A blogger I follow recently questioned whether she should continue writing. It’s a question I’m sure every writer has at some point. Why am I doing this? What’s the point?
It doesn’t help that in the backdrop of those questions is a culture that idolizes success. Go big or go home. If you don’t have a zillion YouTube subscribers or Twitter followers, you have failed.
But what does that word “fail” actually mean in this arena? What does “success” mean, too?
That’s the problem. We don’t always know at the outset what our expectations are. Maybe when we first start, we don’t need to, but after awhile, we have to start asking ourselves what is motivating us.
I’m not going to presume what that is for you, but if you are a Catholic/Christian writer or blogger, or doing some other creative content, I may have some motivations in my own heart that translate to yours.
This is what keeps me and my humble Catholic blog going.
I Love It
I love writing. I can’t actually think through anything unless I write about it or talk about it. This was part of the reason I started my Wisdom of Pope Francis podcast. Delving into his teachings and inviting others to opine on them helps me think through the details of my faith.
I love creating something beautiful. There is an intrinsic satisfaction in creating a song, a post, or a YouTube video. That moment when I step back from what I have done and take in the finished product brings a sense of peace.
It’s silly, but I watch my videos at least four or five times after I’ve made them simply because I enjoy them. Sometimes, when I give a final proofread to a post, I’ll get this sense of fulfillment. I have spoken my truth into the world. I can die a happy man.
If you feel the same way, why stop?
The Small but Mighty Catholic Blog
The amount of people who imbibe my Catholic blog is on its way up but is still pretty meager. I thought of laying out here exactly how many pageviews I get and what not, but I decided against it. Suffice it to say, it ain’t much.
Does this bother me? Some days, yeah.
Think of it this way, though: every Catholic is called to evangelize one way or another (Article 900 of CCC). I don’t reach many people right now, but how many people would I have talked to about Jesus on a weekly basis if I didn’t do all this? The answer is pretty close to zero.
I mentioned in my previous post that some are not too happy with me promoting my content. But there are others who are encouraged. One commenter said that she would never pray the Our Father the same way because of what I wrote, which is, by far, the nicest thing anyone has said to me in the last week.
Is even one person being encouraged in their faith worth the effort of writing every day? When I love writing anyway, yes, it is.
I Get Better Every Day (and so do you)
Everyone sucks at everything they do when they first start. It’s a fact of life. Why would writing be any different? The more you do it, the better you get.
Does there need to be some indication you have talent for this? Sure, but if you love it, people are encouraged by what you do, and you have the time to give it a good effort, that might be your indication right there.
When is it Time to Quit?
All of those are reasons to keep writing, but when is it time to let go of your Christian or Catholic blog?
Again, only you can answer that question, but for me, I hope I would quit if it keeps me from fulfilling the primary responsibilities I know for sure God has given me. Is it keeping me from being the father I know I need to be for my children? Is my marriage suffering? Am I unable to pay my bills and racking up mountains of debt to pursue my dream/hobby?
Unless my passion can fit into the life I already know God wants me to live, I might need to set writing aside. As Christians, writing is not our identity. Our passion before anything else must be the pursuit of holiness. If I feel I have to trade one for the other, something is wrong.
I think, also, we need to consider that our talent in writing might be a more broad gifting for creativity in general. You might be a really great teacher, for example, or thrive in another field that gives you room to use your imagination.
My skills as a writer and ability to be creative came in handy when I taught in a K-8 school for a year. I had to do major lesson planning on a weekly basis. Nothing forces you to be imaginative and creative on your feet like a room full of bored fifth graders, and it was never dull.
Hours and Hours
In the end, those who press on with their blogs commit hours in front of a screen, wracking their brains trying to figure out what to say. If some day we find we don’t want it anymore, there is no shame in stopping.
But in the meantime, I can imagine worse things to do with my life than something I love.
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