I never make resolutions, but this year I have decided to make a blogging resolution: post something every day. I can’t promise to post something every day (since I’ve got other priorities like prayer, work, and school), but I do plan to try.
I also thought that in an effort to be a more committed blogger in 2011, it might be helpful for me to re-articulate my reasons for starting this blog:
- There seemed to be a real need. There are plenty of helpful vocation Web sites and blogs floating around the Internet, but most of the ones I’ve found aren’t updated regularly. Of the ones that are, few go into much detail about the discernment process. Typically, they provide a “discernment checklist” (steps to take when discerning a vocation), a list of “signs you may be called” (which are worthy of consideration but don’t always apply), a section of FAQs (which are usually only the tip of the iceberg), and various “blurbs” promoting different religious communities. What seems to be lacking on many of these pages is personality – an accessible author with a name and a face, which brings me to my second point…
- In my humble opinion, many efforts to promote vocations take the wrong approach. I have come to believe that the most effective way to “promote vocations” is to introduce young people to priests and religious who radiate the joy of living their vocation. In my experience, youth respond better to a low-key conversation about discernment than they do to pushy people who are clearly trying to “recruit” them for a particular diocese or religious community. On this blog, I hope to speak honestly from my personal experience of discernment, and also to share the experiences of my friends who have successfully navigated the often-confusing journey to their vocation. God has blessed me with some truly amazing friends who are passionate about effective vocational ministry – a ministry based on personal relationships.
- I am a writer, and I need to form habits that keep me writing on a regular basis. I realize that this is a pretty selfish reason for starting a blog, but I also know that writing makes me a better, happier person. I am currently “incubating” (mulling over) ideas for my first book, and last week I started work on a second blog with friend and fellow writer Elizabeth. (More on that later!) It’s probably pretty irresponsible to take on two additional writing projects when I haven’t even managed to commit to the first, but I feel like this will be good for me: a year of writing (hopefully) every day!
In summary, (1) there was a need, (2) I’m passionate (and at least somewhat knowledgeable) about this topic, and (3) I need to write – three good reasons to be a better blogger.
On a side note, I also wanted to mention that I’m blogging under a pen name. I am on the path to becoming a publicly consecrated person with clear ties to my diocese, and I hope that a pen name will allow me to speak freely about my own discernment without drawing unnecessary attention to myself. I say this so that (a) friends who follow the blog will understand if I ever have to edit my real name out of their comments, and (b) those same friends can help me keep the blog “anonymous” by using my pen name if they link to the blog.
(NB: I have also changed the names of the friends I mention in my posts, for the sake of their privacy and/or their state in life as publicly consecrated persons.)
That’s all for now. Many more posts (and the launch of blog #2) soon to come!
Praying that you all have a blessed and fruitful 2011,