“Catholic bloggers can change the world,” proclaimed Jennifer Fulwiler, National Catholic Register contributor and blogger at the ever-popular Conversion Diary. She said those words at the recent Catholic New Media Conference, held in Dallas last week.
I have to admit, when she first said those words, I tweeted them, but I wasn’t 100% sold. At least not until later in the day when the light bulb finally went off during a speaker’s session.
You see, for the millions who blog – and for the thousands and thousands who want to – we all fear something. Perhaps it’s the fear of failure or the fear of mediocrity that keep us from typing away in WordPress. We fear that our pageviews aren’t big enough, our voice isn’t refined enough, our SEO isn’t coded well enough (blogger speak for how St. Google finds you), our comments aren’t enough or our site isn’t pretty enough.
For me, as I listened to trailblazers in the Catholic blogging world, I started to wonder if I was enough. Was my blog really making a difference? Should I be blogging more about apologetics, church teachings or scripture? Was I a poser at this conference, saying I was a blogger but I wasn’t, dare I say, Catholic enough?
Then, the fabulous Dorian Speed from Scrutinies took to the mic and said something that completely shifted my mindset. She posed this question: Are you a buffet blogger or a menu one? Do you blog about many things and provide a plethora of things for your readers to chew on, or do you choose one specific thing on the menu and blog about it?
You see, no matter where your niche may be on the Internet, whether you blog about Catholic travel, apologetics, crafts, photography, decorating, food or faith, it’s your authenticity that counts. Your voice is what people come to read, not the argument. As Catholics, I believe we have an opportunity to infuse our faith into everything we do with great joy for God. Blogging is no different. I tend to be a buffet girl, myself. As the mom of five busy children, a wife and a small business owner, I blog about life as it happens.
I won’t ever be a Brandon Vogt or the Snoring Scholar, but I was never meant to be. Our voices, just as God intends, are uniquely different. Our blogs are a reflection of the gifts he has bestowed upon us. So, to each of you who reads Austin Catholic New Media, find your gift. Maybe blogging isn’t your gig. But, then again, maybe it is. If you feel called to blog, do it without apology. Do it with authority, passion and a joyful heart for God. Blog about what you love and share how God has touched your life. Leave the saving souls bit to God. He’s pretty good at that.
As the ever-wise and future Deacon Joel Schmidt from the Practicing Catholic said, “Be an informed Catholic blogger. The mainstream media isn’t telling [the Catholic] story. We’re it.” And you know what I think? I think the church could use more bloggers who are passionate about their faith. I think the world is craving the truth. I think the world needs to hear from more people who are on fire for God.