27 June 2010

Blogging Vs. Writing

So, my friend, Carole -- who is also a writer -- twittered something yesterday that I absolutely agree with...
She was talking to a friend of ours (Donna Frank) who has written several books.
She mentioned to Donna that she had not written on her book lately, but that she had been doing a lot of blogging.
Donna responded with:
"Well, yeah, blogging is instant gratification. Sitting down and writing your book isn't; it's work and very delayed gratification."
What a profound truth!
In the past, when I was blogging more faithfully, I really struggled to make time for my book. There was this constant (albeit, imagined) pressure to post here, regularly and often.
When I recommitted to finishing the task God has given me (now, TWO books!), I found it harder and harder to come here and blog.
I couldn't figure it out at first, but there was an uneasy suspicion that I was somehow "cheating" on my book by blogging.
Now, that might sound weird if you are not a writer, but it's true!

Time issues aside, I found that I became more and more possessive of my analogies, stories, and musings. If something was really good, it would go in the book. How could I put it here?
There's always a fear that something you write will be stolen or misused and there's a deeper fear that you will "waste" all your good stuff on the blog.
So, what happened was I would go weeks without posting or I found myself alternately writing either really preachy stuff or "fluffy" stuff (which I loathe, by the way) here on my blog. I wasn't just selling myself short; I was selling you -- the reader -- short.

Carole has blogged about this struggle as well.

Yeah, I know; I'm totally neurotic to be obsessing about this, but to hear another writer (published author, no less!) surmise it so well was somehow comforting to me.
So, I can either focus my time on the calling God has placed on my life (my writing/my books) or I can worry about what other people think about my blogging.
Truthfully, I think it's a no-brainer. ;)

06 June 2010

Black Gold = Red Sea :(


Ugh, it makes me sick just to think about it... The oil won't stop and it's destroying the Gulf Coast! Even as BP boasts of "success," the reality here is far from it.
So many people have been affected and it isn't over yet.
Right now -- in truth -- there is no end in sight.

I have friends whose entire livelihoods are dependent upon gulf shrimp and seafood.
Friends whose families have worked on the off-shore oil rigs for decades.
Friends who have just started to truly rebuild their lives -- and their businesses -- after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina 5 years ago.

And I can't even begin to think about the wildlife... the pelicans, the turtles, and all the animals dying from such a senseless accident. It makes me want to break down and cry.

Just a few weeks ago, we agonized over whether or not to go forward with our vacation to Destin -- a trip we've had planned since last fall.
Would there be oil? Tar balls? Rancid fumes?
We watched the news and checked web updates daily... hourly.
We prayed about it and decided that, come what may, we would go.

I am SO glad we did!
Who knows when -- or if -- the Gulf Coast will ever be as beautiful again. I heard yesterday that lots of tar balls are washing up in Pensacola and there is some oil smell and "greasy spots" from the spreading gunk. Just 3 weeks ago, the beaches at Destin looked like this:

In all the summers that I have gone to these beaches, I have NEVER seen the water as crystal clear and beautiful as it was 3 weeks ago!
NO seaweed.
NO jellyfish.
and more importantly, NO OIL!!

We were ecstatic!
Not only were the beaches and water pristine, we had the wonder of seeing dolphins and stingrays! I have never seen stingrays so close to the shore.

This couple wasn't paying attention, but the stingrays were!
They just swam around them!

An older gentleman informed us that earlier that morning, they had seen a manatee swimming close to the shoreline. Manatees NEVER come that close to the shore; obviously, the oil was driving these sea creatures in, in search of cleaner water.

We spent a joyous week at the beach and I am so thankful now that we did. I shudder to think what is coming... and the ominous signs of what has already arrived. How can we not mourn?

Destin's beaches are still beautiful at this moment, but for how long?
I fear that I am posting these pictures for posterity's sake, but I sincerely pray I am wrong.
Biblical end-time prophesies aside (that's a whole 'nother blog post, not for me to write), this is devastation on a monumental scale.
There's no amount of money that can replace what's been (or could be) lost...

Please pray for the Gulf Coast!