I once thought that I could be a successful blog writer if I put out new content once a week. That idea came from other blogs I subscribed to. Those writers were publishing material weekly or sometimes daily. So, even though my writing was on a faith-based lifestyle and those other sites were fashion or food blogs, I thought that’s how it was done. Just write every week, and voila…success! Yeah, about that….
There was a lot wrong with my plan.
COMPARING APPLES TO RAINBOWS
Sharing my Christian walk was a good concept, and writing is a very healthy thing for me personally but using someone else’s templet for my project was akin to adopting their lifestyle as my own. It was skin that just did not fit.
Perfecting a recipe for the public, writing interesting commentary, taking gorgeous photos, and publishing all is hard work. And while some of the steps necessary to post my blog are similar, it is not the same job. If a food blog is an apple, instructive with tangible, reproducible products, then an inspirational blog is more like a rainbow, something that makes you stop and ponder. Both are excellent additions to life, but not at all equal.
WAITING ON THE RAINBOW
It turns out that rainbows only show themselves when the weather is just right, and not on cue like three square meals. For me to think that a vibrant kaleidoscope of light will appear every week ignores the weather elements necessary to produce it. There must be both rain and sun active to create the right atmosphere.
This is what introspective writing is like for me. The climate must be right for thoughts and words to come together in one flow.
I think about a certain nature photographer I follow on Instagram who puts himself in the right place to capture amazing images, but he’s not in control of the wild animals he shoots nor the lighting of the day. The single award-winning photo comes after thousands of shutter clicks taken over hours of waiting. He’s not lucky, he’s unusually patient.
Every day I too am putting myself in a quiet space, equipped with God’s word. But I am not in control of how the scriptures are going to interact with my everyday experiences. And that’s what I am trying to capture, the story of my life in relationship to the Almighty. Some days the words don’t come. Or I’m struck with inspiration while out and about, not poised over keyboard ready for dictation. Often conditions aren’t right and the rainbow elusive.
Unlike this National Geographic artist, I’m no professional. I tend to make work out of hobbies, or treat them with that kind of gravity, but when it comes down to it, I’m not willing to sacrifice my family life for the seclusion of writing. I’m perfectly content to write about the rainbow whenever it is I see one.
But that ruins the schedule of success if indeed success is defined by working consistently.
REWRITING SUCCESS ALGORITHMS
According to the algorithms of social media, consistency is the key to popularity. If you want to be seen, you must put yourself out there. Every. Single. Day. Networking is not negotiable, it is necessary. And while I admit to scrolling more than one platform every day, I struggle to want to be creating ads 356 days a year and selling the words that I write. There’s no success without hustle.
So, I find myself redefining success because as long as I use this weekly posting model as my goal while favoring time spent with others, I am never going to feel successful in myself, no matter how healthy my efforts are. Do I write just to satisfy the expectation or am I creating something worth the wait? Who am I trying to please?
I felt the Apostle Paul speaking to me on this issue in his letter to the Galatians.
“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.” -Gal 6:4-5 NLT
THE BLOG’S PURPOSE
Truth be told, I didn’t begin a blog because of my desire to publicly share my life. Or because of my love of writing and snapping pics with my iphone. Rather I was in a season of grief over the loss of a meaningful ministry, and I felt…well…meaningless. This blog was an effort to get back the purpose I had lost.
It’s the thing I did when I lost my thing.
And I really, really needed something to remind me that my life still had meaning and value and purpose.
Don’t we all, at times, need this kind of propping up?
What if Noah had placed his value in his years of boat building? What if, once inside the ark, the rain pelting, he no longer felt his worth because he no longer wielded a hammer?
Thankfully God painted a rainbow as a reminder of His love.
At the end of this post I’m feeling encouraged about what the past couple years of writing has done for me. I’m grateful for the feedback I’ve received from readers, that I’ve said things that ring true.
If you’re struggling to understand where you are and what you are doing with your time after losing your thing, be unusually patient. Behind those clouds, and beyond the rain the Light gathers. You have not become less valuable, nor your life less meaningful just because times have changed. Success in life is not about hustle or consistency, but about not giving up on the truth of your extreme value to God.