Writing for the public is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Not the writing part, but the ‘for the public’ part. I’m a very private person. I keep to myself and don’t particularly like a lot of attention. I say ‘particularly’ because there are times when I do, but you know…if it’s good attention. Even then I can only take it in small doses.
Writers, who have a book out or want to be published, have to self-promote the heck out of themselves. ‘Look at me! Listen to me!’ Ugh. We have to build a ‘platform’, build a ‘following’ and (Lord, help me) speak in public (with a microphone!).
I get hives before going out in public. Clicking ‘Publish’ makes me nervous. Sometimes I write at night and schedule my blog to be published in the morning. Then I toss and turn all night and panic in the morning trying to catch it before it goes up. I do video blogs and never watch them once they’re posted.
I’m not good at it. Self-promoting. I think I’m failing at it. I want people to comment on my blogs, but I’m scared of what they’ll say. It’s a double-edged sword, because when they don’t comment I feel like I’ve failed again. I’m not writing for the comments, but that double-edged sword, …you know.
There was a time when I knew, for certain, that God called me to share my story and write what He teaches me. But, there are so many times when I doubt that. Times when I don’t know who is reading or if they’re reading at all.
My story is not an easy one to hear. It’s all about grace. It represents an uncomfortably (but encouraging?) heavy dose of grace. I don’t write so that I can say what everybody else is saying. I write to say what hardly anybody is saying. That means I say things that may be controversial. Or, maybe not controversial, but challenging. Challenging is not easy. Especially for someone who doesn’t like to be noticed and especially doesn’t like to be disliked.
I’m not an ego stroker. I’m not a networker. I’m not too insecure or shy. I’m just private and sort of reclusive. The more I put myself out there in writing, the more I pull back in public.
The way I deal with all of this is by trying to remember that God called me to something that is outside of my comfort zone. I don’t belong to myself anymore. I use the love of writing, the gift of literary gab, to blindly stretch my hands out to reach whoever I can. It’s rewarding at times and raw at others. If it’s not about me, then t’s about lining my will up through obedience even when it feels like it’s for nothing. Trusting it’s for something.
If you want something tangible to take away from my obscure little rant, then take that. More than likely, your calling will be something that takes you out of your comfort zone and makes you feel inadequate. That way God has plenty of room to move because you don’t know how. And half the time, you may not get to see what your work is doing.
I know I offered that up for you, but maybe it’s more for me. Hmmm.
I’ll work on my end to stretch out in this spacious scary public place (this post, for instance). What are you going to do in your own space?