There are a hundred voices in my head telling me that I need to write this post a certain way. That I should research best practices for how people read content online and format my posts to accommodate, or that I should make sure it sounds like “her,” because everyone seems to really love her writing style. And I know I should link back to old posts in this post to make sure you spend more time on my site and make my Google Analytics numbers happy.
I wonder if I should write more posts about the deep, serious part of my faith and what I believe, because then I’ll have more comments and people will hold lively debates and I’ll be shared all over the internet. Or maybe I should try to write more humorous posts because life is already so serious, and maybe then I’ll have more social media shares and tweetable quotes.
Really, the voices tell me I should just find a way to write so that all sentences are 120 characters of pure gold Twitter awesomeness (with enough characters left to tag me, or leave an “amen!” at the end). I should pay someone to create the Pinterest-worthy images to go on each post, I should finally figure out how to use Google+, and I should carve out more time to guest post on big blogs so my name is recognized in important circles.
Last year? I probably would have done all of those things. I craved the recognition, the viral post, the invitations to do it all and be all things for all people, even if it didn’t fit who I was or the type of community I wanted to build.
This year? God has asked me for something else. It’s not new – and I’m not the first one to say it. But this is the year I finally listen. I’m going to keep breaking all the blogging rules, ignore all the best practices, and go back to writing in this space as…me. I don’t want my words to be viewed by millions or thousands or even hundreds if they aren’t glorifying to God and what He has done in my life. I don’t want to be featured on huge platforms if it means trading who I am for who they think I should be. I don’t want to worry that my words will be judged, picked apart or critiqued.
While the rest of my life is settling into a new routine, I’m taking blogging back to simplicity. A monthly link-up instead of a weekly one. Writing when God puts the message on my heart, not because I have an agenda. When Tsh’s new book, “Notes From a Blue Bike,” came out, I felt like it was a confirmation of what I’d been feeling about my writing. In it she says
“Just because I’m good at something doesn’t mean I have to.”
There is a lot I can do. But that doesn’t mean God is asking me to do it all. I don’t want to live my life or write my story like I’m trying to live someone else’s life – I just want this space and this community to be simple. Inviting. Intentional about sharing life and all that happens in it, because that’s when community comes together. Not in a viral post or by writers striving to do it all because they can and they feel like they should because everyone else is whispering that it’s the only way to succeed.
If that’s success? I’d rather fail.
Tsh’s wonderful team at Thomas Nelson is allowing me to give away five copies of “Notes From a Blue Bike” – simply fill out the giveaway widget, below, for your chance to win!