I have for quite a while had a bit of a ponder about what is best to share here, and actually on the internet in general. Blogging has definitely shown me how friendly a space the internet can be, but sometimes it all just feels a bit me-me-me. I struggle myself with seeing things on the internet and, even though I know better, comparing, or getting wishful or I-want-that thoughts about things which aren’t great. I want my internet use, both incoming and outgoing to be useful, encouraging, honest and vulnerable, yet it so often seems really difficult to draw the line between those things and things which are less helpful.
The night before last I dreamt I was in a debate about something, possibly writing, and in a last minute I-haven’t-said-anything-yet panic (true to many a seminar at university due to my introverted nature) I voiced an opinion about where you draw the line between writing from experience and writing to write, or something like that. It just so happened that the Archbishop of York was on the table we were debating on, and he seemed to be struggling with words to reply to me. In the end he said something about ‘not knowing what you were getting’ when reading my blog.
Honestly, I woke up in the morning and found it pretty funny. The fact that Dr Sentamu would be reading my blog in the first place is quite bizarre, never mind anything else. In a way it was a relief to get some open criticism in my dream, especially since he said it in quite an apologetic and gentle way, not wishing to offend. When I started writing this blog, I kept it quiet for a while. I didn’t post it on facebook, that thing I have a love-hate-hate relationship with, or tell my friends, and on the whole I was just writing to myself, not knowing if anyone was listening. Now I know people are listening, but sometimes I don’t know who, and whether I am truly using this space in a way that is helpful and useful weighs on my mind from time to time. Part of my initial secrecy was probably fear of being vulnerable, since I think, feel so much better through writing- and for people to be able to see inside of that seemed scary. It was also fear of changing how people looked at me, fear of judgment, critical or not. I’m older and wiser and I would like to think that nearly four years later I know that others’ opinions aren’t the be all and end all- there is really only one opinion that I want to care about, though that doesn’t come naturally all the time.
In a day and age where everything seems to need a niche market, a unique selling point and a target audience, I sometimes feel the pressure to do more, self promote, write more often, be more something. I genuinely don’t like how that feels. It’s not in my nature to stand in a room full of people and have everyone look at me- and I don’t really want that online either. Then I stop, and think, and I don’t know why I feel that I need to do more. It’s just the world’s lies telling me to work harder, be better, and what? The end result will never be lasting. I started writing because I wanted to write more, more of what was on my heart. I still do that. I am reminding of myself of this with other things too- I’m selling on Etsy because I love to create, not because I want more money or more numbers or popularity. That’s not it. I’m simply trying to be me authentically, through His grace the best version that God made me to be. I’m not out to satisfy myself by doing more, but to glorify Him through every thing, big and small. And I need reminding of this, often. Less me, more Him, in everything.
Further reading: Why I’m not a real blogger
A great post from The Tiny Twig about the only thing that brings real satisfaction- the one enough.