Writing is a passion of mine. It’s a creative outlet for me and allows me to process my thoughts and ideas effectively. But the question I’ve wrestled with for a while now is exactly why I write. There is so much noise in our digital world today. Bloggers are a dime a dozen. The number of friends, followers, likes, and retweets we get consume us every day on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It’s so easy to get caught up in the game and, in the process, get out of touch with reality. The world of social media drips with fakeness and everything within me wants to shut it all down. But to do this would be sticking my head in the sand and becoming out of touch with our culture, because the fact is that social media isn’t going to go away.
So back to my question. Why write? Just like any other blogger out there, I can easily become obsessed with the number of hits my blog gets. And if that becomes my motivation, I would prefer not to write at all. Far too many times I have found myself stuck in writer’s block because I’m more concerned with writing for numbers rather than writing for message. I read a very profound insight in a blog post by Ken Mueller: “When you chase numbers, everyone becomes a number. Even your customers are just numbers.” One of my greatest desires in sharing my writings is that I might make a small impact on another person’s life. But if I chase numbers, I begin to care less about impact on others and more about impact on myself.
I guess a deeper question I should be asking myself is why do I want to impact people? After all, isn’t that what all of us wrestle with at some point? The legacy we leave is truly how we make our lives count. Billy Graham observed that “Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives.” To me, the quality of life that he speaks of is through passing on the important things to others, and writing is one avenue I like to use to do that. As I ponder why I write, I find that the reason I write is because life is hard and I want people to know they aren’t alone, and ultimately I want to point people to life in Christ and to show them he cares about all aspects of life…not just religious life. There are discoveries I’ve made and lessons I’ve learned through my journey that have helped me become successful in my professional life and made relationships in my personal life rich and beneficial. It’s these discoveries I have made that I want to pass on to impact others and help them see that faith is more about relationship with God rather than a religion about God.
“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” (E.L. Doctorow) I can’t think of a better way to characterize my writings over the years. I enjoy writing about a wide variety of topics…leadership, faith, parenting, worship, relationships, and personal growth. I have struggled to find a consistent theme or a particular field to write about. What is my unique voice? After all, that’s what successful bloggers do. They have a niche and that’s what they write about. I’m beginning to see, however, that my niche may not fall within a specific umbrella but rather within the underlying threads that weave all of life together. I like what Anais Nin says about writing. “The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.” That is the space I seek to write in.