New Things

As some of you may have seen on Facebook, I’ve been trying to figure out for a little while what to do with this blog. I haven’t been keeping up very well with posting, and part of the reason for that is that I didn’t want to be investing in a blog that ultimately I was going to reinvent (I should save new posts for the new blog instead, right?). I also wanted to have some sort of complete thought worth sharing before posting.

One of my ideas was to become more active (er, active at all…) on Walking Towards Jerusalem, a blog my husband Jeremiah started last year. He intended this to be a “biblioblog”—a blog focused on biblical studies—and told me I could join. I initially was enthusiastic because there aren’t many female bibliobloggers, but my interest has waned. It’s not that I don’t like blogging about the Bible—I just don’t like to feel constrained. He said I could blog about other things, as well, but I have never known if that blog was a good fit.

I also have considered helping this blog become more focused in order to attract a real audience. Ever since I stopped posting (i.e., when I started dating Jeremiah last March), my visits have virtually disappeared. I used to have a fairly active, though small, readership, but when you’re inconsistent for a while, even that small readership tends to fade. I thought that maybe if I came up with one thing to talk about, I could “market” this blog and make it “cool.” However, this is much easier said than done. Most of the time, I’ve felt void of ideas and like I was trying too hard.

In the end, I think I’ve decided two things. First, I’m working on an experimental blog, which is not yet up and running, aimed at smart teenagers who want to learn more about theology, etc. I have no idea if it will catch on, but this is my attempt to write about something that interests me that I feel the Internet actually needs. Hopefully there will be at least five high schoolers that agree that it is needed and will visit my little corner of the web. I’m interested in seeing what middle and high schoolers, as well as young college students, are interested in discussing from a more intellectual/academic perspective (or a more holistic perspective that at least begins to look at this angle of Christianity) and what needs might not be met by youth groups. Obviously, it’s only a sliver of the general population that really wants to learn more about theology, but I know I had various curiosities and interests in high school and am sure there are others like me out there. I don’t know many places offering the opportunity for teens to get an introduction to anything I’ve learned about in seminary (except for an interesting program at Duke Divinity School), so I’m interested just to see if there is a felt need for something like this—I hope to learn a lot in the process. If it is a total flop, the worst thing that has happened is I lost $15 on a domain name.

The second decision I’ve made is to try to stress a bit less about making this blog interesting or cool. I’m not going to try harder to think of a topical focus or to recruit an audience. I think that really, I may be better off acknowledging that many of my friends live far away and would be more interested in seeing what I’m doing and thinking about than my poor attempts at polished pieces of writing. (Not that many of my past posts have been particularly polished…)

I have tried to avoid a “personal blog,” because it feels too much like a twelve-year-old’s online diary, but the fact is, I don’t write for beliefnet or some other place that’s going to get me lots of traffic and turn me into a respectable guru on one of my passions. Instead, I’m just Ashleigh, a grad student who is thinking about various things and enjoying my life. Hopefully photo posts, incomplete thoughts, and similar goodies will be just as exciting to my five readers—maybe I can even entice my best friend to start reading again. ;o)

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “New Things

  1. I’m one of your five faithful feminist followers, so keep posting whatever & whenever you want to post :-)

    Re: teen theologians, you should check out
    http://www.candler.emory.edu/YTI/

    It’s a month-long Youth Theological Initiative (abbreviated “YTI,” which kind of sounds like a venereal disease but it’s not :-)) at my seminary, Candler School of Theology. It’s pretty awesome.

    Happy blogging!

    • Ashleigh

      Yay, I have a reader, and a cool one at that! Thanks for the link about teens and theology. I am going to check out the website more during my super-long four-hour intensive class tomorrow! ;o)

      Hope things are going well for you this summer—one year left in your program?

      • Things are great! I am interning with six churches in the same small WV town this summer — 4 Anglo, 1 AfAm, 1 Hispanic — and learning a ton. Hopefully I’ll blog about it soon…

        Enjoy your class!

  2. Whitney

    haha, I was going to direct you over to YTI as well, but someone beat me to it :) definitely check it out. i considered applying to work with them this summer, and still may for next year. i had class with the professor who directs the program, and she’s awesome.

    and i would LOVE to read about your life and what you’re up to :)

  3. JeremiahBailey

    Whitney,

    Did you know we will be in Atlanta this year?

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