I was happy to respond with a “Yes” to write for D2Y2 (a local Malaysian Youth Magazine). Below is the “unedited” version. I hope to post up a few more other things I’ve written this year .. perhaps with a little commentary.
1. What made you decide to blog? When did you start to blog?
I started off blogging using Blogger in 2002. A little later there was this younger friend Kiffer whom became my tech guru who offered me to use his webspace and helped me set up “Movable Type” and showed me some basics in using the tools for blogging.
Here’s what I wrote on my first post on August 22, 2002 entitled “Start”:
“I just decided to start my own weblog. Karen Ward from ELCA was the first person to nudge me in this direction. The Newsweek article sparked a greater interest. Ah! I dunno what I’m getting myself into … well … let’s see what happens. Just came back from pre-natal class with May Chin, it was fun. The refreshments were good!
Two years later this is what I wrote here “Thoughts from a 32year Old: How broadband & blogging changed my life”:
“… At first, I just wanted to have a “place” to “record” down my moments and reflections. I never thought it actually gave me more confidence in my writing (which I still think it sucks!). The more delightful and surprising aspect is how new “friendships” (to many to even link now) that are formed by a “generous” exchange of ideas and links (and love/respect/encouragement/correction?!). I find my horizons constantly “expanding” and more multiple “connections”in terms of ideas and insights. And of course, in a context like that, I believe some “butterfly effect” kind of change (for the better of course) is happening! Some of this has spilled over even to others in the church and now we even have a BLC community blog …”
2. . What have you been blogging about?
The subtitle of my blog is “Happenings in my head and heart on this side of heaven.” So, I mainly blog about whatever catches my attention or is occupying my mind. This includes books I’ve read, movies or music I enjoy, and personal reflections on a given subject – which in my case very often revolves around my observations on faith, friends, family, church and society. Occasionally, I’d put up quotes or insights I’ve benefited from others, and recently I’ve tried posting up and even uploading Youtube videos which I think are worth sharing.
When I don’t have anything focused to say I like to blog about “Random Thoughts” which is a free-flow write down whatever comes to my mind kind of therapeutic exercise. I also enjoy doing “Random Links” where I put up links up and little comments on why I put them up (some people think I actually have read everything I linked J but in actual fact, there are some links I put up there to read later.)
So, I think what I blog about can be pretty eclectic and yet those who read it would probably find some common themes which is very much a reflection of what engages by head and heart!
3. What do you hope to achieve with your blog?
At first nothing — apart from putting up my thoughts and having a record of it online. I started with a lot of fear. I always lacked confidence in my writing. But I do enjoy communicating and connecting with people. The delightful surprise is that gradually my blog created opportunities for that to happen. After blogging the last few years, it’s become a daily discipline (at times an obsession if not careful) of conscious personal reflection which I open up for others to eavesdrop on.
4. How do others respond to your blog?
Someone commented on my blog once and called me a false prophet! But then after a little email exchange between us, he apologized after discovering he misunderstood the post and a link which was meant to be humorous and not to be taken seriously. So, at times it’s easy for people to misunderstand you since very often we may unconsciously read into someone’s blog or their comments (there is a lot of limitation when it comes to mere textual communication, thus face to face interaction is still very important!).
Most of the time, people are appreciative of the links and reflections I’ve posted up. Some enjoy a glimpse into my life whether it’s personal, family or church. Recently, a new friend from the USA told me that he would point people to my blog to read about what is life like as a Christian and a pastor in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
A few people have become friends as we read each others blog regularly. Nowadays, it’s not surprising that we actually have opportunities to meet with people who read our blog face to face which takes the relationship to another dimension. The face to face interaction also in my view transforms how we read each others blogs as we have a better context on why certain posts may be posted up. A couple of years ago, I met up in UK with a pastor and a professor in one week for the first time, I found the whole experience of meeting bloggers a little frightening and yet exciting.
At a recent conference, it was exciting to meet up with a blogger from the USA whom we have been emailing here and there. It was quite easy to plunge deeper into our friendship as we have already a head start through reading each others blog. After a few days, I was surprised when an Hungarian lady turned to me and asked “Are you Sivin Kit?”, I said, “Yes!” She said “I read your blog”. I blushed! Of course, I do advice caution and wisdom when it comes to meeting strangers, but I’m still quite fascinated at how new connections and friendships have developed directly or indirectly through my adventures in blogging.
5. What are your personal opinions about people who seemingly are different when they blog? (almost a different persona)
It’s hard to give an opinion on the question above. Partly because the question that would be bugging me is why does this person want to or need to portray a different persona? That would involve some interesting and enlightening conversations.
But, I’ve met people who have chosen to blog anonymously because they feel it gives them a freedom to express themselves in ways they couldn’t have if they did so openly. I tried once to blog anonymously, but it was too hard to always need to switch my mental mode when I was writing. I think I gave up after less than a few posts and deleted the blog. I found it easier to be myself (with relevant restraints of course when it comes to what I chose to make public). I think this is the way we are in real life and I reserve the more private stuff between God and me in my spiritual/prayer journal which one discipline has been liberating for me since I started when I was 17 (I assure you there’s more juicy stuff in there than my blog!).
So, to the question “Are you Who you blog?” – my answer is Yes. And yet my life is not confined to my blog, my life is more than my blog, it’s merely a tip of the iceberg of a lot of “happenings” that my blog could never fully capture. But it’s a space where I share thoughts, opinions, and reflections as well as life episodes where for one reason or another I sense it’s worth planting in “Sivin Kit’s Garden” and see what can grow from there.
Rev. Sivin Kit is married to May Chin with two young children Gareth and Elysia. He’s an ordained minister with the Lutheran Church in Malaysia and Singapore (LCMS) and pastors Bangsar Lutheran Church (http://blc.net.my). His interests includes theology, spiritual formation, missiology, and networking. He enjoys eating potatoes, blogging (http://sivinkit.net), reading, music and movies.