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Does This Blog Make Me Look Fat?

August 25, 2008

This week I am celebrating the first month of going live with this wacky idea of a Shrinking the Camel Blog. Of course it has been a wonderful creative outlet to express my irreverent thoughts on the spiritual lessons found in business and career life, and to meet other bloggers, too. By the way, where did all you people come from!? I was surprised how quickly the traffic started up, thanks to some early links and support from people like Red Letter Believers and 24/7 Faith (thanks, guys!), along with encouragement from uber-blogger Marcus Goodyear (who seems to be everywhere! How does he do it?) of HighCalling.org.

What I didn’t expect was the tremendous level of self-consciousness that would accompany the blogging. Does that happen to everyone? Maybe that’s just part of the blog-experience orientation, but after my first few postings I would obsess about it: Will people come back to read the next entry? Will they like me? Will they think it’s a waste of words? Do they think I’m too old for this? Am I too fat? Am I offending someone? Am I just another lame blogger clogging up the blogosphere?

“But this blogging thing is just a sideline!” I try to tell myself. “A hobby! Who cares what people think!”

After some initial hand wringing, I decided to seek advice on blog-etiquette to make sure I didn’t come off like a complete ass, and so that I wasn’t alienating the very people I wanted to draw in. The blog-advice article I consulted said “keep your audience in mind when you write.” Well, duh. This obviously should be the very thing that slants my writing, my target market, and my outreach to fellow bloggers.

Hmm. Good question. So, who exactly is my audience?

  • Is it middle-aged business executives looking for some spiritual meaning in their lives?
  • Is it young up-and-coming ambitious men and women looking for spiritual support as they navigate their careers?
  • Is it cynical-smart Christians who want a break from the all of the super-sanitized over-spiritualized writing going on out there?
  • Is it faith-in-the-workplace ministry workers who want to network with others who share their interest?

I don’t think I know yet who this audience is going to be. Perhaps the audience I am thinking of isn’t even interested in blogging. Maybe it’s too early to tell.

Maybe you have a better idea than I do.

In the meantime, I made a promise to myself that I would follow the advice of one of my heroes, the venerable C.S. Lewis, who said:

“Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”

The bottom line in all of this for me and this blog is its originality. So that’s what I will do. Tell the truth. My truth. I don’t have any profound spiritual answers, really. Let’s get that on the table right now. You won’t be getting from me the six steps to this or the seven solutions for that. Just the raw truth of my own life, and how I am working to integrate my spiritual, business, family and community life together. It’s not easy.

So, my dear new friends and blog-readers, I promise to be real, to be honest, and never, ever to pretend that I am more spiritual than you. Because I most certainly am not. I’m just an ordinary guy living in the midst of this ongoing tension, trying to figure it out.

Without sounding like a religious bone-head.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. August 25, 2008 10:30 pm

    Nice site. Theres some good information on here. Ill be checking back regularly.

  2. August 25, 2008 11:11 pm

    Well, this blogger found you because you showed up in a Google Alert for workplace ministry!

  3. August 25, 2008 11:11 pm

    I like the self-reflection piece here, Bradley. And the title is perfect.

  4. Ray Wheeler permalink
    August 26, 2008 8:52 am

    Truth, its nice to hear a discussion on truth. It seems to me that whether the setting is the corner office, the production floor, the church fellowship hall or the neighbor next door the idea of tangibly experienced spirituality would be far better served if truth remained the basis of how life is approached. You have defined truth as a transparency that is willing to venture a unbriddled inquiry into the moment ratther than a proposition that all are expected to assent to. In my experience when truth (so defined) is expressed by everyone in the room plans, insights, strategies and negotiation move to a completely different level of effectiveness — competitive advantage to borrow a well worn phrase. It also seems to give a personal advantage i.e., clearer self awareness and hence the ability to see the impact one has on others and attentiveness to what others are really saying. Thanks, I like the unvarnished discussion.

  5. August 26, 2008 10:13 am

    Great post; I needed to read that today. I’m so self-counscious about my blog I’ve entertained the idea of starting an anonymous blog… (Love the Lewis quote, by the way.)

  6. shrinkingthecamel permalink*
    August 27, 2008 3:53 pm

    Ray – Great summary on the importance of transparency… which is surprisignly hard to come by these days. The way you describe it, “truth as transparency that is willing to venture an unbridled inquiry into the moment” — I would say that is really the definition of spirituality.

  7. August 29, 2008 9:33 am

    Great post, and you are certainly not alone with the self-conscious questions that you have. I would bet that all of of bloggers deal with that. Hang in there, it never goes away… 🙂

    Thanks for being transparent. It is great to find honesty in blogging.

    By the way, to answer your questions about the audience…
    I am a late thirties corporate training manager for a large telecommunications company, and an instructor with a small, local Bible college. I blog as well on two different sites, one is for “faith in the workplace” and the other is all of the other stuff in my walk with Christ. I read other blogs (such as yours now) because I believe that “iron sharpens iron”. While I strive to excel at what I do in the workplace in order to shine for my God, I refuse to sell my soul for the sake of advancement.

    I like what I see so far in your blog. Keep up the great work!

    Dan

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