; rewrite ruthlessly.” But old habits die hard!