Thoughts on Writing After One Year of Blogging

When I was a business reporter years ago at a newspaper in Northwest Arkansas, I came up with some of my own story ideas, but I mostly wrote what I was told to write.

writing

Wal-Mart just released quarterly earnings. We need a story.

The manufacturing plant down the road is making a big announcement at a press conference today. Go cover it.

There’s a bunch of dirt being moved at the corner of Central and Moberly. What’s going in there?

You get the idea.

Those days of breaking news and weekly deadlines are long past for me.

For a long time, I didn’t write much of anything. I did think and read, though, more than ever in my life.

Now that I’m writing again, I can feel the effects of all that thinking and reading. As my book-loving daughter is fond of saying, readers make good writers. I see that coming true for her, and I hope it also applies to me.

I still think a lot, mostly while I’m doing other things like driving somewhere alone, vacuuming my house, weeding my flowerbeds or cleaning the shower. Writing ideas come freely during these times when my body is occupied but my mind is mostly free to wander. I don’t write while I’m driving, but I have been known to hurriedly scratch down an idea on a Chick-fil-A receipt while waiting for a stoplight to turn green.

I love it when I have to stop whatever it is I’m doing so I can pound out a thought on my kitchen laptop. It could wait, of course, but it might not be there when I’m done—in the same form or at all.

So I have to get it down while it’s fresh.

If I had to describe my writing style (after a year of blogging), I’d say I write from the gut. It’s not syrupy or emotionally driven, but it’s not strictly a mental exercise, either. My goal in writing is to be concise, honest and vulnerable, but without unnecessary drama. (That’s how I prefer my life, too, by the way.)

If I had a choice, though, I’d rather people be struck by the message of my words, not the style. Instead of, “that was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever read,” I’d much prefer to hear, “I’ve never thought of it that way before,” or “what she wrote prompted me to change.” I’m not sure I’ll ever get to that point, but it is a goal that keeps me focused on what I know I should be doing.

How I write now is not exactly how I used to write. When I was a journalist, I told other people’s stories, without interjecting any of my own thoughts and feelings. Now, when I tell stories about other people, they are filtered through the lens of my own life, experiences and worldview.

It’s kind of the same, but it’s also very different. I learn from my personal interactions and observations, and I figure, if I can do that, someone else might too.

I also write from the perspective that I am not alone in my struggles. While I’ve gone through seasons when I felt like no one else could possibly understand, in the back of my mind, I always believed I couldn’t possibly be the only one. Not in this big world. There’s always someone else who can relate, someone who might be helped by reading.

So I write.

Last year at this time, I never would have predicted that I’d still be here today, writing about writing on my own personal blog. I don’t plan to change what I do in this space in the coming months, but I really don’t know what this next year will hold—for this blog or even for my life in general.

I do know this, though. Writing about writing (or anything else, for that matter) is much more satisfying than simply thinking about it. And sharing that writing with you is even better.

So thanks for reading. I appreciate you, every one.

Lois Flowers

P.S. I’m linking up this week with Grace & Truth, Abby McDonald at #RaRaLinkup, Jennifer Dukes Lee at #TellHisStory and Holley Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart.



31 Responses to Thoughts on Writing After One Year of Blogging

  1. Valerie says:

    Hi Lois,
    I am a new blogger and have always loved to write. I’m impressed that your were a journalist because I pursued journalism in college but the pressure of making deadlines and trying to get interviews was too stressful for me.
    For the first time in my life, I am getting to know people who love to write and I’m having so much fun.
    I feel the same way about writing down a thought before it escapes me, lol!

    • Lois Flowers says:

      I feel the same way you do about blogging, Valerie. When I started this thing, I never thought about the possibility of finding friends in the blogosphere who shared my faith and love of words … what a happy surprise that’s been! I also had to chuckle when I read what you said about journalism, because even though I was a newspaper reporter for several years, it was always an uncomfortable fit for me, too! Happy blogging and many blessings to you today!

  2. Hi Lois, congrats on your blogivesary!
    I do appreciate your reflective post. I am grateful for your writing journey.
    Thank you for your lovely visit. You are an encourager.
    God bless friend

  3. Bethany L says:

    This is slightly ironic, but I have never thought of my goal being that someone should be struck by what I am writing about rather than my style of writing. I love that. Thanks for giving me a new perspective. 🙂

  4. Kristine says:

    Lois, I share your sentiment about how others respond to my writing. There is true joy in hearing someone tell me what I’ve written was ‘just for them’. I relate to your writing style, and love hearing that we have some common traits in this area! Blessings to you, and keep writing!

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Kristine, it’s so fun to hear from other bloggers who share similar ideas about writing! I appreciate your encouragement and look forward to reading more of YOUR words in the coming days!

  5. Happy anniversary! I enjoy reading your posts! 🙂

  6. Way to go, Lois! One year of blogging! That’s a great accomplishment! I learned something new about you: that you were a journalist before! That’s my dream job. But I think I’m a little late, so I’ll stick to Christian non-fiction and blogging. 🙂 Blessings to you as you continue your writing journey.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Thanks, Betsy! I’m so grateful for the example of experienced bloggers like you who encourage with their posts and their comments! And you know what’s funny about my being a journalist? Even though I got my degree in journalism, I never, EVER wanted to work as a newspaper reporter! But it’s the only job I could find after I got married and moved to Arkansas where my husband was already living, so that’s what I did. 🙂

  7. Way to go sticking with it, Lois! I agree- I’d rather have someone come away from my writing thinking about something new or with a message in their heart than simply complimenting the style. I so agree that readers make good writers. I’m an avid reader too. So blessed to have you at #RaRaLinkup this week. Happy Wednesday!

  8. Linda Stoll says:

    Lois, I like it here. Your story touches me, resonates. I’m thankful for your gentle conversations …

  9. Hey, I’ve been blogging for around a year now as well, but am not as brave as you are. I can’t get myself to sit down and actually write about what it feels like to write or what my goals or writing process are because it still feels very tenuous to me. I enjoyed reading about your thoughts — and maybe you’ve made me brave enough to commit myself as you have!

  10. “If I had a choice, though, I’d rather people be struck by the message of my words, not the style.”
    I needed to hear exactly that. I recently wrote about comparison, and I have trouble not comparing myself to you and some of my other friends who write so beautiful. I constantly have to remind myself that God made me ME and not someone else, and He gave me a unique message to share.
    Thanks for the reminder, and happy blogiversary! I can’t believe it’s been a year already!

  11. Kim says:

    Lois,
    I look forward to your blog each Tuesday! I particularly enjoy when you share your faith in day to day issues. It draws me in to use my faith in the same way.
    Kim

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Kim, it blesses me so much to know you are reading every week and even looking forward to it! Your encouragement over the last several years has really helped me with my writing and I appreciate it so much!

  12. Maybe I need to vacuum more often.. yes, and if i don’t jot it down, it’s gone – i’m thinking age + too many thoughts. good for you and congratulations! I, too, want my time and words to matter. all in God’s hands, but since he made us for words, He loves it when we use them – to quote chariots of fire loosely. blessings on your next year with the pen.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      I love the Chariots of Fire paraphrase, Sue! And I’m still laughing about what you said about vacuuming more … if only it were that easy, right? Thank you so much for your kind words!

  13. So glad you write, Lois and share your words with us! I too find that when my mind is occupied elsewhere, the ideas pour – especially vacuuming – isn’t that funny?! It’s a beautiful thing to just trust God that the words will come when they need to and then to see Him unfold His plans through them is pure joy. Cheering you on from #RaRalinkup.

  14. Happy blogging anniversary to you! I come from a journalism background too, and while I definitely miss writing stories on a more regular basis, there is so much freedom in blogging. Cheers to you Lois! Visiting for the #RaRaLinkup. 🙂

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