Today I am responding to some questions people ask me about my blog:
How did you start writing your blog?
My friend and colleague, Sister Susan Wolf, SND, suggested I start writing a blog. She encouraged several other Notre Dames to do it too. Learning to post a blog was a big learning curve for me, I must admit. I am not very computer-savvy. The first few posts took me hours and hours to do, but with Sister Susan’s gentle nudging and ready help, I finally began to get the hang of it.
Why did you start writing a blog?
For several reasons. First, I have experienced the power of the written word in my personal life—so I believe in that power. Although I’ve been writing articles and books for over 40 years, I have never before had the immediate feedback that I get with my blog. I post something and right away a reader responds. That’s rewarding! That’s fun!
Sister Susan also convinced me that as educators, evangelizers, and “spiritual writers,” we must go where the people are. And many people today are online. When I learned that my blog has readers not only across the U.S. and Canada, but also from all over the world, all I could say was WOW!
Where do you get your ideas for your blog?
From everywhere! I read a lot, so sometimes I share something I’ve read—like a story or an insight or a person I have read about. I also draw from my personal prayer and experience. Good conversations with friends have also morphed into blogs. I have two manila folders on my desk labeled “blog ideas.” Both folders are stuffed with newspaper clippings, notes scribbled on small pieces of paper, 3 X 5 index cards with quotes, and such. Occasionally I’ll lift something from one of my books. Someone once asked, “Are you afraid of running out of ideas?” Not really. I think I’ll run out of LIFE before I run out of ideas for my blog!
How long does it take you to write a typical blog entry?
The time varies, but usually it takes me several hours. I rewrite a lot. I always have. I rewrite a lot so my readers won’t have to work so hard to read what I’ve written! I probably spend too much time looking for the songs I use—but I find that search rewarding and fun. There’s so much good music out there! In fact I have another folder labeled “blog music” with lists of songs for future blogs. It also takes me time to find appropriate pictures for my blog, ones that aren’t copyrighted.
How many people read your blog?
I have over 2,000 subscribers. Every Monday my blog gets about 1200 hits. I know there are some readers who share my blog with others too. One Sister says she makes copies of my blog each week for friends who do not or cannot use the computer. My writings in Living Faith, Living with Christ, and Give Us this Day have garnered new readers for me too.
What do you like best about writing your blog?
I like the whole process of posting a reflection—from getting an idea, to putting it into words, to finding music and pictures, and to designing the layout. After I post something, I eagerly wait for the responses to come in. I’m always interested in seeing what touched my readers or what new insights they add. When I give talks and retreats, I’m always happy to meet readers of my blog. I feel a bond with them, part of a beautiful “virtual community.”
Is there anything else you want to say about your blog?
I have been writing this blog since February 13, 2012. I have posted over 307 reflections and received over 5320 comments. I want to thank you for reading my blog and for responding to the posts. I am also grateful to the Sisters of Notre Dame for supporting my blog—financially and otherwise. I’m happy I can share my reflections with my readers for free!
Did anything strike you in this reflection?
How did you start reading my blog? How did you find me? If you’d like to share your story briefly, please respond below.
Here’s one of my favorite old Christian hymns: “How Can I Keep From Singing.” It was written in 1868 by Robert Wadsworth Lowry, a Baptist minister. This version is sung by Audrey Assad, the daughter of a Syrian refugee and American mother. Assad is an award winning Catholic singer and composer who even sang for Pope Francis when he visited the U.S. For this song, the background pictures of winter are appropriate for those of us living in the northern hemisphere. This hymn does not deny the “tumult, strife, and darkness” of life. But it says our singing is rooted in our trust in a loving and merciful God and in the supreme sacrifice of Jesus. When I hear this song, I am tempted to sing, “How can I keep from writing?… How can I keep from blogging?”
Would you like to share any thoughts with us today?