I started this blog exactly 18 months ago as a ministry, a means of telling my stories and the lessons I learned regarding the love of God and His intervention into our lives. From its inception, I have enjoyed the very act of writing, which commands us to think and feel in new ways with each new blog post.
I did not know of likes and comments when I started writing, but he pursuit of them started to be a problem. I, unfortunately, learned to measure my value and worth by the appreciation of my work by other. So, when there were few likes or none for a post, I felt like dirt. Days when I had writer’s block left me feeling useless.
After all the years of telling myself that I was a diamond, priceless, and unique, not needing the approval of others, I regressed into some unhealthy beliefs. I had to decide if I would continue to write the blog.
Thankfully, my husband shouldered some of the responsibility, by adding his stories. When his posts earned more likes than mine, I was devastated. But, instead of giving up, I actually for once listened to Douglas and changed the style of my writing, which improved a lot.
He kept telling me to stop judging myself by the numbers of likes and comments, but for the longest time, it didn’t help. I worried that I did not have a “real life” suited to blogging, you know, where every day you have something marvelous and wonderful happen that you just have to share. The times we were traveling were the exceptions.
So, rather than a place where I could make a splurge regarding my joy and thankfulness for being alive, it became a source of depression and dark days, a condition that I am still prone to experience. Then, I took nearly two weeks off from writing, and I immersed myself in other aspects of my life.
I read my Bible more, and I started reading the hundreds of murder mysteries on my Kindle. I was appalled at the amount of time I spent writing the blog each day and of how it took me away from other elements of my life, especially time spent in the presence of God. I had to find a way to become a more mature blogger.
I missed writing, of course, but I was determined to find some balance in my life. I still write stories that teach and inspire trust in God, but the fiction writing has been a God-send. It has allowed me to open my imagination and have a good time. I laugh sometimes at my own inventions!
Participating in the flowers of the day or the doors challenges bring me such joy. They help me not neglect the beauty and oddities around me, which is soul-affirming and healing.
I also believe that the fiction writing and the prompts, which have really increased my vocabulary, are ways that God is preparing me to write a book. I have had to confront painful reflections from the past in preparation for putting feelings and memories on the blog, and the fiction writing allows me some catharsis through semi-autobiographical stories.
But, most important to my growth as a blogger, I realize that there are millions of blog posts every day across the various hosting platforms and social media sites. People can only read so many! If you have a group of people who read your work, send you comments and respond to your comments on their posts, then you are blessed in knowing that your blog spreads joy and cheer, and just maybe, a little laughter.
I hope that 2019 will be a year that will bring you much laughter, love, lessons, and long, lazy days when needed. I pray that God will appoint angels to keep you safe and comfort you in the times when trials come. I wish for you to be surrounded by positive people who support you, your dreams, and your bouts of necessary eccentricity.
From a mature (in so many ways!) blogger, Happy New Year!