Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Do what you do when you do what you do...
Why do you blog?
Just a few weeks ago, I was asked this very question by a lady who's a regular reader of Tony C Today. The follow-up question was a logical progressive inquisition.
How in the world do you come up with all those things you write?
As I recall, my response started with a light chuckle and mental echo of Mrs. Tony C answering for me with an expletive on the waste by-product of the bovine digestive tract. Not that she would ever actually say that...
I have to admit, the moment of recognition for me was...uncomfortable. Now, I'm by no means a shy person (those who personally know me can stop laughing). Never been accused of being a shy person. Quite probably at one time in my life, I might actually have been labeled as outspoken...and I dare to even say maybe overbearing. For a number of reasons, I feel safe in saying both characterizations are thankfully behind me. Still, that left the question dangling...why do I blog?
Pondering the questions for several days, I started deeply reflecting on my real motives for spending time each week pounding out anecdotes on my keyboard. I went back and read the first few months of post that started three years ago this coming Friday and discovered a much different tone than readers see today...more political, conservatively vernacular, postulational and maybe even cerebral.
Mentally projected Mrs. Tony C: BOOOOORRRRRING!
Yes. Maybe that too.
So why the change? Even more fundamentally, why do I do this? I realize today the answer to both questions is, in part, one in the same. Through blogging, I've discovered a venue to channel my love of writing. Sure. A personal journal might satisfy the same desire, but sharing my muses in an attempt to entertain others more closely fits my personally.
Now we're closing in on something. From a very early age, cowering away from the proverbial spotlight has never been in my makeup. That has an element of both good and bad, if the truth be told. In high school, I was the guy who twice hosted the annual Talent Show in the style of Chuck Barris a la' The Gong Show. No problem. In college, well...I'd rather not go there if you don't mind. As a Marine Officer, impromptu speaking was an actual rated skill on fitness reports and taught in basic training. No problem. In my job today, communicating effectively with people from different backgrounds and cultures is crucial to successful outcomes. No problem again.
Those are the good. The bad element is a bit less overt. When I've opined a statement concerning the decrepit state of our government, a certain amount of audaciousness goes with that view. Who am I to stake such a claim? Why should my thoughts be taken any more serious that any other political pundit...and we should ALL be pundits when it comes to civic issues like the political process. <-------- See! There...right there! A perfect example of the dilemma. What's it to me if Joe Blow could care less about the country's political quagmire? Why should everyone else see things the way I do (wouldn't that be nice...and boring)?
Stating an opinion and throwing it out on the internet for the world to see can be a...well...humbling experience at times. THAT is not necessarily a bad element. A maybe, just maybe, where my uneasiness came from in the opening stated exchange. Here's where the fog starts to clear for me.
Initially, my approach to blogging was to emphatically state my opinion on any given topic making sure to assert my Christian perspective. Political evangelicalism...if you will. Not necessarily a bad thing, but also not really who I am either. But a funny thing happened. As accurate (or not) as hit counters can be, I noticed a trend concerning the different topics I posted. Personal, more reflective post far exceeded hits over a more polarizing political issue post. GASP. Do all Christians not share the same political views? Shut the door!
Gradually, my blog has taken on a personality more closely resembling my own. Yes. I still on occasion dabble in the political sphere, but I think my true reason for writing Tony C Today is to share with others that an ordinary shlub like me making his way through life's journey can once in a while stop, poke a little fun at himself (maybe a few others) and still be genuinely thankful to a loving God that I know this life just isn't as good as it gets. Being a Christian has a number of aspects that go with the title,...but immune to a little fun in life isn't one of them.
I appreciate all of you for coming along on the ride.
...and thank you (and you know who you are) for asking the questions too. By the way...I guess I do it for Him because He lets me.