BY: JANA GREENE
I was noting to my husband last week that my readership has shrunk. It’s not a numbers game, don’t get me wrong. I would much rather have a small readership that is touched, entertained, enjoyed by several people than have a large readership but crank out mediocre content.
Here’s the thing, though. Life is chock full of mediocre content. Life sometimes IS mediocre content.
I was considering this when my husband replied with, “Well you don’t blog very often anymore.” Which is the gospel truth.
The past few years, I don’t post at all unless I’ve had some kind of epiphany to share, or I’m low on hormones and need to vent, or I have something inspiring to say. Why have I gotten into that habit? What about when I’m not feeling encouraging and just want a safe place where I can share my heart, even when my heart is boring and uninspired?
WRITE ANYWAY. That’s when I’m happiest.
I can’t always wait until I in crisis mode to write. It creates a jamb where there should be flow.
This blog is nothing like the one I started in 2012. I was of the “super Christian” persuasion then, full of quoting scripture and doling out pat advice about “trusting the Lord,” If I had a particularly awful day, I would write sweeping tales of how it’s all going to work out because God is in it. What would people THINK of me, if I was 100% authentic and open about doubting faith? It might throw a kink into my Pollyanna-esque style of writing. There’s nothing “super Christian” about that!
It’s true, in that I believe ultimately God IS working in our best interest.
But truth is also looking around you and admitting the world is whack.
I’m a much different writer than I was when I started this crazy thing. I’ll never forget gaining 45 followers the first day and being incredulous that anybody would want to hear what I have to say.
And then there was that one time I went legit viral and got a quarter million hits to ONE blog post. I thought I may actually get to make a living at writing, but the truth is, I make zero money from writing. It is its own reward and I’m okay with that now.
Ten years ago, when I started this blog, I was chronically sick but we couldn’t figure out why. It took many years, many doctors, and many bouts with depression to find out that I have genetic conditions that will affect me the rest of my life. It explained SO MUCH about me since I was born – the injuries, the illnesses. But there’s no cure, and I think it’s about the time I found out my diagnosis that the Pollyanna fell away, little by little.
My faith took a beating too, but came out victorious anyway, if not in an altogether different way.
I told myself in the beginning, I would write honest, or not write at all.
It’s writing honestly about the fact that I’m losing mobility and I’m in horrible health.
It’s being truthful about mental illness struggles, without wondering what everyone “thinks.”
It’s about grieving losses that I told myself I should be “over” by now, and making no apologies for it.
It’s about celebrating little victories and sharing kooky, dopey little stories.
My dream when I write is that somewhere out there, someone I love (or even a perfect stranger) will not feel so damn alone. Because life is HARD, peeps.
If writing is therapy, as I’ve always espoused, then I should probably practice it more often. It’s my way of un-smooshing all my feelings down. So I think I’m going to try to write a little each day. (The “general public” is made up of one sweet, unique soul at a time, anyway.)
I hope you glean a little somethin-somethin’ by reading The Beggar’s Bakery. I am so very glad you’re here, and honored you’d take the time to read my work.
On this – the eve of my blog’s 10th birthday – I am making a resolution to write more. Even if it’s sub-par prose. Even if it’s about vapid, inconsequential things. Especially if I’m struggling and hurting. Especially then.
Thank you SO much for being a part of my journey. God bless us, every one.