Words Matter

I’m taking a short break from commenting on specific political events in order to regroup and try to figure out what it is I’m trying to accomplish here. This blog has been so many things over the years, from my personal journal to an attempt to establish my ‘brand’ as a writer to a place for me to rant about whatever strikes me at any given time. I’ve consistently broken the most important rule of running a successful blog: keep your writing focused. When you come to this page there’s no telling what you’ll find, and unless you know me personally, you probably don’t care about many of the things I say. I’m not reliably a source of information or insight on any given topic. I have no unifying theme.

And I do think that’s a problem.

Maybe someday I’ll be a successful author and people will flock to my site just to learn more about the person behind the books. But this is not that day.

I’ve tried running a religious publishing house, but found the daily publication schedule for my free devotions to be too much. Writing those devotions took all my time and energy, and I wasn’t able to produce content for sale or work on other projects (like my fiction) that I also enjoyed. I’ve tried launching a sister blog about homeschooling, which I gave up when I realized I didn’t know enough. I’ve tried launching a sister blog about parenting in general, and then I gave that up when it, too, was taking too much time away from my other writing endeavors. Recently I began planning yet another homeschooling blog with the specific aim of monetizing it with Amazon affiliate links and, eventually, e-books of my own, but I’ve already abandoned that idea. When I think about what kind of writer I want to be, ‘homeschooling guru’ isn’t very high up on the list.

I homeschool my kids, but my identity is not as a homeschooler. I’m a parent, but my identity is not as a mother.

I want to write about religion. I want to write about politics. I want to write about the prevailing culture. I want to write about economics. I want to write about how faith intersects with all those things. And I want to write about writing. How can I possibly limit myself to a single theme?

And then I realized that I’ve already found my unifying thread. Not all of my blog posts have had it, and many have only subtly suggested it, but it’s been there for years.

Words matter.

This blog was born on Blogspot under the name “Karen’s Take On Life, the Universe, and Everything.” After a while I moved to WordPress, but kept my Douglas Adams reference. A couple of years ago I dropped that and went with my current tagline: Words matter.

Words matter. Words are often the bridge between our thoughts and our actions. And more often that not, words reveal that our thoughts and our actions don’t always link together the way we think they do. This is especially true in matters of religion and faith, and that’s been a common theme on this blog. It’s also true about politics and America’s national cultural identity. I tend to write more on those issues during election years, and this year’s rhetoric seems particularly needful of exploration. Sometimes our words reveal our thoughts and sometimes our words betray our thoughts, but either way, words matter.

I’ll still write about religion, politics, culture, economics, faith, and writing, but I’ll include more of a focus on how words reveal truth or assumptions about those issues, so that we might begin to think more clearly about what we as a nation or we as people of the Christian faith really believe based on our words and our actions.

Do we walk the walk as well as talk the talk? Do our actions match our stated beliefs? Exploring those connections can help us all to be more honest about ourselves and clarify our priorities. Without that clarity and honesty, our attempts to interact with each other and with other peoples of the world will be muddled and incoherent. And I think we’ve had enough of that already.

Words matter.


Words Matter — 2 Comments

  1. “the most important rule of running a successful blog: keep your writing focused.” Phooey! I find I am always excited to read what you post precisely because it is varied.
    “I’m not reliably a source of information or insight on any given topic.” Again Phooey!! Why must you be an expert? I am stimulated to think. I leave the page more thoughtful, many times validated, and sometimes thinking differently than when I came or at least understanding an opposite view. What ever happens I have stopped to consider the subject. In this day and age of soundbites, canned speeches, cookie cutter commentary having something to read that brings up points and requires me to think is a gift. I hope you continue to be random. I am grateful.

    • Thanks, Leslie. As I said, I’ll still write about most of the things I’ve been writing about, but I also want to highlight the words or rhetoric involved. We (in general) don’t question much of what we hear, or think too much about the underlying assumptions of our words. That’s what I intend to do, and I can (and will) do that across a variety of subject matters.

      I’m glad you’ve appreciated this blog to date, however. I love your comments!