I’ve been thinking a lot about writing lately. A. Lot. I’ve always enjoyed it in its various forms.
Notebooks (the more grown-up version of the diary… or at least I thought so!)
Writing papers in school (yeah, I liked that, too)
Writing freelance standardized test questions (yes, that’s a thing!)
I still journal; putting pen to paper is how I enjoy spending time with Jesus; it’s how I communicate my thoughts and prayers. Blogging has been more of a side hobby for a long while; there would be months when I didn’t blog at all. Once our adoption process began I started writing and posting because I knew I would want to be able to go back and remember that year of being in process for our daughter. I also wanted to keep friends and family in the loop and ultimately be able to encourage others that were in the same place we were, or those who are a few steps behind us.
Since coming home with her I’ve continued to write because it’s been what has just needed to be done… like I HAD to write. As an added bonus, blogging has allowed people to follow along and understand what I often fail to say with spoken words. With a few quick keystrokes, whatever I’m thinking about, working through, or celebrating can be shared with those who want to understand where we’re at. This little blog of mine has given my introverted self a way to share with others in a way I never would have before.
A few months ago I agreed to commit to a year of writing monthly posts for No Hands But Ours. The story of coming to that particular “yes” is one for another post altogether, but it involved a lot of prayer, and a realization that the Lord had been preparing me for the “yes” long before we even got home with our daughter in February! When I said “yes”, writing became more than just a “whenever I feel like it” kind of thing because I now had a commitment to fulfill! I know there is much grace among my fellow contributors, and if a month goes by when I feel I have nothing to write, it will be okay. There is still a sense, however, of, “I said I would do this, and I need to follow through”. It’s all about maintaining a healthy balance between my Type A preference to get-things-done-regardless-of-the-consequences and grace.
I will confess, I’ve really enjoyed having the deadlines! I know that even if I don’t have time to write for my own blog, I will make time to sit and process/write for No Hands But Ours. Having this more public place where the things I write are read has made me think about writing in a new way:
I know there is a purpose (oh what I would give to be able to peek onto the drawing boards of God’s great plans for me!)
I know why I’m doing it (it’s a step of obedience).
I know that the Lord gives me what I need to say and write every month… He is so faithful to provide.
I wonder… Is this the start of something big?
I wonder… How do I do this without being prideful?
I wonder… Will this be a long-term THING? Is writing always going to be a part of my life? Why this, why now?
Some of the questions are just curiosity about the future, and that’s a part of me that is learning to trust the Lord’s plans for tomorrow and live my life today. Some of it is doubt about who I am as a person, and I know those little whispers are the Enemy trying to discount anything that God may be doing in me. Some of it is desperation to be more like Christ, and wanting this corner of who I am to be more like Him, too. Regardless of where this is going, for right at least the next nine months I know that for the now I’m excited to be where I am, and I want to be intentional about where I am. I’m not ready to say, “I’m a writer”, but I am a person who likes to write. I have a friend who definitely calls herself a writer, and I admire that about her. Funny thing is that I’m training for a half-marathon right now, even though I am SO not “a runner”. Another friend of mine once said that “if you are out there running, you are a runner”. I guess the same should apply to writing, but for some reason I’m just not there yet.
Back to being intentional! Here are the objectives I am aiming for with my writing…
1. To be real. I want the things I write to sound like me. Like, if we knew each other in real life and we could sit and have coffee together you could read the things I write and say, “I could hear you saying that”.
2. To be genuine. I want my emotions to be real with you, even in the hard things.
3. To be willing to go THERE. Wherever “there” might be.
4. To glorify God. Less of me, more of Him. Always.
5. To be coherent. That means not just blabbering away via text and then hitting “publish”.
6. To be intentional. About glorifying God, about being real, all that stuff mentioned above.
7. To serve others through what I write. Maybe it looks like someone feeling like they’re not the only ones walking through *fill in the blank* emotions. Maybe it looks like someone being encouraged by these words. Maybe it looks like … I don’t know… God has a funny way of using me in ways I could not have ever imagined!
To meet these objectives I will try to (but if I fail have grace for myself!)…
* Write more than I publish.
* Wait a day or two before I publish anything.
* Find time to be by myself to REALLY think… about life, kids, family, whatever is stirring my heart.
* Allow my heart to be stirred! It’s so so easy these days to live in neutral mode, just making it through the day. I’m got loads of grace in my back pocket for those days, but I don’t want to completely turn off my mind. God has big things even in the middle of the crazy, yes?
* Take time to edit things I intend to post.
* Take time to be intentional about praying over the writing.
* Find creative ways to track ideas or thoughts in the pre-writing stages.
* NOT CHECK MY “STATS” PAGE!!! This will be difficult because I’m always curious, not so much about numbers, but about reach. Which countries are people living in that happen to click on my blog?!? That is just fascinating, but it is also distracting at times. At least, for me it is!
I think that about wraps up this one for today! I don’t have any ambition of being a “great blogger” with a huge following. I really, truly don’t. But, I do know that I have a responsibility to be the best that I can with what I’ve been called to for this season. Here’s to that, and lots of good times ahead!