I hope you don’t mind me being real, authentic, transparent.
I am staring at the cursor on my computer screen on the evening before my self-imposed deadline for a new blog post to go live and I have nothing.
Yep, literally nothing.
I rack my brain for events from this past week that I could write on, that would draw you in, but I come up empty. I have nothing.
Then, I start to compare myself to all the other bloggers out there and wonder, how do they post 2, 3, or even 5 new posts a week?!! Where do they get their material and inspiration from? Then, I get discouraged. I promised myself over a month ago when I began my 5 part series on dreams that I would begin to write up a plan for future posts. I had grand ideas of getting ahead on my blog post and ideas. I was going to create and follow an editorial calendar, which I read about on Nikki’s blog – The View from in Here. I discovered her post at one of the parties I link-up to.
You see, this whole blogging thing is new to me. I have known for some time that I was supposed to start blogging, but it scared me. Literally. I was scared about all sorts of things. Here’s just a sampling:
- Not understanding what to do and how to do it.
- Saying something that was controversial.
- Scared about my writing – was it good enough?
- What if I used too many “that’s” or repeated myself, or wasn’t clear in what I was saying.
- Oh and grammar and punctuation – yeah, not my strong point. What if I missed a comma or I used a colon when there should have been a semicolon???
- Would anyone care that I even had a blog?
- Blah, blah, blah – the list goes on
I made my first attempt at blogging back in 2009. I wasn’t consistent, and I had NO clue what I was doing; still don’t actually. I had a reader comment once that she really enjoyed what I was sharing, but that I wasn’t very consistent was I?
I am sure she meant it to spur me into being more consistent, but it had the opposite effect. I quit. I’m not really a quitter – but in this I was. Also, later in that same year, God spoke to me and said, “It’s time.”
My response: “What? It’s time for what?”
“It’s time to write a book.” He replied.
Huh? Who Me?
I had just finished writing a training manual to teach people to hear God’s voice. So, what could He be talking about? I ignored that voice and tried to put it out of my mind. However, a very good friend said to me one day over lunch – “God says it’s time.”
Say what?!? No way, not going to do it. I was trying hard to ignore the thought of writing again so soon. The whole blog thing wasn’t going so well and writing is literally a spiritual battle for me. Or at least it was back then and still sometimes is.
I am sure you are wondering why writing is a spiritual battle for me. So here it is: I have always wanted to be a writer from a very young age. As a kid, I would write poetry, short stories, and dreamed of one day being a published author. All that came to a screeching halt when I was in college and I took a creative writing class as an elective. The professor was less than kind (in my opinion) and during a peer review/critique session while she was handing back our papers. She stopped at my desk and said “I’m not sure what you are thinking, or why you are in this class” I heard – – “you can’t write.” Honestly, I am not sure if she said “you can’t write,” but I definitely felt like it was implied. I sat quietly in my peer group after that. I was frozen, in shock, I was embarrassed, I was filled with shame, and felt my deepest desire and my dream had just been trampled on and smashed to a thousand tiny bits. As soon as class ended, I promptly marched to the registrar’s office and dropped the class, vowing to never write again.
Which I didn’t for years. Long story short, yes, I have forgiven that professor. Yes, I have worked through and received healing in this area. But, it is also an area because of that situation that the enemy will whisper lies and my insecurities come to the surface. Sometimes I catch the lies right away, and I don‘t listen; other times, I take the bait and get reeled in by the taunting and the lies. Especially when it came to writing the training manual. The whole process was a battle of renewing my mind, standing on the Word of God, and pushing the enemy back. It was emotionally exhausting to be in a spiritual battle, and yet felt, like my dream was coming alive again. It didn’t get finished in a year, but now, God was asking me to write again.
I stalled, argued with God, and dragged my feet for about 8 months before I finally relented and submitted to what the Lord was asking me to do. You would think, I would have learned that He always wins, and it doesn’t do me any good to argue with Him. After all, His thoughts are not my thoughts and His ways are not my ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). The book has taken me 5 years, but it is nearing the end. I am relieved, I am exhausted. I am filled with anticipation, and honestly, a little uncertainty.
But wait, God’s not finished with me yet …. about two years ago, my board talked to me about starting a blog. More fear, more uncertainty, more remembering failure from before. I was still in the midst of the book project, but I knew they were right; I just didn’t know where to begin or what to do. Then, a year ago, another one of my best friends moved away – clear across the country. She told me I had to come visit and that I should join her at a Christian bloggers conference in her new city.
A What? Seriously?? There was such a thing as a blogging conference?
I went, mostly to see my friend, but also, because I was being obedient to what I felt God was prompting me to do and what my ministry board had confirmed.
It was at Allume in October 2014 that I venturing into the world of blogging. I was inspired, I was informed, I had a game plan. It was a whole new world! (Go ahead and insert Jasmine from Aladdin singing.)
I was feeling overwhelmed – not really feeling things were crystal clear like the song says, but it was exciting. Seven months later, I finally had a new redesigned website, with a blog section and I posted my first article.
I have been blogging for almost 6 months. My goal in the beginning of this process was to post 1 new article a week – every Thursday. At times doubts, fears, and uncertainty find their way into my thoughts. Lately, I have found myself in the comparison game, which leads to discouragement, envy, pride, insecurities, and striving for success – doing it all in my own strength. I know all of these things are not Christ-like, but here I find myself nonetheless.
Recently, Deb Wolf at Counting my Blessings said: Comparison is the thief of happiness. Jann Cobb at JannCobb.com said: Comparison is the thief of Joy. They are both right, but I’ve been stuck, until…..
Until, I get a copy of Simply Tuesday by Emily P Freeman. I was completely unprepared for how this book would minister to me. It has spoken to things in me that I hadn’t known were there or even been able to articulate. I’ve been in a state of quiet contemplation and soul searching. I’m still there in fact. For months, I have been constantly drawn to God’s words in Psalms – Be Still and Know that I am God (Psalm 46:10). I even wrote a blog post on it.
I feel like I’m still in a phase of trying to find “my voice” as I write each week. There are still so many things to learn about this blogging thing, and I am looking forward to returning to Allume 2015. Not just to see my friend, but to meet many of my new virtual friends in person and gain more knowledge.
Thanks for joining me this week as I process out loud. Feel free to share any tidbit, or piece of advice you think may help. Blessings.
I just LOVE gifts, and I love free stuff too. So, as promised, one blessed person will win their very own copy of the book Simply Tuesday. Keep it for yourself or give it as a gift to someone else – Christmas is only 13 weekends away!!!
Reminder the current Book giveaway ends Monday October 5th
Don’t forget to go comment and share the Book Review Monday post from September 21st to enter for your chance to win a copy of Simply Tuesday. Plus while you are there, use the Raffle-Copter for extra chances to win.
Look for my next Book Review Monday – The Chase by Kyle and Kelsey Kupecky coming Monday September 28th.
My Post: “Will You Sit with Me?” was featured here:
My Post: “The Journey through Change” was featured here: