Do I Write for an Audience of One?

Rachel Held Evans had a good post yesterday, entitled I don’t write for an audience of One.  Rachel was critiquing the popular Christian notion that we should write or perform our worship music for an audience of One, namely, God, without worrying about what other people think.  Rachel went into how we are relational creatures, and how she is happy when others value her work and consider it to be helpful.

The Parson’s Patch then had a good post entitled Why do I/You Write or Blog?  I identified with some of these thoughts in the post:

“Maybe we can only truly be free to be who we are when we release ourselves of our own need to be read or heard and think of writing as expression of who we are…I started writing/blogging as a way of discovering who I was within the context of the pastoral-vocation. For me blogging has been extremely beneficial and helpful. I have tried to give voice to my questions, struggles, celebrations and, of course, my love of coffee so that I might work out what it means for me to be a pastor, and secondly because there may be others who feel like I do. Some blog as a way of interacting with scholarship and learning, others write to simply share. All good and faithful responses to ‘why I blog’.”

Do I blog for an audience of One, namely, God?  To be honest, I don’t.  Why?  Because I don’t see how my thoughts can impress God.  God already knows everything!  What can God get out of reading my blog?

Do I blog for others, then?  Well, I’m like most people: I would love for my work to be affirmed and to be deemed helpful.  I’d like for my posts to be read and, even more, acclaimed.  Sometimes, this desire is satisfied.  Sometimes, I am disappointed.  And, most of the time, I’m somewhere in between those two extremes.  I will say that, whether my blog is popular or not, I do find it to be useful, at the very least for myself.  For one, I don’t remember the contents of every book that I’ve ever read and blogged about, so it’s good for me to have a record so I can remind myself of what I learned.  Moreover, I find it helpful for me to read about my ideals and the type of person I’d like to be, because so often I stray from that path.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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