Monday, January 6, 2014

The End of Spiritual Klutz

Four years ago, I sat down at my laptop and decided to start a blog.  My first child had been born six days before, and I had some revelations about the fatherhood of God that I wanted to share.  I was ready to write my first post, but I just couldn't figure out what to name the blog.

Spiritual Klutz, I thought, but I hesitated.

I remembered tripping one time when I was in seventh grade and saying, "I'm such a klutz."  My mother firmly corrected me, saying, "Don't call yourself that.  You've got to be really careful what you speak over yourself, or you'll eventually start living into it."

Sitting at my laptop, 23 years later, I ignored my mom's advice, moved forward with the name, and felt good about it.  The name was an invitation - it communicated that the reader was safe with me; I was clumsy just like them.  And just as important was that it gave me a nickname to hide behind.  I was sharing things that were fairly vulnerable, and I wasn't comfortable putting my name right next to it.

I eventually started using my real name on the posts, but about six months ago, I grew uneasy with the name of the blog.  Sometimes readers who didn't know me called me "klutz."  I even got complaints whenever I wrote confidently and simply shared something I knew to be true, rather than casting myself as the dunce.

What had started as an invitation had become an identity, an apology, a burden.  But I felt like I had to stick with it - after writing for four years, I was invested.  I couldn't just rename it without confusing people and losing readers.  But then I got a text from my dear friend Paul Perkins, who said he didn't like the grainy, overexposed photo of me on the Spiritual Klutz Facebook page.

"I like it," I replied.  "It makes it harder for people to tell who I am."

"Stop hiding," he texted back.

Soon after that, a gregarious friend at work told a room full of people about my writing (thank you, Jackie).  I initially felt very embarrassed and hoped they wouldn't all go do a Google search, but then Boundless asked me to come over as a regular contributor, and I realized my days of hiding were over.

I was relieved.

I began to float the idea of changing the name of the blog and abandoning the Spiritual Klutz website altogether, and I was surprised at the almost-uniformly positive response.

"That name is like an old coat that doesn't fit anymore," said my friend Aaron Damiani.

I grew to agree with Aaron, and I decided to build a new website and change the name of the blog, but I had to decide what to call it.  Eventually, a novel idea came to mind: I could just use my own name.  It was an intimidating thought, but I realized that the only thing scarier than being myself was trying to hide and hoping nobody found me out.

So I bought the domain name JoshuaRogers.com (that is, I literally decided to own my name), and I invested in building a new website.  The new blog is ready to go as of today, but I didn't want to end Spiritual Klutz without a proper sendoff.  So um - consider Spiritual Klutz sent off.

I'll see you over at JoshuaRogers.com.

Note: JoshuaRogers.com will be different from what you've come to expect at Spiritual Klutz.  I will post more frequently, but the posts will be shorter.  You can keep up with new posts through my Facebook page or on Twitter (@MrJoshuaRogers), and if you're subscribed by email, you don't need to do anything - you will soon begin receiving updates from JoshuaRogers.com.

4 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your new website! Have enjoyed your articles since the start. All the best!

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  2. I don't exactly know why, but your good bye words make my eyes tear up, and that's good. I guess it's always a joy to find some authentic human being be himself :-). Thank you!

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  3. Best of luck on your new website. I have enjoyed the Zlutz and I'm sure I will enjoy the upcoming posts. Keep up the good work, whoever you are!!

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