A year ago this week, I finally pushed through my fears, got over my insecure self, and started a blog. And as I look back over this past year, thought it has certainly not been an easy, always-fulfilling, happy-cathartic road,I truly believe it has been one of the most rewarding and growing things I have ever done.
Since July 25th, 2014, there have been many times when I wanted to quit, delete my account, erase the words, chuck my goals to the wind, and run far, far away from the blogging world with my defeated, fearful self, but I’m so very glad I didn’t.
And I’m glad, not just because I persevered and met my goal of blogging twice a week for an entire year, but because God used this “blog goal” of mine to help me face my fears and deal with the insecure demons that have toyed way too long with me, my joy, and my identity. And though I wouldn’t say that I’ve conquered them all, I would say that those demons have most definitely lost some serious momentum…as I have fought them hard, and I have fought them well…for an entire year.
SO, as I celebrate this goal and reflect on this transforming, re-defining process that God has used in my life, I want to share some highlights of what I’ve learned along this writing journey.
1. Writing requires discipline, perseverance, and guts.
2. Writing doesn’t have to be perfect to connect with the hearts of others.
3. Writing is the cheapest therapy I have ever experienced.
4. Writing is one of the most vulnerable and scary things I have ever done.
5. Writing to please others is not really all that pleasing for the writer.
6. Writing is an expression of who you are, but it isn’t the sum-total of who you are.
7. Writing seems to flow best when it’s derived from real-life, authentic experiences.
8. Writing can be a ministry.
9. Writing can be hard when you get no feedback and writing can be hard when you get lots of feedback.
10. Writing can be a tool in the Savior’s hand which He uses to challenge and change the writer.
1. I can easily attach my worth to what others say about my writing.
2. I write best when I have coffee in my hand, it’s quiet, and God has laid something on my heart.
3. I can quickly become discouraged when others criticize or challenge my words.
4. I may not be the best writer but that doesn’t mean I’m not a good writer.
5. I can do hard things, and I have tougher skin than I thought.
6. I find a lot of joy in documenting memories in written form.
7. I like to write.
8. I can be a writer who never writes a book, and that’s okay.
9. I worry more about what others think of me than what they think about my writing.
10. I have been blessed with two kids who teach me a whole lot about Jesus.
1. People like to hear about your ugly, your yuck, and your incomplete.
2. People like to know that they aren’t alone in their broken chaos.
3. Moms love their kids and desperately want to be “good” moms.
4. People like lists and sometimes paragraphs.
5. Lots of people are quick to encourage.
6. Some people are quick to criticize.
7. People enjoy humor.
8. People really like free things.
9. There are men who like to read what women write.
10. People want to hear how Jesus is working in the lives of others; it seems to offer HOPE.
1. Writers are people, and I’ve sinned against quite a few writers in the way I’ve talked/thought about them and their writings.
2. You can’t exhaustively write about everything you think, feel, and believe when you write, so don’t try; it will drive you batty.
3. Some people will like your stuff and some won’t but that doesn’t mean anything about you and your writing.
4. It’s pretty amazing to watch God use your yuck for His good purposes and His great glory.
5. The number of “likes” you do or do not get, the number of “shares” you receive or do not receive, and the number of “followers” you do or do not have should not dictate your decision to stop writing or keep writing.
6. You don’t have to use the words “you” and “should” to challenge and encourage.
7. The thesaurus = awesome
8. Comparing your writing with the writing of others can be really fruitless and super stupid.
9. Satan can use your gifts to destroy your joy, threaten your influence, rock your faith, and attack your identity. He can also use your gifts to be your joy, your influence, your faith, and your identity.
10. It’s really hard to write twice a week for an entire year.
And that, my readers, is just a quick snapshot of what I have learned throughout this year-long journey of “uploading memories and downloading grace.”
For those of you who have read my blog throughout this year, I pray that you have seen Jesus.
For those of you who have bravely shared your hearts and normalized my experiences, I have learned so much from you.
And for those of who you have faithfully encouraged me throughout this scary journey, thank you; your words were often water to a parched soul.
I have no clue what God has in store for this next year, but I pray that whatever God chooses to do with whatever gifts He has given…that I will remain faithful in giving HIM the glory for anything good that He does in and through me.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16