Lessons from One Year of Blogging

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Ha! I’m a dork. And really bad at selfies. I about melted an entire birthday candle trying to get a decent picture and this is what I end up with…

Happy 1st Blog-a-versary Hope Perch.

One year ago, I published my first post. I’ll never forget those nerves. Starting a blog was one of those “bucket list” items that I would get to “someday.” But really, why blog? There are millions upon millions of voices out there. Did the online ocean really need one more? So many fears swimming in my mind. Vast over thinking before I pressed publish for the first time, and then shared the weird ways my mind works and my relationship with God.

If I’m anything, I’m real so here goes… I still have days where I wonder why I am doing this. Maybe the traffic to my blog has gotten a little quieter, or I’m waiting on a response from an agent and I’m wondering if the doors to publication will ever open up for me. Why blog? Why write fiction when the market is saturated with fantastic writers? Is this really worth my time when I have so many things in life vying for my attention? Is this a worthy pursuit? Is my voice heard? Is it needed?

Two things ground me when the over thinking starts. The first is this: God. He speaks to my anxious little heart and reminds me that even though my words are being sent out into the world, they are meant for me. It is a big way I worship and connect with Jesus. Through characters, storylines, and revisions, I see the way He is refining me.

When I look out of my window and see a ray break through the clouds, I hear Him call me out of my perfectionism. These words are important whether anyone reads them or not. If every novel I write draws me closer to God, whether they have any readers at all, they have done beautiful work. It is time well spent. With every post on Hope Perch, I am opening my heart in a new way to the beauty of God’s love.

The second thing that grounds me is hearing from my readers. Affirming words from readers have astounded me. Maybe it was hearing secondhand about a reader that was so far out of my “target audience” that I know only God could have brought this post to that particular reader. Or when someone tells me they’ve been thinking about a post I wrote long after I had published it. It blesses me immensely, not because I’m some incredible writer making an impact. I’m humbled God would use me and my words to do His work. As a conduit to not only work on my heart, but the hearts of people surrounded by information and opinions. In the midst of so much, God saw fit to use my words to quiet the noise if only for a moment.

What’s new for my second year of blogging? I still want this blog to be a place of rest and contemplation about God’s love for His people. I want to encourage people to draw closer in their relationship with Christ. I would love to have shareable news on the publication front this year. We’ll see what God has in store.

Most of all I plan to let go of the pressure I too often place on myself. It’s this invisible compulsion to strive for perfection. Perfectly on schedule, and perfect content. I want to let go of that. Not the quality of content, but the anxiety I create for myself. To do that I must trust Him more, and rely on myself less. I must pray more, and submit to God the doubting voice in my head. God is always speaking. My job is to listen. My job is to release my grip on the fear of failure.

Again, thanks to all of you who have been a part of this writing journey whether you are a weekly reader, or you’ve read one post. Thanks for coming to my little corner of the world. Dare to do what God has called you to do, even if you feel a little crazy doing it. What if what He wants you to do is more about letting Him transform you than your “success?”

The weekend is almost here! Hang in there friends!

 

 


7 thoughts on “Lessons from One Year of Blogging

  1. Congratulations on one year!

    I suppose when I think of why I blog, there is really only one question to ask. Do I plan to monetize my blog? No, I do it for fun. A passion project I call it. So as long as it remains fun, I would continue to do it. Writing for me, if viewers and followers come with it then thats wonderful. Feedback is important.

    Again, congrats and I hope I can hit the milestone next year 🙂

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    1. Absolutely. Write for the love of writing! There is nothing more wonderful than enjoying the writing journey where ever it goes. I have certain writing goals, but the minute the goals take precedence over writing itself, the fun fades. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy 1st year, Amanda! It’s so nice to meet you. Thanks for visiting my place and saying kind words to me there. And I totally get the whole perfectionism thing. It slows me down in so many ways, though I’m learning ever-so-slowly to let it go. Also love that you want your motivation to write here be for yourself. Yes! So much of what I’ve gained from my blog has been refinement in my heart and life, not to mention, in my writing skills. Makes it all worthwhile and then God blesses us on top of that when we impact others! Thanks for sharing, my friend, and I hope to keep on seeing you in the blogosphere in the days ahead!

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