Thursday, July 23, 2009

Adventures in Blogging

I must confess. This is my first blog post ever. I've finally been rustled, if not bucking and kicking, then at least with heals dragging, into the 21st century. Actually, I did embark on this adventure - blogging - intentionally. You see, I've never been "techy", so the thought of trying to create my own blog terrified me. So much so that it rendered me practically paralyzed when it came to getting started. Though I hold two degrees, am successful in my career, and consider myself reasonably intelligent, I was at a total loss as to how to begin. But I desperately wanted to go on the journey.

In a round about way, that's how the idea to hold a Blogging for Beginners workshop was born (I suspect our teacher kindly named it that after hearing me repeatedly refer to it as Blogging for Dummies). My writing group M.A.C. (Middletown Area Christian) Writers normally meets once a month at a church. Last week we trekked into new terrain, the Kidd Coffee shop http://www.kiddcoffe.middletown.htm/, to learn blogging basics.

Geared up with laptops and lattes, our posse anxiously waited for our fearless leader, Donna Shepherd, who is a self professed blogaholic, to guide us into the Brave New World of Blogging. She gave a brief history on the blog (short for web log), explained its uses and benefits, then had us identify our purpose for blogging and our targeted audience.

I was thinking, Wow things are going so well, when Donna announced, "O.K. Now you're going to start your own blog." Just like that? That's when things went downhill. And that's when all my fears came rolling toward me like so much tumbleweed.

Until that moment my laptop screen had been showing my homepage for the first quarter of the meeting. The minute Donna spoke those ominous words, the "Cannot display the web page" message reared its ugly head, as menacing as a rattler in the desert.

Why God? I cried inwardly. I've been waiting for this class, I asked Donna to hold it, and now my Internet isn't going to cooperate? I struggled to hide my frustration as my peers gleefully went screen by screen, tab by tab, question by question through the process of lassoing that dream of creating a blog. While I was being left behind in a cloud of dust.

A lovely newcomer to our group took pity on me and tried to help me log on, Donna encouraged me to take notes so I could figure things out at home, and one of my MAC partners, who'd been unable to bring her laptop, stayed faithfully by my side after I abandoned my traitorous computer and went around looking longingly over the shoulders of our friends.

But I couldn't learn that way! I needed to do it myself! Close to tears, but nowhere near ready to surrender or wave the white flag, I asked the male barista (who stood behind the counter, wiping it down and watching our proceedings, like in a scene from a bad western) for assistance. And as I prayed and desperately attempted to log on to the shop's connection, the Lord heard my cry, had mercy, and answered my plea.

If a Most Wanted sign could be placed over my life, to indicate what I most want out of it, it would read: TO LEAVE A LEGACY. My writing is my legacy, my way of pointing to Christ, of leaving His mark on things, my offering. That's why starting this blog means so much to me. Yes, I want to build a web presence, an audience, a following - but for His glory, to increase His territory. The Reward? Hearing Him say, "WELL DONE."... Priceless.

Fellow MAC Writers, Stephen Curtis Chapman said it well, "Saddle up your horses, we've got a trail to blaze -Through the wild blue yonder of God's amazing grace -Let's follow the leader into the glorious unknown - This is life like no other - This is The Great Adventure!"

Come on - This is what we writers were created for- Get ready to ride!

My first foray into the blogging frontier is Dedicated to Donna, who loves alliteration. This week when I was published for the first time, she told me she felt like a mama bird watching her baby fly and said she knew there would be more flights in my future. I'm ready to go discover all the new horizons that are just waiting to be explored. Thank you Mama Bird for not only teaching me the basics of blogging, but for giving me writing roots and wings.

To view our newly created blogs, please go to the M.A.C. Writers link above.

~Truly, Tammi