(This post also appears on gloryannaboge.com.)
I woke up at about 1:00 AM with a long night of tossing and turning. The fan droned in the background as my thoughts just wouldn’t stop. I had started to feel it a few weeks back. This feeling of always being unsettled. It was like I couldn’t breathe. I was questioning myself. Worried about what people were thinking.
As someone who likes to write and put it out there on the Internet in hopes that it reaches someone and meets them where they’re at, you are always running the risk of anxiety. Worry that someone will misunderstand what you’re trying to say. Worry that you’ve said too much about your perspective that you end up crossing the line of someone else’s privacy. Worry that you sound, well, like a jerk maybe. Judgmental. Whatever it is, you worry about the representation your words bring to the table.
Worry that you might lose yourself in the process and start writing for your audience instead of yourself.
At 1:00 AM in the deep of the night I had lost myself. Lost myself to a world that I slowly walked into.
When I started blogging, I knew that this was something God wanted me to do. I had made a big transition in my life going from a teacher to a stay-at-home-mom and I saw writing as an outlet. I saw writing as a way to still “teach” others one might say. I saw writing as a way to encourage others in their relationship with Christ. It didn’t matter if you were a mom or dad or aunt or uncle. What once was a vision to write to edify others, became a morphed road that I hijacked. God showed me an opportunity and I grabbed it with greedy hands and let it devour me.
In the middle of the night I was starving to know why I was empty without any of the peace I had once had when I started this little blog. Scenes started triggering my mind.
The first trigger came in a conversation I had with my sister. She made a comment about who my target audience is in my writing and she said, “Well you are writing towards stay-at-home-moms, right?” My response was that writings about my faith and walk with Christ could be for anybody. Later that night I couldn’t shake that feeling. The feeling that I had veered off what my original intent was with all this writing. I wanted to reach anyone in their faith. Not only moms, let alone stay-at-home-moms. Granted, God has given me this new role of being a mom, so there will definitely be times I write about that journey, but forgiveness? Grace? Those are for everyone. Looking over some choices I’ve made, my writing has become well, a little like tunnel vision and I feel like I am becoming blind.
The second trigger came when I got sucked into the bumpy road that is social media and started equating my writing success based on the interactions I would get via social media. God has opened my eyes to these sneaky, yet heavy chains and is growing in me about it. At this point, I rarely check my blog stats anymore and try to keep all social media outlets to a minimum. I use a post planner for social media as much as I can so I don’t have to actually be on it all the time. God has broken the chains in this department and His peace is starting to fill me up more. If you want to talk about losing your peace in a snap, spend too much time on Facebook. Let me just say, and as obvious as it might sound, life is not about likes. But that is another post for another day.
The third trigger came when I was cleaning up old photos on my computer and the original photo with my blog tagline popped up. It was only a few months ago, but in that time I had completely forgotten. I had chosen the name of this site for a couple of reasons. As we go through this life, we are constantly moving through the different seasons, and they happen in the blink of an eye. The baby that won’t sleep through the night? It’s only a season. The rough patch with your friend? It’s only a season. Not so much as in, “it’s only a season, get over it.” No, it’s like it’s only a season, slow down, work through it, or pause and enjoy it. Enjoy this season because it will go so fast. While I was pregnant with Asher, I clinged to Ecclesiastes 3:1
For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
Asher was 12 days late and this verse was the only thing that got me through that time of waiting. Knowing that everything happens in its time. Hence, my blog name was born.
What I didn’t plan for, was to let myself get sucked into a blogging world I wasn’t ready for. THERE IS SO MUCH OUT THERE FOR BLOGGERS. It is overwhelming. I soon became engrossed in approval addiction and statistics for viewership on my site. I slowly started writing differently, driven by these suffocating emotions. I sort of gave myself this “momblogger” identity that I hadn’t originally planned to be. I changed my website header, got rid of the Bible verse and started brainstorming like crazy over all these topics I could write about that would draw in the mom crowd. All the while, losing my identity as a writer. You would think as a mom, that writing about being a mom is a no brainer.
I have met some awesome mom bloggers and I have gained some phenomenal support from women in the blogging world. Unfortunately, I let some of these circumstances change my goal for writing. Instead of staying honest to myself and writing about what God was revealing to me in my heart, the raw, honest stuff about my faith, I started writing about the best way to cook homemade dinner rolls. Instead of writing about God changing my character as a wife, I started writing about the best baby food meals. Don’t misunderstand me. There is absolutely nothing wrong with writing about these things and I love reading about them and the world needs this stuff!! What became wrong for me is that I wasn’t writing about what I knew I should be. Writing became a struggle each time I sat down at the computer. Posting on social media became a task. The joy was slipping away.
I have realized that I haven’t been honest with you because I haven’t been honest with myself. I have been so busy writing to appeal to the masses at times, that I have lost site of why I originally started this. So, all of this to say that if you’ve been following me along this bumpy way, and have seen how I keep changing on here, well, I can’t guarantee that it won’t happen again, but hopefully you’ll see the real me continuing to emerge and it will encourage you in some way. Hopefully, you’ll draw closer to God in your relationship with Him.
I’m not in this to make money or some kind of blogging celebrity fame. I just want to write. I just want to stay honest to myself and be comfortable in my own skin. I don’t know if I’ll keep falling into the category of a #momblogger or #faithblogger or maybe #mombydaybloggerbynight.
Better yet how about a Child of the true God who writes for His kingdom.
I know one thing for sure. I will stay true to the calling God has placed on my heart right now and that is to grow closer to Him on this journey. Even if this writing gig is only for a season.
(This post also appears on gloryannaboge.com.)