Friday, January 2, 2015

Advent 2014 After Report

As proposed in this post, I read and blogged both the daily and weekly Lectionary readings for the 4 weeks of Advent. In that post I asked:
what would it mean to me if I engaged with the daily lectionary every day for Advent. (Engage = force myself to do more than skim over it in a haze, although some days a mental haze is as good as it gets.)
 It was an interesting experiment, but not really in any of the ways I thought it would be.

  • John from my church sends out a weekly email with his study of the weekly lections and whether I read it or not (too often not!), I value it as a resource. I specifically did not read John's studies over the course of Advent because I didn't want them to influence my commentary. John's studies include historical background related to the lections which I really miss. He also asks better questions of and about the texts than I do, but doing the readings on my own forces me to practice! On a faith or biblical learning basis I'd call it a wash.
  • Reading the daily lections was pretty much a waste of time for me. They did not help me better understand the previous (Monday through Wednesday) or upcoming (Thursday through Saturday) readings. I would have been better off studying the Sunday readings in more depth by reading background or studying multiple interpretations or reading something else. I won't be reading the daily lections again. Also, I often found the practice of reading a single psalm over and over for the daily readings irritating, especially when it didn't seem to be related except by being the prior or next psalm.
  • During the course of Advent I got the idea that my partner found me to be more overtly religious. I don't know if this was due to my blogging here or other things related to Advent this year. My Christmas gift to my Mom was a bit more overtly faith based, for instance, just because that is how things worked out. And because my health has limited me so much, writing here has been a large percentage of my time. It may also have been because many of my blog posts were sent to Google+ automatically (where he saw the notification at least), although I swear I told it to not do that.
  • Having to write and publish daily in a context where my thoughts or writings on the topic are inherently suspect and can just be pulled out of my ass (or more likely misfired parts of my brain) is very freeing. I'm not functioning well (thanks epilepsy and epilepsy meds!), but I don't have to to write on this topic. Religious ramblings of epileptics are a legitimate genre in and of itself. (Thanks St. Paul) I don't feel the need to make sure I'm making sense before I hit publish, not making sense may be the point. I could get the same experience from using someone's writing prompts on the basis that I publish what I write from them with little more polishing than fixing words the browser tells me I misspelled (and I've seen groups set up to do that), but this works for me.

I'd prefer to get back to where I was in October, where I was writing non-fiction I felt good about and felt like with revision it would be saleable (or at least part of a potentially profitable blog or self-published book.) But then again, we've tried the 2 med revisions since then because we wanted to get me past having analytical thinking (ie coding!) be a seizure trigger. If my mental function continues at the current level, I think I do want to continue writing here regularly again (ie weekly plus Christian holidays.) I don't know that I'd feel that way if my cognition got better, because then I'd want to put more research and cross-referencing behind my posts and I'm not sure that is useful to me. And while if anyone else finds this blog useful, that's great, it is here for me.

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