Today marks my three year blogging anniversary!
Three years is respectable. In fact, my husband says he’s surprised I’ve remained so committed and passionate about writing after all this time. But I have to be honest, sometimes I feel like I’m lagging a bit. I’ve been writing forever and at this point, I’m convinced I was supposed to start blogging a lot sooner than I did. After all, I began writing in diaries in junior high. I felt a strong call to write for someone other than myself all the way back to 2003. I daydreamed about writing until 2010 when I bought a domain and got everything set up, but decided the blog I’d conceived wasn’t quite right. When I could no longer hold in the words, when I could no longer take the agony of paragraphs continually drafting in my head, I launched this blog, Divine in the Daily, on July 30, 2012.
It’s been a long road to get to this place. But the journey is just getting started.
I’ve noticed something in my beautiful circle of writers. Many writers my chronological age of near 40, 40, and just past 40 are far ahead of me. They’re published. They’re speaking. They attend ALL the fabulous writing conferences, are friends with ALL the writers in our niche, and regularly contribute on this site and that. I’m not published. I’m not speaking (heck, just the thought of that scares me). I don’t contribute on any site. I’ve attended one writing conference and will be attending my second this fall. And I have two to three handfuls of writers I would consider friends or becoming friends.
In the days leading up to this blogging anniversary, I’ve been thinking about who I once wanted to be as a writer vs. who I now know myself to be as a writer. It’s useless to compare myself to writers my age. It’s useless to compare myself to writers younger than me. It’s useless to compare myself to anyone for that matter. I’m not Ann or Angie, Jen or Jennie, Sarah B Or Sarah Mae. The beautiful truth is, God’s plan for each one of His creations is unique.
We attended a funeral for a 13-year-old girl this morning. Beautiful. Shy. Fun. Loved home, books and her family. Sweet Olivia. Why would God take His daughter home so soon? Why so young? Why?
As much as I would like to know WHY Olivia’s life had to end so soon, I don’t need to understand WHY. We don’t know WHY. But as the pastor said, it’s our responsibility to LIVE for OLIVIA, to trust that God has a master plan, a master design for each one of us and all of creation.
Perhaps I needed that funeral this morning, on the day that marks my 3rd blogging anniversary. God’s timelines are better than our own. Sometimes we don’t understand His plans at all, sometimes we want things to happen slower or faster, sooner or later than they do. But in the end, everything works together for our good.
So here I am. Faithful to the call.
That’s all I need to do. That’s all I need to know.
Now that I’ve gotten all the deep and heavy stuff out of my system, I’d like to celebrate.
3 years of writing.
320 published blog posts.
62 unpublished blog posts.
And YOU, my readers, my lovely, wonderful, caring, loving, understanding, wise and loyal readers. I am so grateful for you. Without readers, a writer’s words fall silent. Without you, none of this blogging business would mean anything. So thank you. Thank you dearly.
In honor of you who have faithfully read my words, I’d like to share my 10 MOST READ BLOG POSTS. Here they are, in order. Do with them what you may. Read the list, click and refresh your memory, or read them all if you have a bunch of free time on your hands this weekend!
- Dear Jamie: A Letter to My Childhood Friend
- Dear Denise: A Letter to My College Roommate
- Dear Rachel: A Letter to My Former Colleague, Mentor and Friend
- Dear Cyndy: A Letter to My Second Mom
- Meet Mick
- Meet Tiffany and Raegan
- In Which I’m Throwing a Belated Retirement Party for My Dad, Mr. Femling!
- The Apple of My Eye
- Dear Eli: A Letter to My Son’s Swim Instructor
- Dear Grandma: A Letter to the One Who Made Her Mark
As you can see, my Letters to the Unthanked series has been an incredible hit. I believe in the power of a well-written, heartfelt letter. So much so that I’ve been seriously pondering a long-term “letters” series. I have a couple ideas in mind, but don’t anticipate starting anything until November at the earliest, maybe after New Years.
And now, to conclude this most random of posts, I would like to answer two questions you left for me about writing and blogging!
Question #1: Do you care what people think of your writing?
Ummm…yes. I definitely care what people think of my writing. Thank you for asking. Writing this blog has forced me to address my people pleasing tendencies.
I totally want you to like my writing. I totally want you to LOVE my writing. When people “read your heart” and read it often, they begin to understand WHO you are at your core; this puts you in a continuously vulnerable position as the writer. So I love it when you read and relate to what I’m writing. I love it when you comment, when you let me know my writing inspired you or moved you or touched you somehow. I do care what you think about my writing. I want you to like it. I want it to help you. I want my writing to help you realize you’re not alone in whatever you’re facing. I want my writing to impact your life.
But in three years of blogging, I’ve also realized that I can’t please everyone. If I sat and obsessed about your response every time I pressed publish, I’d be paralyzed and would never share a thing. People don’t always think the way I think. People don’t always care about the things I care about. Sometimes I write stuff that’s too crazy deep and sometimes people think I’m sharing too much. Sometimes I just need to write for myself, and sometimes I need to write for a niche audience who needs to hear a particular message. And then there’s the whole busy factor. People are busy. People don’t have a lot of time to read. People have hundreds of posts to choose from as they scroll through Facebook, Twitter and email. Sometimes I wonder what people think when they scroll past my post and choose not to read, but honestly, it’s not worth the obsession.
Whether a post is a huge success or barely anyone reads, I do care. But I can’t care too much. I am learning to trust that the people who NEED to hear my words on any given day will HEAR THEM. That’s all that’s important.
Question #2: What is your long-term goal for your blog?
This question is BIG! While I’m quite transparent about most things on the blog, I guard the specifics of my writing dreams closely, so I’d like to share the big-picture, long-term goals without going into great detail. Here goes!
- Maintain this space as a creative outlet for me to express and share beautiful, relevant and honest writing that comes from my heart. I need a place to write. I enjoy blogging. And I appreciate the dialogue and connection blogging provides. So I might as well write here, right?
- Maintain this space as an opportunity to serve others, to reach out to others, to help others realize they’re not alone in whatever it is they’re facing, to engage in important dialogue, and to build authentic relationships with readers. One of my biggest dreams for this space is to use my writing to advocate for those whose voices need to be amplified not only in the USA, but in Haiti, Africa and around the world as I’m called.
- Further develop and refine my writing so someday I have the possibility of becoming published. Yes, the answer to this question wouldn’t be complete or honest unless I admitted that I would like to be a published author someday. Perhaps that’s a surprise to some of you, perhaps that’s not a surprise to others. This is obviously a BIG goal and one I’ve spoken very little about on this blog or in real life. I guard the details of this long-term goal closely as it feels incredibly vulnerable, unsure and unknown. But a post is planned for September that will reveal next steps for my writing. So keep an eye out for that!
I do believe that’s more than enough for now, friends! It’s been a delight to share these random insights with you today on this 3 year blogging anniversary. Thank you for reading and for listening. This post has been a work in progress, spanning all summer day long as I’ve been able to write in bits and pieces, 9:00 a.m. all the way until 11:00 p.m. Good night and good morning, friends. Have a great day.