If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know that I love sharing stories. I have never been able to write stories of someone else so I usually write about myself. That isn’t as self-serving as that may come across. It is just that I share my thoughts and things that I know about. I know about failure and I know about success. I have experienced both on extreme levels. So, this week is no different, I want to share another small piece of my own story.
As I write this, today is my anniversary. Exactly 9 years ago today, I sat down to my computer to write my very first blog post.
Now, I realize I didn’t just say I performed my first brain surgery, or I decided to run for President. But for me, it was a pivotal day – one that I think will shape the rest of my life.
While I have always loved to write, I never let anyone know that aspect about me. But blogging? That was something different. This was where people would be able to see what you wrote. I’d never blogged before. I really did not know what a “blog” really was. I had no following to speak of. I had no way to know if people would find this website, or if they’d even read it. I even wondered if I’d run out of things to say.
What I did know is that there was a stirring inside of me, something telling me that tomorrow wasn’t supposed to look like yesterday. I’d ignored it for years, pushing it aside to keep the pain and darkness that had overcome my life for the previous 15 years or so.
Something told me if I didn’t move right then, another wasted day would become another wasted month – and another wasted year of my life.
Facing that empty screen, I have to admit, I was scared. I was doubtful.
But I wrote anyway.
And I wrote again the next day.
And the next. And the next.
Over the course of this blog’s life, there haven’t been many days where I did not write something. Some of those stories and posts have made their way onto this blog site. However, many articles and stories will forever remain drafts, never to be published. Not because they are not good stories, but rather because I am not at peace about revealing them for people to read. I am sure that on some levels, they contain my “best” writing. I have yet to fully understand why I choose to post some of the articles and some will be deleted when they close down this website after a long period of no activity or I pass away.
So I published and posted articles and stories, while I always say that, “I love to write, but I am not a writer.” I never say I am a good writer. Some of my posts are not bad and a few of them I would have to admit are pretty good. Many of them are just “ok” and a portion of them are horrible. I am always amazed that 9 years later, my articles have been read over 525,000 thousand times.
Blogging is not for the faint of heart. Writing one is hard. Most blogs fail after just a few posts because it does take an emotional toll on your heart. You pour yourself into it and sometimes people are not so kind while they stomp on your heart or your perspective.
I have had some great supporters of my writings and I have had some detractors. I have been called names and I have had my writings called, “A stain on the white shirt of society.” I have come so close to quitting a number of times over the years but I still cannot walk away from it.
I’ve met some amazing people I’d never have had reason or opportunity to know otherwise. Many of them have grown to be genuine friends – some of them an ocean away. Some readers even credit my posts with giving them the nudge they needed to launch out into their own deeper waters, which is the highest compliment to me.
But most of all – best of all – writing this blog had allowed me to feel more like “me” than I had in years.
I was going through a really dark period of my spiritual life when I started this blog. I was truly far, far away from God compared to where I had been most of my life. I was trying to find my way back and I just could not find a way to do that. I am sure that many of you know what I mean. You’ve felt it too. There’s a deep longing in each of us to discover our elusive “purpose” and to sit in the center of our life knowing that you are at peace in your relationship with the Lord. Little else feels as good as when you’re actually doing what you know you should be doing.
Writing has allowed me to find my way “home” spiritually. I made a choice that day when I started writing and filling that blank screen. I chose faith over fear. I chose action over apathy. I chose to fill the page, to write the first story. And you know what? Each time I write, I gain a little more peace than the day before.
Yes, I know, there are countless blogs growing faster and are much better than mine. I encounter better and more successful “real” writers on a daily basis. And when I compare myself to my colleagues and friends, I’m keenly aware that there’s a lot of road up ahead of me.
But today, when I compare myself to that guy facing that empty computer screen 9 years ago, it’s worth pausing and reflecting on how far he’s come. It’s something to celebrate. I wish I could reach back in time and whisper in his ear, “Go ahead. Do it boldly! You have no idea what a difference this will make in your life!!”.
Do you feel a stirring inside you – to become more, or simply different than you are? Have you ever thought about writing?
If you’ve tried to bury the feeling, but it only grows stronger. If you’re afraid of failing. If you think the sacrifice would be too great. If it seems unattainable, unreachable, ‘ungettable’…at least for you. If you wonder if it’s all just wishful thinking, like overgrown hope. And if it would be smarter to settle for what you already have.
Ask yourself this simple question. What if you’re wrong about writing your story?
Go ahead. Do it boldly.
My writings will never be read by millions. I will probably never publish a book.
But I’ve still got a story to tell.
I’ll write mine… you write yours, because you have no idea what a difference it will make in your life.