The other night, I was in search of an old blog post that I'd written and ended up spending a good chunk of time reading through my blog archive. Looking at all my old posts, I realized that for some reason as time has gone on, I've started writing less? It didn't make much sense to me at first because as I think about the growth of my online space, my passion for it has only gotten bigger. After some thought, I figured out that for who knows what reason, something shifted and deciding what to write about became a bigger deal. I'd hem and haw over different ideas, rule them out, and consider it a writer's block. I started to get so picky that by the time I sat down to write something, I'd used up all the time I had to write by brainstorming and changing my mind.
It's like when I decide I want to paint my nails. I'll pull out a few colors that look fun and try to narrow down my choices. I'll land on a color and then think, oh wait, I have such and such event later this week that might require me to pink instead of lavender. Hmm is that one too much of a fall color? Should I put sparkles on all of my fingers or just my ring-finger for a party nail? And then all of a sudden it's 10:30 at night, I have to get ready for bed which means I can't paint my nails because how can you wash your face with wet nails? I mean, man, the struggle is real.
I think that's what has happened with my writing. I became too concerned about choosing a good topic and writing something that has significance, that I didn't end up writing anything at all. I had somehow started to put too much pressure on myself to make sure I was writing something that people would resonate with, instead of simply writing what the Lord was laying on my heart that day. As much as I don't want to admit it, I found myself motivated or discouraged about a certain post based on how many views it received.
But here's the thing. I didn't start this blog to get viewers, I didn't make the shift to be a writer's blog because people told me that's what they thought would be good. I did this simply because I wanted to use the gifts the Lord has given me and make His name known. Unfortunately I got distracted from that truth and as a result my writing lost it's freedom. I got too caught up in what message I thought should be conveyed, when really He is the only one who gives my writing significance. I believe that life is all about Him, that we are here to glorify Him and make his name known, and I want this little space to be a reflection of that.
And here's the last piece (and quite an important one) of what I think was different. Going through the posts from one of the years where I wrote a bit more, I realized just how many came as an outpouring of my time reading the Bible.... Now that is humbling and convicting and motivating all at the same time. If I want to write His words, I need to be in His word.
So that's it. That's what I need to do. Get back into His word daily, remind myself why I write, stop overthinking what I'm going to write about and just sit myself down in front of my computer, and write my little heart out.
I'm so glad that I came to this realization. I can already feel the fun and freedom in writing returning. Woohoo! Thank you Lord :)
-- image by Marissa Maharaj --