Am I now trying to win the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of God. Galatians 1:10
After publishing my devotional at Christmas, I felt exhilarated . . . and then disillusioned. For so long, I believed that I could only call myself a writer if I was published with some measure of acclaim. Over the past few years, I have spent countless hours studying how to become a successful blogger. Armed with enough resources to do so, I still never fully implemented any of the strategies. I faced a disconnect between gathering knowledge and applying it.
Through an online writers group I belonged to, I began to observe other writers who were working so HARD to achieve that same measure of success. It became clear to me that this wasn’t what I really wanted after all. I don’t want all my efforts to revolve around self-promotion in order to validate the words I share. I’m not interested in writing more words than are necessary to meet an industry word count standard. So, I stopped. Had my writing just been a long, self-indulgent phase that had finally come to an end, I wondered.
Writing with Joy
Of course, I know better than that, and I am just starting to slowly, quietly consider how to begin writing again without letting it become an idol. I’m learning how to write because it gives me joy and blesses others. It doesn’t have to be my career or, worse yet, a measure of my self-worth.
A friend of mine recently spoke to this point. She shared how she had spent much of her life focused on going out and changing the world, only to recently find the satisfaction of tending to the small part of the world right around her. “I am a carpenter in my own home,” she said with pride, as she showed us pictures of the incredible loft bed/dresser combination she had built for her young son.
Hope for the Future
I don’t have all the answers yet. These words are actually a response to something I came across this evening. As I read this post, I realized I have felt and experienced much of what the author wrote about. It was a relief to see it put into words, as it clarified my current struggle and uncertainty about writing. She gave me hope that I could write again, without needing it to translate into something of monetary value.
Is there something you enjoy or are good at that you have felt pressured, either externally or internally, to monetize, rather than simply doing it for the fun of it or to bless others? I encourage you to read Molly’s post and allow yourself to delight in the gifts God has given you without feeling they have to be a measure of your worth.