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The 7 Virtues of Blogging

photo: Mike Licht on flickr

photo: Mike Licht on flickr

We’ve all heard of the Seven Deadly Sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony.

Talk about a fun way to spend a Saturday night!

And then there’s the Seven Virtues, meant to counteract the Seven Deadly Sins: chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness and humility.

That’s what you do the morning after.

And while the binge/purge nature of the Sins and the Virtues is certainly compelling, I got to thinking:

What about blogging? What virtues are to be found in the wild and wacky world of online pontification?

I’m no expert, but I’ve been doing this for a bunch of years now, so I thought I’d take a stab at it.

(I’m sure there are Seven Deadly Sins of Blogging as well, but here in Goofball land, we’re all about enlightenment. I’ll leave the Sins to someone else!)

So here goes:

The Seven Virtues of Blogging

1. Passion
photo: Dana Beveridge on flickr

photo: Dana Beveridge on flickr

For a long time, blogging was something everyone told me I should do. I had written a novel and people said I should write a blog about being a writer.

Well, we all know that doing something because you should do it is for chumps.

And I try to avoid being a chump as often as possible.

It wasn’t until I had the inspiration to do a blog that reflected my passion – spiritual humor – that I had the energy to actually do it. Once the inspiration and energy kicked in, the resources to make it happen magically appeared.

2. Trust
photo: Victor Bezrukov on flickr

photo: Victor Bezrukov on flickr

Early on, I had an image for how my blog should look. More precisely, I was meditating and saw a picture of one of my blog posts. There, on the computer screen in my mind, were photographs along with the text.

Sure, most of the blogs I was reading only had one photo at the top of the page.

But that’s not what I saw. I saw pictures going along with the text. Kinda like a little kids’ book.

And little kids are awesome!

When I mentioned this idea to one of the people who was helping me develop the blog, he didn’t like it. He told me that having pictures in the blog would stop people from reading it.

But I saw it in my meditation! The voices pictures in my head told me to do it!

Given that the focus of the blog is spirituality, I knew I had to trust the vision.

Since starting Life in Z-D, I can’t tell you how many people have told me how much they love the photos.

(Really, I can’t tell you. I have no idea.)

Plus, using photos has allowed me to use the Flickr Creative Commons site, which allows me to share photographs from people all over the world.

3. Honesty
photo: Anna Hirsch on flickr

photo: Anna Hirsch on flickr

Before I started this blog, I had come out as gay. Everyone who knew me knew I was gay gay gay gay gay.

But not everyone knew how frickin’ woo-woo I am.

Being willing to be out there as a spiritual-type person was, in many ways, scarier than coming out as gay.

People mock the woo-woo. We’re seen as flaky. And gullible. And – worst of all – appreciators of Enya.

No way did I want to be seen like that!

And yet – I’m Woo-Woo. I’m super Woo-Woo. I’m the Wooest of the Woo!

And it was time to tell the truth about it.

Yes, some of my relationships have changed because of it. There’s more distance between me and the less Woo.

But any changes that have come about have been a result of my honesty.

And – honestly?

I’m grateful I had the courage to tell the truth.

4. Connection
photo: Kiran Koduru on flickr

photo: Kiran Koduru on flickr

Yes, blogging is all about the cyber world. It’s all about sitting alone in a room, typing on a keyboard, and broadcasting ideas into the ethers.

But what’s been amazing is how this has deepened my connection with real people in the real world.

More than once, I’ve thought about giving up. And every single time, within 24 hours, I’ve run into someone who tells me how much they enjoy reading the blog.

Not only that, I have Google Analytics, so I can see how many people are checking it out. Including people from faraway lands.

And faraway lands are awesome!

5. Non-attachment
photo: Moyan Brenn on flickr

photo: Moyan Brenn on flickr

Every now and then, I write a post I’m sure is going to totally take off.

Everyone is going to love this one! It will draw readers from all over the land!

And then it doesn’t.

On the other hand, I write a post that I deem mediocre.

Only a handful of people will read this one. It will draw readers from only .000000005% of the land!

And then it’s my most popular post in months.

In other words, I have no idea what will happen with any given blog post. Even if I do have ideas about what will happen, they’re usually wrong.

Attachment to any particular outcome doesn’t serve anyone. Least of all me.

6. Patience
photo: madii grace on flickr

photo: madii grace on flickr

Hey, look at that! One of the old-school virtues made its way onto my list.

(At least it wasn’t chastity!)

Patience is one of those things that’s always a good idea.

Like wearing elastic-waist pants when you eat popcorn and watch TV.

No? Too random?


But really. In every area of my life, patience always comes in handy. The blog is no exception.

I’ve learned to be patient with myself as I learn new tools and techniques – like Photoshop. And my WordPress template.

I’ve learned to be patient when the numbers of readers dip in any given month. Only to rise back up again in the next few months.

And I’ve learned to be patient about the timing of certain subjects.

I was sure, when I started the blog, that I was going to talk about being transgender right away. But I didn’t. It didn’t feel right.

I waited until it did feel right. And then I wrote about it.

All in good time, my pretty. All in good time.

7. Versatility
photo: linspiration777 on flickr

photo: linspiration777 on flickr

Remember Garanimals? They were a super nifty line of clothing where you mixed and matched your outfit according to animal categories.

If you bought a giraffe top, it would match with all the giraffe pants. (Plus it would make you really tall!) If you bought rhino pants, you could wear it with any of the rhino shirts. (And it wouldn’t make you look fat!)

It was totally groovy!

Over time, I’ve realized that my blog is a lot like Garanimals.

I do a fair amount of public speaking, and I’ve found that many of the blog posts make great topics for a talk. Conversely, many of my talks become blog posts.

The giraffe talk matches the giraffe blog post, and visa versa.

Plus my whole life is like one big Garanimals mix and match.

An experience I have on Wednesday becomes a blog post/talk, which then becomes a talk/blog post, which then leads to another experience, which then becomes another blog post/talk.

Not to mention the other accessories that stem from the life/blog/talk loop – like new connections with people, or new gigs, or new ideas for other projects.

It’s a Garanimals free-for-all!!

animals done really

So there you have it! The 7 Virtues of Blogging!

What virtues have you discovered in your vocation? Share your comments below!

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18 Responses to The 7 Virtues of Blogging

  1. River November 19, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    Well if this isn’t a woo-woo moment, I don’t know what is. Something Rev. Trish Mackey said to me was that if I wanted to do speaking on spiritual subjects, did I have a speech ready? I started writing that speech today. I only came across your blog because I was about to look up a quote from Kahlil Gibran on love. And here you are talking about writing and speaking and how this is all good stuff! For me it was like Spirit saying “Hey good job, now I can do mine!” So thanks again Z for being the zanny vessel of a great message!
    See ya on the circuit! *winks*

    • Z Egloff November 19, 2013 at 11:56 am #

      Hi River,

      I love how the Divine works! I guess I wrote this post for you. 😉

      And I look forward to hearing your voice, in all the ways that it is emerging!! :)


  2. Kathleen November 19, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    Hey, if you turn this into huge company, and allow us to buy stocks, will our earnings be shown to us in the Dow of Woo?
    Okay, random, but that’s part of where I went.
    More seriously, as I am starting to put stuff up on our Center’s blog, it really helps to hear about the virtues. I have a few and will cultivate the others.
    Love to you!

    • Z Egloff November 19, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

      Hi Kathleen,

      How wonderful to hear from you!

      I love the Dow of Woo. There is great potential in this. Infinite Potential, really. :)

      Have fun with Blogging Land!!


    • Lori Louise Lawrence November 19, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

      The Tao of Woo! Haaaaahahahahaha! Love this!

  3. Janet November 19, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    Hey, Z!
    What a fun post. I thought I had given up virtuous living years ago…you have proven it is possible to re-purpose and reclaim almost anything! It must be good for the environment, too–ya think?

    • Z Egloff November 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

      Hi Janet,

      I am nothing if not virtuous! 😉

      I like your point about environmental responsibility. I hadn’t thought of that. I guess I’m even more virtuous than I thought. As are you, for being generous enough to point this out. :)


  4. Sara Nichols November 19, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    Z, I liked this post. For me the best part was about you coming out on your woo-ness. As you know, I am also pretty darn woo (we study, after all, at the same woo school), but most of my oldest and dearest friends are semi-cynical teachers and lawyers who read me to hear me snark. Snarking, it turns out, is not that compatible with the woo. I tried snarking at myself, but even that offends the Woo. So I feel like I’m sitting out on a branch blowing in the woo. It’s too late to climb back into the snark tree but it’s a long drop down and it’s a little scary.

    Fortunately, my current practice seems to be all about comfort with discomfort. Aha, Sara, this is where you are right now. Out in woo but not comfortable in your woo-ness. Envious of Z’s woo-comfort.

    • Z Egloff November 20, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

      Hi Sara,

      I hear you, my Sister of Woo. As I think you know, I have a familiarity with Snark Speak as well. It’s an interesting dance. I feel like I’m still figuring it out.

      I appreciate your awareness of your current position. And your willingness to be comfortable with discomfort. Does that discomfort ever end? At least from my experience, it does not.

      At least you’re not alone on that branch. There are a lot of us with you. Just sayin’. :)


  5. Karen November 19, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    You are such a terrific writer that I think you could write about dust bunnies or toe jam, and it would be compelling reading — especially with the perfectly timed pics you always add and the hilarity of the marked-out words.

    The virtue of my vocation/avocation (writing about Law of Attraction) is that it’s fun — and I can tell the same is true for your writing.

    My cardinal rule: If it ain’t fun, I don’t do it anymore. (Other than take out the garbage. And wash away the toe jam…well, you get the picture.) :)

    • Z Egloff November 20, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

      Hi Karen,

      Oooooooh – dust bunnies and toe jam. Sounds fun! Or how about dust bunnies WITH toe jam? Even better!

      I love that you continually remind me – and all of us – of the importance of doing things that are fun. Remembering this makes life so much better and so much more, well, fun!!!

      For the record, when I take out the garbage, I list things I’m grateful for all the way there and back. We have to take our garbage to a dumpster in our housing complex, so it gives me lots of time for gratitudes!


  6. Lori Louise Lawrence November 19, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    Oh, Dear Z, this is a wonderful blog post. My Woo went a little Whoa this week, so I appreciate your reminders about who’s really in here. Thanks.

    • Z Egloff November 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

      Hi LLL!

      Uh oh, the Woo going Whoa. Never fun. I mean, Whoa can be fun, if you mean Whoa like on a roller coaster or something, but when the Woo goes Whoa, it can be a little disorienting. Glad you’re remembering the Woo!!


  7. Laura Dickinson November 19, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    Hi Z,
    Just a note to say woo hoo for the woo woo! Yours, mine, and any every one’s woo woo. More woo woo and more! Thank you and more, Love, Laura

    • Z Egloff November 20, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

      Hi Laura,

      Thank you for the Woo Hoo for the Woo Woo. The WW needs more WH, so thank you for this. :)

      And thanks for stopping by!


  8. Jo Lauer November 20, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    Hey, I like Enya. That said, thanks Z for the 7 virtues of blogging and owning one’s woo-woo-ness. Growing up in the midwest, I had to stuff a lot of that until the time and environment provided a great un-corking. I always enjoy the pictures you choose–being a visual person, that really brings the message home in a delightful way. Thank you for being a regular part of my spiritual practice. As we used to say (and thank goodness we’ve stopped), “Keep on keepin’ on.”

    • Z Egloff November 20, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

      Hi Jo,

      I was aware that there would probably be some Enya fans out there. After all, this is a Woo Woo blog, and Enya is nothing if not Seriously Woo Woo. I couldn’t resist, though.

      I’m glad that you got un-corked and now prance freely among the Woo. Or perhaps prancing is not the right word. I should speak for myself. I’m glad you’re here with us, is what I’m trying to say. :)

      As for “Keep on keepin’ on,” now you’re putting ideas in my head. Don’t be surprised if I decide to bring back that delightful phrase!



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