Let’s Clarify our Relationship

Dearest blog reader,

It’s tough for me to write these words. Yet our affair is such that I think we need to clarify our relationship. It’s been pretty muddy as of late and I feel as though you are beginning to disdain me. And my ambivalence towards your disdain may not be helping matters.

I write this blog. I invite you to read it. But it is important you know it was never about you. It’s about me. I don’t mean that to sound narcisistic, the way professors try to write off all social media as narcisism. See, I was blogging before we called it a blog. This thing you are reading started way back in high school– in journals. Then, in college, I got more sophisticated about it and would write this on my first Macintosh– in 1994. After that, I learned that my words could be more portable so I carried this around on Zip disks that I popped into computers all over the place… writing on the go! If you see the first post on this blog, from 5.5 years ago, you’ll see that it refers to other involvements online. (Seriously, I’ve been doing this online thing in one form or another since 1994!) It’s about me and my writing, not you and your reading.

I consider my blog a form of art. I’m not that creative in the traditional manner, I can’t paint or draw. I suck at singing and dancing… this is what I have to work with. This is my studio.

Long ago bloggers wrote in secret. (Think about the movies– how many of them are based off of journals found after a person dies?) I hid behind names I created for myself and never associated my name with what I posted online for fear that people would know what I was thinking in real life. The secrets weren’t because I was ashamed of what I wrote. It was because it was clear that I was keeping a journal and it was more for me than it was for you. I was fine with people reading it. I knew people read it. Back then it was more about the style of “hiding” than the hiding itself. Everyone did it.

In the last 3-4 years styles changed and people went public about blogging. I’ve owned and blogged here at adammclane.com for almost 3 years. I was intentional about chosing this domain because I wanted to be transparent— I was tired of people whispering, “I found your blog, is it OK if I keep reading?

I don’t even blush anymore when you walk up to me and tell me you read about something on my blog. It’s just part of my life. Some people are strong verbal communicators– I like to think I am a stronger written communicator. It’s what I do and who I am. The fact is I love it when you walk up to me and say, “Are you Adam? I’ve read some stuff on your blog.” That’s great, it’s always fun. You’re welcome here. Please continue that. Please let me know how I can help you if you are learning to blog.

What isn’t so great is when you put words in my mouth. Or when you steal my work. Or when you correctly quote me but misspell my name. Or when you take my ideas and thoughts and claim they are your own. Or when you want to take my ideas and make money for yourself. Or when you ask me to work for free. [There’s a whole rant to this one– for another day] Or when you blog/Facebook about my ideas negatively and don’t have the balls to at least send me a link to invite me into the same discussion that kicked off your rant with your friends. I could go on. But the point is made, right?

This relationship is about trust. You trust me to write something worth reading. And I trust you to treat me with respect.

– If you want to discuss something with me, I’ve given you 100 ways to contact me or leave a comment right here.

– If you want to quote my blog, please spell my name correctly. (How do you get the link right and the name wrong?)

– If you want to put a blog post on your website or in your denominations newsletter… please ask me for permission. I’ve never said no.

– If you want to start a conversation about me, that’s totally fine… please allow me to defend myself.

– If you want me to give you advice on how you can make money (or raise money for your ministry), don’t be annoyed when I ask for payment.

I live a pretty open and public life. I’m totally fine with that. It goes with the territory. But living my life before you doesn’t mean I am open to being robbed, misquoted, mislabeled, and written off as some kind of jackass to be taken advantage of.

I’m not angry, I’m not thinking of quitting, I’m not even a little bit ticked off— I just thought it was a good time to clarify our relationship. I live my life before you. I share my thoughts with you. I trust that you respect this relationship as much as I respect you. I invite your response. If I’m off base, let me know.

Thanks for reading,

Adam McLane

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in Ahwahnee, California.

7 comments

  1. It has been a very difficult time for my son’s ministry to effectively reach out and connect to others who seek his attention. The collective wisdom of other nationally recognized leaders was to move on, without trying to make individual touch-points. My son wasn’t willing to ignor others, but it was slowly killing him to answer hundreds of emails. Then, you helped him. You set up a technilogical mechanism that he would be able to group-chat. He does so for two-hours at a session. Sometimes two sessions per week. I am so grateful for your help, talent and gracious giving … you have made a huge difference. Thank you with all my heart. May the LORD richly bless you.

  2. @jim- that’s funny! There’s no squabble. Actually, this post was merely reminding folks to please be kind. All of the items above have have happened in the last couple weeks. Rather than me stewing on it, I thought it was fair to just say something. 🙂

    @peter- it’s a complete pleasure to help Andrew with his technical stuff. His message and ministry is, in my opinion, the biggest thing the evangelical church needs to wrestle with. I can only imagine the volume of email he was getting! He needs more people to step up and not just pat him on the back, but figure out ways to tanglibly get behind The Marin Foundation. I hope someone takes what I’ve been doing to a whole new level!

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