If I were to be honest with myself, I’m a bad blogger. I love to write, I think I have some good ideas, I even enjoy the process of crafting a well-written argument or thesis. But I’m an awful blogger. I don’t have the time; I don’t do my research; I tend to fire off the first draft with very little copy-editing or proofreading. The excuses for why I am a bad blogger are pretty thick and heavy. They are also surmounted by countless other men and women in my situation. Between the children, the schooling, the screaming baby (he screams a lot), writing my next book, mindless consumption of media, and my oh-so-very-important social media activities (read: mindlessly scrolling on facebook) I just don’t have the time. I mean, honestly! who has the time to cultivate a well-written, engaging, professional blog with all of the other necessities of life–like Netflix?
Yesterday, I decided to make positive steps. Intending to put an end to this mindless, useless, and unhelpful timewasting that I do each day, I put into practice disciplines which I have long left by the wayside. First: I added time in silence to the brief minute I spend in prayer (And I really do mean brief minute. I clock in at less than 50 seconds). Not a lot of time, but time to sit quietly and just breathe, focusing on bringing my intellect into my heart and being comfortable with quiet. Second, I picked up a piece of reading which had long ago been suggested to me: On Watchfulness and the Guarding of the Heart, by St. Nicephorus (the monk or the solitary, depending). And by “read” I mean really engaged with pen and notebook. I was struck by, and encouraged by the monk’s words about developing and engaging the heart in prayer.