Blogging is a hobby I started when my kids were young, and sharing the happenings in our daily lives was a fun outlet for me. I didn't set out to teach anything to anyone. I wasn't trying to open the window to my perfect "neighborhood", as the name at the time implied (Mrs. Rogers' Neighborhood). I certainly wasn't trying to inspire anyone to decorate, cook, exercise, grow, or improve in any way, though I may have tossed those topics in now and then. I was just simply sharing whatever was on my heart or on my mind. Whatever was happening outside my windows, in the lives of my young children as they grew, and sometimes I would share personal situations if I thought it might spark another person's story. Sometimes I was the one who needed the insight.
My blog and writing have pulled me out of many dark days and times, whether anyone ever put their eyes on my words or not. In fact, I would make jokes on this blog that I was speaking to my one or two readers because my statistics were basically stagnant. Are you a writer if no one reads? Yes. I'm still writing whether or not anyone is reading, but that does need to change soon. I really do write to share!I remember being stopped many times on my way out of church by people who were entertained by or somehow supported by something I wrote. One young woman would always raise an eyebrow and say, "you always say what I'm thinking, but I'm afraid to say it!" Ah, yes, there were those types of posts too, where I just spoke my mind for fear it would somehow come out of my mouth or show on my face instead if I kept it to myself too long. I miss seeing the effect my writing had on people, and with the loss of church and many of those people from my life, it seems I am in search of a new audience, a new purpose, and it appears God is letting me know it is time to use my writing in a new way.
Writing can be cathartic and it can be very truth-telling. Some people won't be able to handle your honesty, but one thing I've learned is that just like everything else, we have a choice whether or not we want to accept what we've heard, seen or read from another. Another person's truth can be uncomfortable if you have not yet accepted your own. Another person's depth can be foreign if you are not ready to share what is inside of you. Sometimes it's very difficult to understand concepts that just have not applied to you yet and so we gloss over them, judge them, or sometimes even misunderstand. But the beauty of hearing something that makes us uncomfortable, something that makes us confused, something that we don't quite relate to yet, is that we are opening ourselves to learning, and that is always a positive thing. It is never a good thing to shut something out because we simply don't relate or understand. We lose the opportunity to gain wisdom, and we lose an opportunity to connect with another person, and we fail to realize our sameness and our abilities to help each other as humans.
As blogs waned in popularity with the arrival of facebook and other modes of social media, my voice became less and less significant to those readers. Easy come, easy go, as my dad would remind me. My dad was my biggest fan, I should say, having been the one who would not only read my blog each week, but would print them out for my mom to read. He kept my blog address written among the many "www.coms" on his computer desk. It always gave me a smile that my dad took the time to read what I would write. I always felt that my blog was a way for others to get to know me, and a helpful conversation starter. My dad was getting to know a whole new me by entering my world of writing, and it felt pretty special. As most writers will understand, we write better than we talk, and some of us are sometimes on the quiet and contemplative side. We let our stories do our talking for us. So when people stop reading, it's like they stop wanting to know who we are, in a way. Writers can be a sensitive type, you might say, and if you have a writer in your life, consider yourself blessed. A sensitive person with a thoughtful mind is a gift. A writer will often reach out to you in words rather than in speech, and when they do, they will say everything they've always wanted to say to you, whether that's in a few words or a hundred depends on how well they think you will receive it. Believe me, they will have thought about it more than you could imagine.
Some of you reading this may already be blessed to know my friend Norm Sawyer, whose 6th (correct me if I'm wrong. Is it 7 already? 8? 9? 10? He just keeps going!) book was just published, and I was honored and privileged to have been a part of that wonderful work! I have gone from being quoted in one of Norm's books, to being asked to write a foreword for another, and then being asked to include two of my blog posts in his latest book, Coming Out of the Swamp. (check out Amazon for your own copy of this and Norm's other books. Info will be provided below) Now what comes next? Norm has let me know it's up to me, but he is encouraging me to write my own book, as others have throughout the years. Though my father has been gone for 3 years, I know he would be behind this 100%!
With God's help, and a ready pen, I will see what the future has in store for my writing. I will pray for direction and follow where He leads. As with everything else in my life so far, it's not always where I think it's going! I do know I have a voice that is better heard through writing and I do have things to share that I believe will help others along in whatever journey they may be facing in life.
Thank you for reading! Be blessed!