So let’s get something out of the way, shall we?
It is safe to write about food and travel. Most people love both.
Yet food and travel only make up somewhere between 28% and 53% of my life. (I am still finalizing the numbers.) So there is obviously more of me to share.
Yet, I have agonized, hesitated, and dreaded maintaining a more personal blog that is full of my actual thoughts. It is less likely that people will love those.
Publishing my own material means no one else has reviewed it. No one else has approved it. No one has validated me and told me that what I have to say is good enough or relatable to others.
I could put something out there that is poorly written! I could say something I’d later regret! I could write something not themed well to my other posts! In my world, these things are terrible!
Submitting my writing to others first and waiting for the subsequent head nod has been a cautious way for me to write.
And for a person who feels slightly uncomfortable when people praise me aloud in front of others, it turns out I need that affirmation to feel like I am enough. For a person who generally does what I want instead of always following the crowd, I do care what people think.
The first time I had an essay selected to be published on a blog with a large, established readership, my elation gave way to terror as my run date approached. I had written about my feelings and then been crazy enough to send them off for all the world to see. Certainly the editors had read the whole thing, right? They said it was fine, but now people would actually read it.
What if people I knew thought I was dramatic or weak? What if people I didn’t know quit reading after a sentence or two, finding the piece superficial or trite?
Instead of my worst fears being realized, though, something amazing happened. Women began commenting on the blog post, saying things like “me too” and “I needed to hear this.” I nearly cried. (I actually cried.)
I hadn’t intended to write for my own good, simply to air my feelings. I wanted to encourage. I wanted to offer the slight relief that kinship and hope can bring when the heart is hurting. That small breath that momentarily relaxes your whole body when you’re tense and feeling alone, and then suddenly you realize you are not alone. And for a couple of women, I had done just that.
This is my leap of faith. I am trusting that God can use me to say something of worth.
“Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me.” John 15:4 HCSB