I feel like I'm in high school again!

Lately I’ve been wrestling with my motivation for blogging. Not motivation as in the initiative to do it, but motivation in why do I do it? What are my motives? Am I blogging because I want those closest to me to get a glimpse of my every day life? Am I blogging because I feel like I have something important to say or some insight to share? Am I blogging to meet new people or people that I admire?

There are some stages to this blogging thing that I am just starting to discover:

1) At the beginning you are just excited that you figured out how to do it and that you have a live blog.

2) Then you get excited that friends and family are starting to read and comment.

3) Then you discover this whole world of bloggers that are out there and you begin reading about them.

4) Then you realize that you can start making connections and having conversations with some of these other bloggers.

5) Then you realize that there are what I would call “celebrity bloggers”, the ones that everyone has on their blogroll. There are the cool bloggers, the smart bloggers, the edgy bloggers, the church ministry bloggers, the business bloggers, the leadership bloggers, etc, etc. And each one of these groups has their own celebrities.

My challenge lately is that I find myself trying so hard to connect with the “cool kids”. I feel like I’m back in high school trying to make small talk with the popular kids and hoping they’ll like me = hope that they’ll link to my blog or comment on my blog.

This supports one of my theories that we always aspire to something we are not. Now, I don’t think it’s wrong to aspire to more or reach for what is next, however when this consumes you and keeps you from engaging with the people and the networks you currently have influence with, it becomes a problem.

I read a good article in Church Solutions Magazine today called “Social Networking Is a Must” by Ken Godevenos. My take-away quote from the article was this… we should strive to “a form of networking that is pure in its motive, models the image of our Maker and is void of a hidden agenda.”

Fellow social networkers, how do you balance continuous networking while also maintaining consistent, thoughtful contact with the people you currently have influence with?

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  • Brian Alexander April 23, 2008  

    Great thoughts on why we do this. I think that any given day, all 5 of those points could be true.

    Sorry I couldn’t write more but I have to go and leave 20 or 30 comments on other peoples blogs so I can build my blog stats.


  • Marla Saunders April 24, 2008  

    Now that was a funny comment by Brian.

    I just wanted to say that I am — as you know — right there with you on this one. In fact I was sitting on my back porch today thinking about that very fact. I was asking God if I should even do this at all (I know…crazy talk. I am just still sick!) I’m really praying that God reminds me that I may only write for one person each day. Or ever. There may only be one person who needs to hear whatever thing it is I have to write, but that needs to be enough for me.

    Beyond that, those connections we are making in the blog world are broadening our horizons and giving God new channels to work in our lives. I don’t think I would trade all these new “friendships” for anything, even if they aren’t celebrity! In fact, to be honest, I’m kind of scared of the celebrities. They are so much cooler than I am!

    I love reading your blog, Jenni. Thanks for being faithful and doing what God has set before you each day. Thank you for sharing bits of your life and allowing yourself to be a conduit of His grace.

  • georgestull April 24, 2008  

    Love the analogy of high school, so true! Don’t you know Toby Mac? Then, you’re already in class of “cool” of your own! 😉

  • Julie P April 24, 2008  

    Uh, yeah. What they said.

    I’ve been thinking about this same thing this week. When I’m really honest with myself, I do want to be one of the cool kids.

  • Judi Free.com April 24, 2008  

    I think I’m still on step #4 since I just started blogging.

    I really love your blog and it always feels genuine and pure. I don’t know you but I even like hearing about your life. I think blogging is a great community (but I don’t mind an awesome technorati rating) 🙂

  • Giant Idiot April 24, 2008  

    I think knowing and working with Pete Wilson makes you one of the “cool” kids. I mean he is such a blog celebrity right now, Anne Jackson had coffee with him how cool is he?

  • Jenni Catron April 24, 2008  

    I’m loving the dialogue on this one! I have made so many new, wonderful friends (like Marla and Judi) through blog world that I absolutely would not trade. I’m glad to know that you all have wrestled with this issue of our motivation too.

    Giant Idiot – just for the record, I had coffee with Anne Jackson too! 🙂 I can’t let Pete steal the entire spotlight.

  • onwins April 24, 2008  

    Wow…great topic. I’m such a newbie to the blogosphere…(just 3 weeks old!) And I have definitely found myself wanting to be that celebrity blogger. It can consume you. It HAS consumed me. Thanks for sharing these insights.

  • Melissa Irwin April 24, 2008  

    Hi Jenni…..I’ve been blogging for a while on myspace, and then recently out in the “real” blog world…..but this is what I love about it……… if someone wants to keep up with me, my family, business and other happenings…..they can! No pressure…..and I most likely won’t know who is or isn’t….since there are so many “phantom” blog spys out there. I no longer feel the need to send mass emails to people who I assumed would care…..ha! I’m free! And so are a lot of other people…lol.

    Now…it doesn’t feel like high school to me yet, but i’ll come confessing to you if I let it get out of control. I have always loved writing and journaling, so I’m thankful for this outlet….especially if I should ever actually help someone.

    : ) By the way……I know your big run is in a couple of days and I’m already cheering for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!! G O O O O O O J E N N I!!!!!

  • anne jackson April 28, 2008  

    um, might i interrupt and say that my cool kid quotient has just been improved because you and pete had coffee with me?