When Blogging is a Bridge not a Book

Log house, Plain, WA
When I christened this blog ‘Three Way Light’ almost four years ago I had a phrase in mind from Phyllis Theroux. She was discussing her newest book “The Journal Keeper”, recounting how she’d chronicled her life via journaling. (Poets and Writers, Mar/April 2010.) Theroux explained she didn’t write about everything…. but rather, used her journals as “a place to collect the light.”
It was my goal to do the same—for this little interweb space to be a place to collect the light. I wrote her an email to use the phrase in my blog header and surprise! she emailed back with a very kind ‘yes.’ Giving her credit, of course.
‘Collecting the Light’ didn’t work as a website at the time; taken I guess. So Three Way Light was born—shining, reflecting and revealing God’s light.
I poured all my wisdom and knowledge into copious posts over the months, longing to dazzle with, I don’t know, how much I knew?  So you’d all be impressed.  And want to read more.
I posted three times a week, tried to make deadlines for all the right link ups. I read blog after blog and tried to keep up.
But after a while I began to see myself drowning, flooded in All Those Words. I’m an all or nothing kinda gal—if I was part of a link up, I felt obligated to ready everyone else’s posts.  I’m all about relationships–I don’t want to go wide, I want to go deep, and it was wearing me out.
Six months into the process, I decided to whittle down my entries to once a week. (In 2012 I wrote 143 blog posts. As of this month–October–I’ve written 70–almost exactly half that many.)
I limited myself to small, welcoming communities that would read and share and encourage each other.   I began to find a balance between living out the Gospel instead of talking about it. I worked on ‘preaching them thirsty’ as my Pastor friend Parris would say, leaving readers with a reason to come back rather than feeling doused with a Gatorade-sized Bible blast.
Somewhere along the way, the words of Mother Theresa came to mind, “Jody, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
In other words—build a bridge with your words—tell stories, find beauty, share truth. And write about what you love. What connects you to people?  What are the things you have in common? What stories are similar, what bedrock do you share? Write about that.
Yes, as I’ve journeyed through over 400 blog posts lo, these many years, God has refined the original vision I had and clarified my heart’s cry—to connect, communicate and encourage others.
My goal is not a book publishing deal—I’ve seen my name in print before—but to cheer others on to walk in their own gifts, to point others to the only Light that matters, to give them a reason to be hopeful and encouraged.
So my blog is still called “Three Way Light” but the tagline has changed to “Words.Beauty.Books.”
I found my passions had changed over time, refined from my beginning focus to what I truly loved the most.  My desire is to share words that uplift, convey beautiful passages from authors and poets you may not know and most of all, writing about books, the older the better.
My role had changed from ‘microscope’–showing you an up close, intense, look at the world through a Bible-sized lens, to ‘telescope’–handing folks their own lens to look at the world through a God-sized view, revealing truth, beauty, good words.

Less words–deeper friends. THAT is the bridge.
How has God changed your writing or your journey over the last few years?
Care to share? I’d love to hear in The Comments.

8 thoughts on “When Blogging is a Bridge not a Book

  1. Carol, I really like the idea of 'memoir' as a place marker on your blog….we do have stories to save for our children no doubt about it. Agreed, writing is therapy for all of the hard things and the good things in life–you are very wise.
    I'm glad you've been reading 'here and there' about the retreat–we seem to have found a focus that resonates with many.
    (No one knows yet, but we're pretty sure we're going to do another one–Labor Day weekend, 2016). Stay tuned.
    And thanks for reading.


  2. Jody, I have been reading here and there about your recent retreat. It really did sound a bit like heaven. I would have loved it, I think.

    I started writing and journaled my way through my grief journey. It was a way to survive, actually. then I started to blog because I thought maybe what I was learning would help others. I have been active and inactive over these past 5 years as life as changed demands. I have come now to the place where I still blog and love to share what I am learning. My main “calling” though has been to write my memoir of what God has taught me since life took such a hard turn 10 years ago with the loss of my one remaining brother (having lost two other siblings as an 11 and 12 year old). and my writing is to be for my great grandchildren (of which I have none yet). I figure if I write for them ( I likely won't be around to do the telling) my children and grandchildren will for sure benefit and maybe some others. so on my blog I have added a memoir category and some of that writing has started to appear on my blog. I have to keep reminding myself why I am writing and who I am writing for.


  3. So appreciate your humble spirit, Jody. You do indeed hand us our own lens to see the world in new ways, discover new truths, contemplate beauty in new ways, and enjoy worthwhile words. Thank you for continuing to blog! The intent of my writing has changed since I returned to this pursuit several years ago. No longer am I looking to be published by a traditional company. It would seem God is leading me to self-publish. I've reached the point where that option sounds even more appealing than the former; I won't have to follow their expectations or timetable. My prayer is that I follow God's plan, meet his expectations, and abide by his timetable.


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