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.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Okay ...

As long as I can remember, I have been a writer. Even as a grade-school child, I was penning poetry, stories, and plays. I have worked as an editor and a reporter (radio and print). I have seen some of my poetry published, plays produced, and songs performed.

I write, therefore I am.

When I said I was ending this blog, I really was serious. I had other outlets, after all. But I hate to give up on something. The itch was still there. The other outlets did not meet all my needs.

So, I am back.

But first I need to explain part of why I left - and why things will be different this time around.

At the point I quit, I was unhappy about a number of things connected with this blog.

I found that I was spending too much time on it. That time was spent on more than just writing posts. I was responding to comments, arguing with others, reading other blogs to find ideas - and posts/comment with which I disagreed and which could provide fodder for some attack on my part.

That meant time spent at the computer that I could have been spending with my wife, praying, doing spiritual reading, practicing guitar, writing other things. I found myself thinking about what I was going to write, how I was going to respond to some post or comment, even when I was doing other things - including during Mass.

I also found myself too often giving free reign to my tendencies to judge and criticize harshly, and to be sarcastic. There's nothing wrong with speaking out against things that are wrong - like abortion, for example, or certain government policies, or even uncharitable attacks on others. But I tend to respond in uncharitable ways myself.

I also found myself getting too caught up in arguing. Again, debating an issue is fine, but some of the arguments dragged on pointlessly and endlessly.

In starting up again, I will continue to discuss and debate issues, to criticize things that are wrong, but with a different tone. I will try to take a more positive approach.

I will avoid searching other blogs for things with which to argue. Some blogs I will avoid entirely because I am not strong enough to avoid temptation.

I will comment on issues as I can imagine St. Francis, G. K. Chesterton, or Mike Huckabee responding to them. Honestly, but fairly, guided by Christian charity.

I will also continue my other blogs. I write a blog about my spiritual reflections as a Secular Franciscan in formation. I help Santa with his diary. I'm part of the team that writes about "Chesterton and friends." I contribute to two blogs about Mike Huckabee. (Check them out.)

Sometimes I will cross post, or write variations of a single post for a couple of blogs.

I will curtail the sarcasm.

I will also blog a bit less. There are more important things for me to be dong.

I will continue to moderate the comments. Some will not see light of day.

I'm back.

But now, off to spend time with my wife.


Blogger Ben Anderson said...

welcome back, Lee. I can relate to everything you said. It certainly can be trying spiritually. Personally, I've found myself growing quite a bit since I started blogging - meaning I'm learning to disagree with people (vehemently sometimes) and still love them and wish them well. I think this can be carried into personal (face-to-face) relationships as well. So the Internet sort of becomes training ground on how to handle situations and how not to handle situations. I've considered just keeping my mouth shut at times, but that doesn't seem to be the right answer either. So, as usual, it seems the correct way is the more difficult way. I'll enjoy keeping up with you and I am also rooting the Huck. What are the other blogs you contribute to?

2:22 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Welcome back. The good ideas that you sow on the web will germinate someday in someone's life and that will make all worthwhile. And as Emerson wrote "Writing makes an exact man." So, it's like a preparation for your own mental prayer. So, I am glad to see you back. God bless.

3:21 PM  
Blogger GrandmaK said...

I must say, I for one, am glad you're back...Wishing you well! Cathy

4:29 PM  
Blogger In the choir loft said...

Yes, Lee, welcome back. You and your insight were sorely missed. I don't see how you keep up with all and everything that you are involved with. It's amazing the stamina you have.

Pax et bonum!

4:32 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Ben - they are listed over to the right under "My Links"

10:11 PM  
Blogger Rich Leonardi said...

Glad you're back, Lee. There's nothing wrong with a spontaneous, unannounced sabbatical from time to time ...

9:29 PM  
Blogger Interstate Catholic said...

Welcome back!

3:34 AM  

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