How Can A Fractured Faith Blog Be Improved?

The blog continues to grow and, of late, has been a bit of a pot pourri with regards topics and themes. I’ve posted three poems in the last week, very unlike me I know. Yet, I’ve woken up with the words in my head and felt no option but to write and post them. I have no idea if they are any good but I’ve received some lovely comments which have cheered and encouraged me.

I also posted a Christian blog yesterday about the martyrdom of Stephen. I would describe myself as a Christian who blogs as opposed to a Christian blogger, but occasionally am led to dip my quill into more reflective, spiritual waters. The post has fared poorly which surprised me a little as the blog has a sizeable Christian following who normally support such posts.

Family life also inspires many of my posts. There are not many days that pass without some comedy gem at chez Black. As I am normally on the receiving end of these, I feel compelled to write about it. Fionnuala and Rebecca post occasionally while updates on Adam and Hannah also feature. I’m keen to stress that this blog is about more than me. Otherwise my ego runs unchecked, which nobody wants to see.

I occasionally write about my job and work colleagues. I seriously could write a book about this but, given the sensitive nature of my employment, I can only discuss it in the broadest of brush strokes. Maybe one day I will be able to open up a little more about it. I don’t mean to be secretive but I like getting a monthly pay cheque and this could be scuppered if my bosses discovered I was spilling the beans.

My struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) lies at the heart of me and, therefore, my writing. I’m passionate about educating people about this often misunderstood mental illness. It never fails to amaze me how uneducated many are concerning OCD; they regard it as the comedy cousin of mental health as opposed to the horrific, crippling disorder it really is. OCD ruins lives. OCD ends lives.

The eponymous hero of my debut novel – The Kirkwood Scott Chronicles – Skelly’s Square’ is a victim of OCD. I post weekly updates about the progress of the book but, again, can only disclose so much, for obvious reasons. People seem interested in the book and I hope it sees the light of day in some format, even if that means serialising it on the blog. It’s a planned trilogy but we will see. No point writing three books if everybody hates the first one.

Which brings me to my running posts which sink without trace most times. I understand that us runners are interminable bores, and only fellow running geeks can be bothered hearing of our latest exploits. There will be less of them in the months to come as, after the disaster that was the Causeway Coast Marathon, I have no plans to race again until next spring. I will still keep my training runs going, but over lesser distances.

Which brings me to the point of this post. I want to know what you would like to read more of; are there topics you would like to hear more, or less, about? What do you like and what are you less keen to peruse? Are there new topics I could cover? I’m willing to consider anything, within reason. I’ll hand it over to you now and look forward to reading, and responding to, your comments. Thank you again.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

78 thoughts on “How Can A Fractured Faith Blog Be Improved?

  1. You cannot please everyone. You are not pizza.
    My blog is far too varied to garner the interest of yours so I know diversifying is a bad idea. I’ve also noticed The Problem of Novelty in readers: interested at the start then they move on to some other fresh thing (often with flashing gifs).
    You have other factors as well, like people’s average blogging run of a year, and the whole follow/follow back for just a bit practice.
    I think publishing your book and continuing to push it out there will help. No, don’t serialize it here. Your favorite book by J.K. Rowling got 12 rejections, you know. 😉

    Liked by 6 people

      1. I can understand that you’re feeling discouraged. I’M so discouraged I haven’t written mine for close to a year. You have something amazing, though, and it needs pushing.
        The world needs The Kirkwood Chronicles, Stephen!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Quite simply, I love how you blog. We all juggle topics, family and work and what works for us. I think your blog is beautiful as it is. But I am only a single voice.

    For the record – the way you write about running helps me understand my sister’s need to run. It’s brought us closer, and I can’t thank you enough for that.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I look forward to your blog regularly. I’m not a runner today, although I was in high school and college so I appreciate your struggles. I have an incredible family and love hearing about what’s going on. It helps me write better when I draw from what I experience around those I love the most. I can relate to recovery in so many ways and the struggles that accompany it. Most of all, I appreciate posts of a Christian, and hence, spiritual nature. I’m always attracted to stories that make me think and build me up. All and all, I’d say you’re spot on. Thanks Stephen and keep it up!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Please. Don’t change a thing. Please.

    One of the things I love about your blog is your spontaneous topics, which appear to be what’s on your mind in that moment. It screams authenticity and your willingness to be vulnerable makes it even more relevant. I never feel like you’re sharing TMI as you’re sharing your genuine self.

    Yours is the one I look to read first every day. In its entirety.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I like the different topics. I get hired easily. If folks ignore, it might be they are too busy to read. I find that for some reason you are one of the few that I read (long posts). Your writing engages me and I enjoy it. Thx.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m a fairly new follower to your blog, so I’m especially interested in knowing its backstory and your journey of faith. Why is your blog called “Fractured Faith”? What is “fractured faith”? What does your faith look like now?

    If you’ve already written posts like these, I’d love to read them. Just point me in the right direction! If you write more, I would be honored to read them.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello from Southern US! I have just discovered your blog after you visited mine. (Thank you for stopping bye!) … I’ve read a couple of your posts and am looking forward to visiting again… Perhaps a good post WOULD be to talk about how you arrived at your blog title (as mentioned above on anther comment). Sounds like it would be interesting. 🙂 Certainly continue to write from the heart! The words will come and so will the readers meant to see them.


          1. It’s good to connect with you as well. (I’m not sure how the “e” got in “by” in my comment above!) …I read your blog for today and commented on that. Thank you for sharing! Prayers 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  7. I read every one since I started blogging at the beginning of the month! Keep em coming, even the “boring” running ones, which I also enjoy! Your variety of topics is astounding and I LOVED your post on Stephen!

    Like the gentleman above, I too would be exceptionally interested in your “fractured faith.” How did Humpty Dumpty fall off that wall?


  8. I enjoy all of your posts, but am most tuned-in to your entries about your faith walk. Of special interest to me was your self-assessment quite a few months ago that you are a Christian who doesn’t go to church or read the Bible. I relate – a Jesus freak who doesn’t call himself a Christian. Write what you enjoy and enjoy what you write. Your readers probably want heart-felt more than brain-thought.


  9. i enjoy the potpourri nature of your blog. the christian posts as well. i’m not christian, though i would call myself spiritual or even religious, but i enjoy hearing about your faith and learning more. for instance, i didn’t have a clue about st. stephen. keep writing what your heart tells you to write. some might get more traffic, some less, but you’ll stay true to yourself.


  10. Stephen, please don’t change anything. I for one love the randomness of your blog. You hold nothing back and always hit the heart of the matter, and you never shy away from the facts no matter how unpleasant they may prove to be. I know some of what you publish spurs some of us faithful followers to write a wee bit more even though we may not necessarily publish that which we’ve written. Thank you.


  11. Am on chapter 25 of your book and taking a break before completing it and my notes. So…of course keep blogging about the book! Your pushing through it and your running is inspiring. I’d love to see more family life/daily life posts, and more from Rebecca, by the way. Your Christian posts are very relatable, and I’ve been so glad to see more of them. What about more about Northern Ireland? And your poetry is outstanding, so keep that up!


  12. I agree with Jonetta! I like the ‘pot pourri’ of blogs, and your genuine, sometimes vulnerable words are a breath of fresh air. It could be that yesterday people were just busy – I happened to read yesterday’s martyr blog but failed to ‘like’ or comment on it. Often I’m just too busy and end up with an inbox full of links to your blog and read 10 -20 of your blogs at a time 🙂 So keep up the good work.


  13. All of the above! Your writing can be so varied and I think that’s what draws a crowd. Don’t stop posting about your running, some of us enjoy reading those too 😊 Plus, is it all about numbers? I thought you blogged for you not for followers. Keep doing what you love and people will continue to read.


  14. I truly enjoy everything you write. However I try not to always comment because my low self esteem is convinced you find me annoying. Stop with the negative talk about the marathon. You finished it which is success in itself! So many people can’t even walk 2 miles much less push themselves for 26. Publish the book and Screw the non runners I like the running posts! Peace!


  15. Sometimes stats that reflect how a post goes do not really come in till a week or even after a few months. Do not be disheartened when this happens 🙂 Some of my top posts did not fair well on the first day or week.


  16. Hi Stephen. I would be interested to read anything that you post. With being blind, I do not always see people’s posts though. I LOVED the one about your marathon though, and I am VERY interested in your faith journey. I too have had terrible experiences with churches and can relate. Am STILL having a terrible experience with my own church, and would live to talk about it, but I don’t! I am like you – never quite know what vein tompist in. I ask alk the time if people are getting bored. So then I try to spice it up a bit. I guess in the end, we can only pist as we are. I am really interested in Ireland, and would love to hear about Ireland. As I say, I don’t get around to other people’s Blogs too much, which makes me sad. But from what I see of yours it is great. Keep it going!


      1. That would be fantastic. If there was one place I would want to visit it is Ireland but now, I am not able to visit anywhere. But my Father’s family seems to have come from Ireland so that might explain why I am so drawn to it and it’s music and culture. Looking forward to you writing about it Stephen

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Hello. My name is David. I am a follower of the Risen Christ. All illness is mental illness. We are not a body. We are a mind afraid of Who it is. We are children of God. We are not under the debilatating laws of the ego. In OCD we attempted to control reality because we feared our thoughts. In attempting to do so we usurp the power God gave the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ to help us. The imbalance is caused by thoughts not brain chemicals imbalanced. I suffered over 12 years horribly, thinking, because I was told, I was mentally ill. Meditation with the intention that the Spirit of Christ herd my request to be healed was how xanax was removed from my life supernaturaly. Jesus Christ Resurrected! You cannot die! Death is an insane future thought believed to be real. PLEASE read my posts. I am here to help you.
    My email address is in the who I am section.
    Ask and you shall receive. Faith is the precursor to healing. We are healed. We are just unaware of the Atonement of Christ as Christians due to unforgiveness in us. All mental illness is some outward manifestation of unforgiveness. Forgive and Love so the Holy Spirit can cognitive heal you.
    Ceaselessly in His service.


  18. I’m a fan of variety, which I implement on my blog. Sidenote–I use the Reader to keep up with bloggers, but I don’t read as many of your blog posts as I normally would because your posts don’t show up in the Reader for some reason. I’ll try to remember to visit your site more often!


  19. Hi and thanks for your long support. Appreciate the encouragement. Whilst only recently getting into reading others works. I enjoy the Variety here. Some Blogs are only of One Subject or Topic… which means… if you find that particular Topic not of interest…


  20. I like the eclectic nature of your blog….I’m not interested in running, but applaud you through your running posts (and think “why put oneself through this?”!) Your writing posts give me a timely tap on the shoulder (“Call yourself a real writer?” they say to me “Look at the effort Stephen puts into his writing!”) Your family life & Christian posts are really what keep me coming back, but I don’t always comment (which I should, I know. “Likes” on my blog don’t mean very much, as I cynically think “They can’t be bothered commenting. Pressing Like is a lazy thing” I much prefer comments.) The poems are less interesting for me – but it’s your blog and if you’re writing for your pleasure then does itr really matter what we plebs think?! 🙂


  21. Sometimes I ask myself these same kind of questions… except I don’t do the running thing, I don’t really have “co-workers,” and my following is half the number of yours. Maybe I should hire some unpaid staff at our church, go running with them, and then talk about how they left me after one block? Tough questions, aren’t they? Maybe I could increase readership by including gluten-free recipes! Yeah!

    I hate gluten-free bread. Just saying.

    Nevertheless, I’m glad to meet another blogger who’s a Christian 🙂


  22. Stephen, As I’ve told you many times, your blog is my favorite because you are a great writer! I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts (and I can hardly wait for the book), but most of all, I read your blog because I’m trying to learn how to write the way you write naturally. And in case you didn’t notice, all your followers love you!!


  23. Heelo! I am new to your blog and have enjoyed uour posts. I woukd offer you this, continue to write from your heart. People will follow a heart’s path.
    On another note my father has OCD and since my mothers passing several years ago, I’ve had to act as caregiver and while I am patient and love him dearly it can be challenging. I am certain for him as well. Your kind advice and offerings will help immensely.


  24. I love your blog! I love the “melting pot” or the variety of topics. I started my blog with one thing in mind, but I have “read” that people don’t like when you post about different things and topics. I want my blog to be about all things life, as I experience them. So I am hopeful that I can incorporate everything as well as you do. 😉


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