Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ground Rules

Now that I’m a third of the way through this crazy 90 in 90 I’ve created for myself, I thought I might try to explain exactly what this blog is and what it isn’t, if for no other reason than to clarify in my own mind what I expect from myself. This is important as there have been MANY of the past 30 days when, not only did I have nothing to say, I had absolutely no desire to say anything. I was chatting with a friend the other day and she tried to give me suggestions for things I might want to write about and I kept shooting her down. It wasn’t that her suggestions were bad. They just weren’t what I wanted for this blog. So what DO I want? Or not want, as the case may be?

1. First and foremost, I absolutely refuse to write about writing. (I am completely aware that that is exactly what I’m doing at the moment. In the immortal words of Peter Falk from The Princess Bride: “Yes, you’re very smart. Now shut up.”) It just seems to me that an awful lot of writers write about writing when they can’t think of anything else to write about. Which is fine for dislodging a writer’s block, maybe, but if you’re writing for a general audience who on the whole tend to be readers rather than writers, then writing about writing seems sort of… well… masturbatory. I mean, really, Marley & Me was a fantastic film about relationships, but I could’ve done with a lot more of the dog and the wife and the kids and a lot less of John Grogan’s angst about not being a “real journalist.”

2. I will not rant. Okay, maybe that first ground rule was a bit of a rant. I was sort of trying to be polite about it. Well, except the part where I used the word “masturbatory.” Clearly, language in this blog is rather ‘anything goes.’ But I don’t want to come from a place where all I do is bitch about how much things suck. Dennis Leary has made a lifetime career of it and he’s a lot better at it than I ever would be. (Now that I think about it, he’s sort of this generation’s George Carlin, isn’t he?) Believe me, it’s not that I don’t have opinions or that I’m looking to avoid conflict. Not so. Living the 12-step life doesn’t mean turning into a door mat. What it means is rigorously examining my motives for wanting to spout off my opinion. Bitching NEVER solves problems. Not. Ever. Action solves problems. I’m not afraid to stand up for what I believe in—I think it would irresponsible not to. But this blog isn’t about how Rebekah Moir thinks the universe should be run. I spent 33 years trying to run the universe myself and it didn’t get me anywhere. Now I let God be God and do what I can do to make a real difference in the world.

3. I do not want to preach. Yes, I mentioned God in Rule #2. Get over it! (Was that ranting?) ANYWAY, I’m not out to tell anyone else how to live. As soon as I start doing that, I completely negate the very principles of love and tolerance I try to live by. Notice I said “try.” Still human. Still imperfect. In particular, I want to avoid being overly cutesy and ‘inspirational’ in the way that, say ‘Footprints’ is inspirational. I find so much of what is classified “Christian” writing to be treacly or saccharine. I don’t know, that’s pretty judgmental of me. I might write about what I believe or what I have learned or what I struggle with still but I want everyone to know I don’t have the answers—that there aren’t neat, simple answers to some of life’s difficult questions. I just hope to connect with people where they are. To know that they relate. I suppose that’s a kind of inspiration. I’d love to be inspirational in that sense. But that’s not up to me. I just have to be who I am and if someone else gets something out of it, there you go.

4. Otherwise, anything goes. If I may, one last time, break Rule #1, I will tell you that I have named the first stage of writing “Barf On Paper.” And since this is a daily blog by a mother of two and with no professional editor, you’re all pretty much just getting the unrefined barf. Typos, dangling participles, split infinitives, and even sentences that end in prepositions—Good Heavens!

Thanks for hangin’ out here at Joy in the Longing and putting up with all my idiosyncrasies. You’re a bunch of good eggs.


  1. Rebekah, it seems to me that you have outlined the spirit of your blog more than the content - which is fine! So my perception from reading this post is that any topic you want to write about is acceptable (with the one exception of writing) - but that you want all of your posts to be honest, appropriate, and with good intentions/motives. Did I get it?


  2. Brilliantly succinct. Better than I could have said it. Er... better than I did say it. :)