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The Battle Inside My Head

I miss blogging.

I don’t mean the fake blogs that are really quasi-authoritative websites on single topics that are supposed to make a lot of money based on keywords that people are typing into search engines.

And often written by people who have no real-life experience with that topic.

I’m not talking about that kind of blogging, the kind that requires tying my brain in knots and giving me eyestrain because I have to keep doing keyword research and writing dry, informational articles every day until I die of boredom.

I’m talking about real blogging. A web-log. A diary that you keep online.

“A record of performance, events, or day-to-day activities,” according to Merriam-Webster.

I’m talking about a blog with posts that are just as likely to entertain or share the writer’s heart as they are to provide helpful information. I’m talking about a blog where I share my life journey with my readers, where they can follow my personal growth and the changes I make in my life as a result.

Or where they hear about my frustrations, and can empathize – even feel relieved because they know they’re not the only ones going through stuff.

That’s the kind of blogging that I miss.

On the other hand…

…I love to write stories. I love to create lives for fictional characters, then get into their heads and see how they grow. I love knowing that my stories encourage readers.

And I know God has called me to write novels.

The thing is…

…writing a novel takes a month or two (or more) of consistent, hard work. It’s not something you can put down for a few days and then come back to and jump right in where you left off, because by then you’ve lost the flow of the story and likely forgotten important details in both the plot and the characters’ lives.

Writing a novel takes commitment.

And when you’re committed to writing a novel, it’s hard to find the head space to blog, as well. At least it is for me.

The battle

I know I’m called to write novels. Yet I also have a strong inner urging to share my life journey, as well. Is that not also a call?

I sense a “yes” in my spirit even as I write those words.

The thing is, if I’m going to take the time and effort to write, I want to know that somebody’s going to read what I’ve written. I know that people read my novels.

Most of the blog posts I’ve ever published? No one has ever read them. Those posts that do get read, I have no idea what most people think about them, because they don’t leave a comment.

No, “Thank you, this helped,” or, “I get what you’re saying, but I have this other opinion, and here’s why.”

People get what they want from a blog post, then go on their merry way, never leaving a comment.

Just like people get what they want from a novel, go on their merry way, never leaving a review.

(Which is fine if the book has garnered over 100 reviews within a one-year period, and that number is still growing. But when you enjoy a novel that has few reviews, or which is obviously taking a while to build up to a three-figure review number, giving it a review really, REALLY helps the author because it helps the book be seen by more potential readers. Major hint over.)

So the unspiritual, self-centered part of me would just as soon stay laser-focused on writing novels.

But when I do that, I eventually arrive to the point where I find myself right now.

I miss blogging.

Maybe the battle isn’t what I think it is

I’ve been thinking that the battle has been between blogging and writing novels. However, the idea of doing both brings me joy, and when I think about the issue clearly, I know I have time to do both without one having to suffer in quality.

I think, perhaps, the battle is with impatience and perfection.

If I have a project to do, I want to get it done yesterday so I can move on to the next thing. So if I’m working on a novel, I want to write as many words as I can in it every day so I can finish it as quickly as possible.

And if you’re either a perfectionist or recovering perfectionist, like I am, you want to know the rules of any and every game, and you want to follow them perfectly.

There are a lot of rules surrounding the writing and marketing of novels. There are at least as many rules surrounding the blogosphere.

If I’m following the rules of one to perfection, I can’t even begin to touch the other.

So it’s not a matter of novels vs. blog posts. It’s my approach to writing as a whole. My inner struggle has been following the mandates of the world vs. following the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Many years ago, someone gave me the following word of knowledge: “Emily, stop trying to fit in. God has called you out!”

I don’t fit into the traditional Christian mold. I don’t fit into the mainstream lifestyle. I don’t fit into the stereotypes of the modern woman.

And I don’t struggle with my square peg-ness in those areas.

So why, twenty years after hearing that word, do I continue to try to fit into the world’s mold when it comes to being a professional writer?

Because…I want somebody to acknowledge me as a success in a field.

Or for my monthly income to prove that success.

Yes, I know that’s “carnal.” But I’m being authentic here. If you’re without sin, feel free to start casting stones.

This mindset is also stressful. It strips me of some of the joy and peace I’m supposed to be walking in as a believer.

So right here, right now, I am making a pledge to you, my dear reader. Every day, I’m going to put my writing gift into the hands of Him who gave it to me and say, “Lord, what do I do with it today?”

Because the battle is not mine. Never has been.

I just was too stubborn and selfish to admit it.

Let me leave you with this question: what battle do you need to put into the Father’s hands today?

(If you got something out of this post, please tell me in the comments! 😉 )

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