Something hit me as I slept last night.
If I am blogging for fan mail and Facebook likes, or for Twitter retweets and Pinterest awards, I would’ve quit months ago.
I’ve stared at my stats page before, wondering why I spend the time to write and post, write and post. Do my words matter to others? Should I continue to hope for more followers, comments and future inspiring post material?
I watched a movie yesterday that had completely nothing to do with writing, but yet may go down in my history book as monumental. It was the story of gymnast Gabby Douglas.
Gabby came from a single parent, single income family. Her mom funneled all they had, and even some of what they didn’t have into providing her daughter the tools and time to pursue her dream of becoming an Olympic gymnast. At the age of 12, Gabby studied the athletes as they performed at the Olympics through the screen of her television.
As we watched the coach, she decidedly declared, “He will be my coach one day. I want to go to the Olympics.”
Her family was speechless. How would they ever afford that? Through the years Gabby never wavered on her dream. She practiced every day and gave it all she had. She even had the opportunity to live with a sweet family and train under the prized Olympic coach she had dreamed of years before.
The Olympics were less than a year away. The stage was set for her to be there. All she had to do was perform well.
However the stellar performance turned disastrous. Gabby was ready to quit.
All the money, the coaching, the lifelong dream of being on the Olympic couldn’t make this decision for Gabby. She said she wanted to go home. She wanted to live a normal life. She didn’t want to be an Olympic star anymore. Because when dreams don’t look like they’ll come true, sometimes the easiest thing to do is pretend we never dreamed them in the first place.
In a heart to heart talk with her coach, he told her she was a gifted athlete. One of the best he’d seen. But going to the Olympics had less to do with natural ability and more to do with inward strength. She had to choose. She had to believe in herself.
The high uneven bar routines were her weakness. She practiced over and over again with no success.
Then her coach said something like this:
“Don’t think of the bars as a release and catch, release and catch. It’s all one unit. You are a talented gymnast but you have to own this. You have to believe it. You have to believe you can do this. You possess the ability. Reach out and grab it.”
I immediately thought of my writing. I can think of blogging as going from bar to bar – catch, release, catch release. Think -Write – Post – Think – Write – Post. But it’s all one unit. It’s called writing.
I am a writer. I’m not just someone who likes to write here and there. Writing is how I process. Seriously, if I didn’t write, I think I would explode or drive my husband crazy!
In the span of eternity, my life is a pen mark. I want that pen mark to be full of words. Words that say my God – Jesus Christ is real. He speaks with me. He leads me. He loves me. And, He loves you. He wants to lead you. He longs for a two way relationship with you.
But through this writing and blogging journey I’ve been disappointed at my “results”. I have been believing in God’s ability to do with me what He wants, but I haven’t believed in me. Through that movie I heard the whisper, “If you believe in Me, then believe in you, because I am in you. I believe in you.”
Tears spilled down my cheeks at that realization.
Writing for me doesn’t depend on who reads my words and who doesn’t. My stats don’t decided if I’m a writer or not. They may decide how popular of a writer I am, but they do not define me as a writer.
I am choosing to own this thing called writing for what it is. A part of me. It’s not something that’s separate from me that I have to put on. It just comes out.
Just like Gabby, we have to own things in this life or we will quit.
Think about it…
How sustainable is eating healthy because your friend is doing it?
Or reading the Bible every day because that’s what someone expects you to do?
You’ll never do it consistently. If we do things for external reasons, we will quit.
Instead, these things become an effervescent bubble of activity that starts somewhere deep in my toe nails and grows and grows until it comes out my mouth or through my fingertips. I’ve owned it. Now no one, no thing can take it away.
I hope to be a great writer. But I hope to be a great writer because writing is a part of me, it’s what I do, regardless of who and how many people follow me.
Yes, I will still work on the techniques. The images, titles, videos and plug-ins that make a blog site really pop.
But I hope to still be a great writer in 40 years and not fizz out like yesterday’s flat soda. If I’m still breathing in 40 years, I’ll still be writing.
So I thought this site was more about you, the reader, when in fact, if my husband and my mom are my only followers, I’ll still be here. Still be writing and posting, writing and posting, because it’s a part of the whole of me and I’m not complete without that piece.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for commenting, for sharing, for liking. Forgive me, but I’m not real good at social media. I try to stay in the right hand lane of this expressway. Please don’t run over me. Feel free to pass me if you like going faster.
I post a lot of words here. Don’t feel like you have to love them all or read them all. I hope what you read encourages you. I hope you come back. I hope you join me in this journey called life that I happen to love recording.
7 thoughts on “Results Matter but Don’t Define: Why I Write”
Enjoyed your post. Yes, that should be the reason you write – because you are a writer! Your heart and soul and mind say that – words need to be written. Expressed beautifully I would say.
I appreciate that! Thanks for letting me know you stopped by. Hope to hear from you again.
Good for you! This has helped with lately -“Look closely at the present you are constructing: it should look like the future you are dreaming.”
I love that Suellen!
Julie, when I first met you, I saw right away you had a lot of wisdom. (Remember that first Women’s Bible study at Tammy’s house?) Today you are still showing and sharing words of wisdom. This writing life isn’t easy, but we write because there is something within us that says we must write. And I believe that God will lead and direct those to you who need to hear what you have to say.
Blessings and love,
I appreciate that Joan. Really do 🙂
So great! I share the same perspective as you. I don’t know about you, but forgetting about stats and followers and clicks and likes, has actually given me freedom and allowed my writing to feel more free. I write more and more often when I’m not worried about the numbers (I can’t remember the last time I looked at my stats page). Like you, though, I do put forth my best, utilizing good technique the best I know how, so if/when people do read, they’ve enjoyed their stay.
Such great insight here!
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