Tuesday, February 3, 2009

On Blogging: A Reflection a Few Days In

Just within the past week of beginning my blog, I've already been starting to have internal questions about it.  I have found myself obsessing about whether people actually read my blog, if they find it relevant, how many people actually visit the site, etc. What am I doing? Why am I doing this?  What is its purpose? It's a normal train of thought that goes on within me about many things.  

I found in the first few postings that I've had a real sense of joy of being able to express myself.  That I was doing something meaningful, and that I had something to say.  But recently, I've begun to ask--was it really all that meaningful? Did I really have anything new to say?  I mean, it's all been said before anyway, and probably by much smarter and more creative people.  What, then, is the point of blogging?  Why did I even ask permission to begin with?

I know, it hasn't even been a week yet, and off I go again on this sort of thinking.  

Those who somewhat know me are shocked to learn that I indulge in such mental morbidity, as I'm often perceived by some to be quite optimistic and positive which borders, or just plainly is, naivete.  For others who've seen that side of me, they ask: "why do you keep doing this to yourself?" I think specifically about past spiritual directors.  

In Jesuit lingo, we would say that this sort of indulgence is exactly where the dark spirit wants to keep us.  Indeed, it's so easy for me to get trapped, and sometimes I need a good slap in the face to awaken me to the self-destructiveness that is going on.  This is why my Jesuit spirituality is so important to me.  Without the tools of discernment that I have gained, I would be locked in a mental struggle for days, weeks, or even longer. 

It has been my faith that anchors me amidst the all-too-common days of habitual pessimism.  

When looked at through a different lens, I feel much consolation about what I am doing with my blog, to give of myself in my own, unique way. To write not only because I find life in doing so, but also because perhaps even one person will take away something from it.  Even if there was no one who read this blog except that one person, I feel it would be worth my time and effort to continue doing what I'm doing even just for that one.  

In the meantime, I will do my best to write on a fairly regular basis, for it makes no sense to "market" this blog if I don't have anything to really offer.  What I have to offer is myself, and I would like to share that with you.  

I truly would value any feedback, constructive criticism, how to improve the site, etc.  I'm slowly learning my way around this technological world of blogging, but I have so much still to learn.  

Still, for data gathering purposes, it is good to ask the question: is anyone reading? 


Marc said...

of course!

Ryan Rallanka, SJ said...

Thanks, Marc =)

Joe said...

I'm reading... I look forward to new posts, and I hope you keep going!

Travel Monkey said...

Ryan, I'm reading too and I'm enjoying it, but that's beside the point. If no one read it -- who cares? If everyone read it and subsequently hated it -- who cares? This blog should be about you. You love to write, it's a fun hobby to update your blog, so keep it up for no one else but for you. Try out some good ol' "Randian-Egoism" HAHA!

Those are pretty heavy words from someone who obsessively checks for new comments and glows when people actually do read it though. :-) Compliments will get you everywhere with me!

Take care and keep writing. Oh, and since you asked, I'll bust out the English Major-esque criticisms if I find an opportunity!