In Defense of Blogging

November 15, 2017


I’ve got this internal compulsion to write. I’ve had it for as long as I can remember. In elementary school, I kept a three-way diary with my two besties. We encoded it, fearing that the locked, pink-paged discourse might fall into the wrong hands and reveal our most inward secrets! I kept journals throughout high school, college and grad school. (I have a box of these things which I am, without explanation, unable to burn, though annihilation by fire is their only reasonable fate!)

Why do I write?

  • Writing is so central to my identity that it ranks right up there behind my core identities first as a Christian and second as a woman. There are those who think in color and pictures, others in numbers, but the bulk of my thoughts whirl around in my head in words and sentences, in outlines and bullet points, and in descriptions and fractured quotations from 37 years’ worth of exposure to others’ writings. I write because I have to.
  • I write not only because doing so feels central to my being, but because when I write, I am imaging the Great One in whose likeness I am made. God–the giver of language is himself a master writer. And when I write, I imitate him as I was created to do. He compels me to write, and then fills my heart up with joy in my craft. When I do it well and according to his truth, he gets the glory and I get the delight. What a good, kind Father he is–giving us work to do and allowing us to find fulfillment in it.
  • I also write to cultivate proper affections both in me and in any audience God grants me. I write from a heart that has been so ministered to by God’s own words that I can’t help but offer back my own in gratitude to him and in the hope that others will share in my joy. God’s words have drawn my heart out to him, creating trust where there was once suspicion and love where hatred had been. And so I write–calling others to find the same life and comfort and health and love and hope and awe and forgiveness that I have found. I trust that my feeble replicas of His masterpiece will instruct others in where to find the power to change, and the power to overcome the darkness within.
  • I write to invest and develop my skill. I am not alone in this compulsion to write. As of 2013, there were 152 million blogs on the web. Apparently there are lots of us writers out there–each of us with varying levels of ability, diversity in marketing skills and publishing connections, and with differing scopes as far as our interest and audience. As Jared recently pointed out to an aspiring young pastor in training who is trying to think soberly about his own gifting–it doesn’t really matter whether yours is the 10, the 5 or the 1 talent, but the responsibility to invest that gift and to grow it is the same. So I cast my words out there–alongside the other 152 million bloggers, little knowing what will be made of them, but wanting to be faithful.

What do I write?

  • Not all forms of writing are for me. I don’t do creative writing. (Can’t. Won’t. Whatever!) There was this time when I taught a creative writing class at a community college and I feel like I just need to publicly apologize to those poor students. So sorry! Last week I labored much too long over an 80 word blurb for a flyer for our upcoming women’s retreat. That kind of writing process–though necessary–is practically joyless for me. I prefer to write out of self-expression, a desire to impose order on my sometimes chaotic thoughts and feelings. I write to persuade and entreat and to explain and encourage. Most of my stuff will be reflections on Scripture and how we apply it to our lives. But because the primary roles I play right now are pastors’ wife, mother, teacher, friend (and laundress and cook if you’re asking my children) and interior designer (moved again for the 7th time this summer) I will likely also occasionally write about what I’m reading, what my kids are reading, what I’m eating, what my kids are(n’t) eating, house projects, ministry life, and what I’m teaching.
  • Most recently I wrote a mini-series on the foundation for our Christian hospitality. See here, here and here. And I’m currently writing another mini-series, exploring the claims Scripture makes about itself from Psalm 119. See here and here.
  • Beginning Dec 1, I’ll be writing an Advent Series designed to walk us through the month of December up until we celebrate the birth of Jesus on the 25th. I’ll be posting 5 days a week (Monday-Friday). Each blog will include a Scripture reading, a brief explanation and meditation, plus a Christmas song you can sing alone or as families to reinforce the truths and hope found in that day’s passage. If you’d like to celebrate the advent of Jesus with me, you can subscribe to my blog and have the series delivered to you via email or you can add my site to your feed reader.

 

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  • Tara Marine November 15, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    I enjoyed reading your explanation of your compulsion to write. It is foreign to me, but it sounds similar to the compulsion I have to teach. =) Keep on keeping on, sis.

    • Charisse Compton November 16, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      Yes, which is why even with all your pain and health problems you can’t give it up! Glad you get to use your gifts!

  • Abbey November 15, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    I love your blogs. They are so inspirational and a great insight for a young Christian.

  • David Marine November 15, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    Really interesting insight into your mindset and compulsion to write. I can relate to it now but never would have thought I would have the same sentiment in my youth. Writing is something I learned to appreciate given time and the idea of it imaging God is a great one. Keep it up.

    • Charisse Compton November 16, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      Thanks for reading, David! I imagine you’ve always had a creative bent–even in your youth!

  • Joel November 16, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Great work, Charisse. Bravo! I’m happy that this avenue will open up ministry opportunities and opportunities for joyful creation.

    • Charisse Compton November 16, 2017 at 3:08 pm

      Thanks for reading, Joel!

  • Molly LaPine December 1, 2017 at 3:06 am

    Miss you dear friend! I finally stumbled across your writing when Jeanne told me you were putting up posts on FB! Since I’m never on I got on just to search out your blog. Can’t wait to catch up on your posts! I have always appreciated your insight, encouragement, and wisdom. I have been blessed to be your friend. I only regret I moved so far away as to miss receiving it on a weekly basis at our very sophisticated playdates.;) Following your blog will have to do for now.

    Love and miss you, please keep writing!

    • Charisse Compton December 1, 2017 at 7:39 pm

      Aww thanks, my friend. You’re always so encouraging! I was glad you and Jeanne got to see each other, but also really jealous!