I’m officially ending my brief, self-imposed Brain Bubble sabbatical. During the interlude, I didn’t stop writing, but wanted some time—without the pressure (also self-imposed) of posting on a regular basis—for research, reading, planning, and other projects. In this little “vacation,” I was actually able to get several future posts written; they are uploaded and will “go live” at some point later. And I read some wonderful, thoughtful books on my Summer Reading List.
I have to say that while my time away was fruitful (pardon the pun) and productive, it was not easy. I enjoy blogging! Several times, events would happen or an idea would come to me, and I’d be anxious to respond. But only once did I give in, and it was TOO IMPORTANT to remain silent.
While I was away, someone on my Facebook Author page asked me about blogging—how I decide on topics, why I do it...and if I make a living doing it. So, I’m marking my return with a response.
I have my reasons.
There are kazillions of blogs these days; some have millions of readers, others...not so many. Some are “monetized” with ads, generating income for the Professional Blogger; I know bloggers who solicit money in the form of subscriptions to support their writing. There are bloggers who are paid by companies to write.
I assume that most who start a blog have their own reasons, and consider themselves an “expert” on their chosen topic. When I started Brain Bubbles, I had two primary purposes:
1. A platform to engage discussion.
I know that my books deal with controversial issues—being gay and Christian, the Bible and Homosexuality, and the dangerous, deceptive practices of conversion (‘ex-gay”) treatments. I hoped my blog (indeed, my website) would encourage conversation on these subjects and promote greater acceptance, as well as provide resources for those who are struggling with their sexual orientation.
2. A venue of expression.
I see myself as an Observer of life around me—events, people, beliefs, responses/reactions. That involves social shifts, politics, the church, religion, theology, etc. I can’t solve some the major problems we have in our world right now, but I offer some perspective—often with my quirky, twisted perspective. I am unapologetic about my passions, but I also try to be as conciliatory as possible, within reason and without compromise. I can’t do everything, but I can write!
This is not a “revenue stream” for me; I am not paid, my site has no ads and I don’t ask for money. I average several hundred readers, with a few posts hitting more than a thousand, and (only) one that had more than two thousand readers. I have no illusions that I can compete with those who garner thousands of readers. Obviously I don’t do it for the fame.
Would I like more folks reading my posts?
Absolutely. I’m just arrogant enough to think I have something to say.
Well, that’s interesting.
Most blogs concentrate on a single topic, or “category,” such as politics, religion, cooking, medicine, etc., but for me, life is more complex, and I didn’t want to limit my focus:
- I am a Christian, and my faith is important, so I write about religious matters, including church, the Bible and theology.
- I believe in social justice; I’m an informed voter, and I write about politics.
- I’m gay, and I work for LGBT equality and inclusion, so I write about those important matters.
- I came out of "ex-gay" leadership; I know the dangers and I write to warn and inform.
- I love books, movies, theater and TV...so those interests find their way into my writing.
- I write about writing because I enjoy helping other writers and want to elevate the craft.
- I am a cancer patient; it invades my life and often what I write.
- Occasionally, I write about me, and my life.
- Sometimes, I just rant!
Essentially, Brain Bubbles is where I write about whatever is “bubbling up” in my head at the time.
Ideas, Inspiration and Implementation.
My ideas come from a variety of unpredictable sources, and at unpredictable times. I will see something on TV that prompts a thought. Or I go to a movie. If I’m reading, it could trigger a brainstorm. My personal Quiet Times and Journaling often end online. Several have resulted from conversations, either in person or virtual. People ask me questions, and I use the blog to respond.
I keep a list of ideas in a file, which is cloud-based, so I can access it with either of my computers, my phone or my tablet. Currently, there are hundreds of simple thoughts, titles, bullet points or direct quotes. Many might never grow into anything more than the concept jotted down in the file. But others germinate in my head...and create a kind of “itch” that must be acknowledged. Often it will require additional research, but usually I begin to write. Even then, it’s no guarantee; I have a folder for unfinished posts.
When I first began blogging, I was working full time (as a writer, no less), so I did most of it before work, in the evenings, and on weekends. Now that I’m “retired,” mornings are the best time for to write. My cancer treatments make it more of a challenge; I sometime have difficulties concentrating, I tired easily and must take breaks, and by early afternoon, my creativity has shut down. There was a time when I could write a blog in less than an hour; now it takes much longer. I try to limit each entry to around 700 words, rarely more than 1,000, though a few have been longer. (And I usually note that in the beginning.) If it’s too long, I will break it into a series.
I’m aware that I’m merely one small voice whispering into a thunderstorm. But I love to write, I have opinions (GASP!)...so blogging works for me!
I look forward to sharing some of the new posts with you.