View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Apologia pro meus blog

There are many dangers with blogging. One of them is that the blog lends itself to the spontaneous, unedited expression of opinions and feelings, that, unlike a diary entries, are there readily available for all to read.

Sometimes blog entries are written in a hurry, or on the spur of the moment, or in the heat of the moment. Back when I was a reporter/editor, a fellow editor always checked over my work. There's no such check here.

I don't know how many times I've written something and later realized it was not right. If it's a matter of correcting a spelling error, removing excess words or letters that got left in, or adding in words that accidentally got left out, I have no problem going back at any time to fix it. It does not change what I was saying.

But when I use an unfortunate word or phrase, or word something in such a way that readers might be offended or hurt, it becomes more problematic. If it's something I just wrote, then jumped in the shower or had a cup of coffee and realized I needed to make a change, I sometimes do. But if it's been a while - I wrote it before I went to school, and it's now 4 p.m. - and especially if people have already read it, then I leave it as is unless it's completely offensive or inaccurate. In some cases I might add a correction or a clarification.

Writing for readers is by its nature an egotistical art. The assumption is that what we write is something people might want to read - or should read! Couple that with arrogance and a tendency to be sarcastic and mocking - both of which I have in abundance - and you compound the problem. I have frequently gotten in trouble for my mouth/words - in my daily life, and in blogs.

I have no problem if I have indeed expressed what I meant to say fairly, accurately, and respectfully. Good people can disagree strongly over issues.

But for those times I have been careless in what or how I wrote, when I have been judgmental or sarcastic, I apologize.

Part of my journey of faith - and as a Franciscan - is trying to trust in God more and not to fall prey to my demons. Attacking with words is one of my great failings.

When one of my other demons arise, I often begin praying over and over, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner" until it passes.

Maybe I need to do it more often as a write.


Blogger Eileen Loveman said...

My feeling about blogging is pretty much a window to your heart - you open it and what falls out, or flys out in many cases. If you are writing and unintentionally hurt someone, the best you can do is acknowlege it, which you have done here. But don't beat yourself up about it.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Thanks Eileen.

It's not the unintentional hurts that bug me the most - though as a writer any error does bug me! It's when I intentionally write or say something just to tweak someone. I don't like my sarcastic side.

11:46 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

But sometimes my dander does get up!

9:07 PM  
Blogger Rich Leonardi said...

We've all been there, Lee. Snarky satire and criticism form part of the blogging milieu, so it's easy -- and tempting -- to take things a bit too far.

1:19 PM  

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