I've always had trouble with blogging. Or I should say, continuing to stay motivated with it.
I love to write, and I definitely love to blog, though I would rather write fictional stories any day. But I just love the beauty of writing and the impact that words can have on somebody's life. Fiction or nonfiction. I like to read both, though reading and writing fiction is definitely my favorite, given the choice. I think both are awesome ways to glorify God.
I think one of my main problems with writing nonfiction is that I put way too much expectations on writing it. I never used to do that when I first started blogging. Granted, some of those posts were crap, and all I did was blab about stuff, but I always got my point across and felt so much better when I was done.
When I'm writing my fictional stories, I jot down lots of ideas, but only to get me thinking. I have an outline, but only to keep me on track. I mainly just write when I'm doing fiction. There's a quote that says something along the lines of how you can edit a crappy page, but you can't edit a blank page. And that's always how I've done my creative writing. I write even if I don't have any particular points to make, and I write even if it's absolute garbage.
So that's what I'm doing right now. Just writing. I think the best way to get what you truly want to say out there is to just say it instead of putting all these expectations on HOW you need to say it. That can go for about everything, really.
That's something I'd like to get better about doing on this blog. Just saying what God lays on my heart. No expectations. No using what everyone says is how to write a blog post. Because at the end of the day, I could care less how popular my posts get because of how well they're written. I think that has been too much of my focus when it comes to my writing career. And in doing that, I don't even do what I want to accomplish when I write: which is to write!
Sometimes, you just have to write. Maybe even with no ideas and no outlines. I've been doing that a lot lately. I haven't even been writing the book I'm supposed to be writing, and I'm learning that's okay. Sometimes, God wants you to get away from YOUR plans and do what He wants you to do. So I've been doing that in my writing. The funny thing is, I think some of my best, most profound writing has happened without me even trying.
That's the beauty of writing, and blogging is no different. I blog for God's glory. Not for readers. Not to be the best lifestyle blogger. Not to get a million followers on social media. I blog so that whoever reads my post, even if it's literally just a sentence, can get a spark of faith.
God will even use writing to help ME. There is something extremely liberating about just getting all of your thoughts on paper or reflected on your computer screen. Yes, of course one day I dream to publish a book, the one I've finished and many others. But even God has been speaking to me right there, too. Like, it's okay if I don't publish it this year. Or even the next. Because God showed me so much, revealed so much, even to ME through writing that book. And of course I want others to read it too. But all in His timing. Right now, I have this blog.
That hardly ever gets written on anymore.
Why? Because it takes me like five hours to write a post. Why? Too much PLANNING. That's why. Too much ideas. I love to read Christian blogs, but even that can be overwhelming because I think I need to blog just like a certain blog. For example, one blog I read is super intellectual. All of their blog posts are always about a tough topic, rich with Scripture. Honestly, they're like sermons. They're always probably a good 1,000+ words. You can tell those posts are carefully crafted and planned. Which I think is good. They have multiple great blog posts, and I've written some long, carefully planned blog posts too that have gotten positive responses.
And I've also written some short, sloppy, but also REAL and AUTHENTIC posts, right from my heart, no planning involved, and those have gotten the same amount of--if not more--positive responses.
I always wanted this blog to be what God is teaching me. I've wanted it to be extremely real and authentic. I never wanted to be the most intellectual blog but the most real, about life, about God, and about dreams. Like if I could sit down with you and eat fast food while you drank coffee or whatever (yeah, I do fast food: Arby's cheese sticks, Hardee's onion rings, Casey's donuts, NOT COFFEE), I wanted to keep my life real and, while telling you about my life, tell you about the main, most important thing in my life: Jesus. And how the Lord is working in my life.
One time, it was extremely evident how so much planning can wreck my creativity and just making things harder than they need to be. Writing is simple, really. It's a learning process. It's simple because literally all you have to do is write, and then you grow from there. That's how life is, too. You just live, and God will grow you. And that is what I want this blog to portray. Sometimes, I think I make writing--my books and my blog--WAY too hard. And here's one time that definitely happened.
I was working on a project. God had laid a massive amount of thoughts on my heart. I knew once I started writing this project the words would just flow. Well, then I didn't write it for a few months. WHY? Expectations. Doubt. I didn't think this project would ever go where I wanted it to.
Well, then I just kept feeling God lay it on my heart. Over. And over. And over. I knew He just wanted me to write it, regardless of what happened to it. So one day I did set out to write it. The problem was by that point I'd read multiple blog posts and had so much expectations placed on myself for what I wanted to say. When I wrote this, I had a book opened, blog posts opened, the things I thought would help me say what I needed to. I wrote this project, carefully and extremely deliberately picked through what I did and didn't want to include (like, every sentence had to be taken into consideration and edited before I could even consider putting it into the project). And I liked what I had when I was finished.
But then when I got to be thinking about it, I still had more to say. So much more to say. What I had written was good, but it was also generic, and there was nothing personal, unique, or authentic about it. It was extremely traditional. Any Christian could've wrote it to anyone.
Which was NOT what I wanted. I did NOT want it to be a traditional, generic project. I wanted it to be real so that it could authentically speak to someone's heart because the people it was intended for didn't need to hear religion or tradition. Yes, they needed to hear the Gospel, but in a real, personal way. They didn't need the project to be something that could resonate with just anyone that read it, but they needed it to be specifically for them. That's what I want to do when I write. Make a personal, real connection with someone that God orchestrates.
I decided, thankfully, to rewrite this project. No blog posts. No book. Just my honest thoughts that God laid on my heart. And it was exceedingly better than the first time I wrote it. I want the people that read it not to think it's some traditional thing I'd say to anyone because I feel like I have to. I want them, when they read it, to hear how I carefully wrote it for them because God laid it on my heart, and I CARE about them and their circumstances. I want to do that with this project, on this blog, and definitely in my novels.
I care for each one of you and your circumstances, and I want to write like that because I care. That's why I started my blog. First, because God laid it on my heart to. Second, as my heart continued to fill with love for God, my heart filled with love for His people. Especially His lost people. I know God cares, and I care because of that. Third, because God has revealed much to me over the years. He wants me to write about it so that He can keep planting seeds in the lives of people who see no hope, no reason to believe in God, whatever your circumstances are.
I know that one day I will die. My books, if they ever get published, and I believe one day they will, will eventually go out of print. It won't matter what I said.
But how God works through me and my writing, the works He's beginning in people's lives because of that. . . . That won't die. So that's why I write, why I need to keep writing straight from my heart, what God reveals to me.
You never know where your spark may fall. You never know who sees the light of you being a sparkler. But God does, and He will use you (Philippians 2:13). So let's stop thinking about how our posts need to be by the world's standards and more how God wants them to be. I really don't think God cares how long my blog posts are, the style they're written in, the format I choose, how many images I put in them, what images I choose, etc. What He wants is for me to write boldly, truthfully, lovingly, personally, authentically, for His glory.
He can reveal more to me in the future. He can work with my weak blog posts and strengthen my knowledge and writing skills. But He can't do anything with a blank post.
You don't have to be perfect to be a light. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you, and then go. God will give you the wisdom, grace, and strength you need for each day (2 Corinthians 9:8). When you mess up, He'll guide you back to where you need to be (Psalm 32:8). He can use a person passionate about telling others about Him, even if they don't always do it perfectly. But how can He use you if you don't even try?
Stop relying on your own strength to write, live, whatever it may be. Let God guide you, and let it come. When you submit to Him, He will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). So just write. Just keep going. Keep loving God and living for Him above all, and everything that you do, He will direct.
After all, you never know what He may use in you to be a spark for someone else. And that spark, by His power and grace, may just save someone's life.