It’s not about me

Back when I started blogging, it was a blatant attempt to build a platform for my real writing. I want (still want) to have my novel published, and having a great platform, name recognition, web presence, etc., helps publishers see that yes, I am capable of marketing my book. So I decided to start a blog and, for a while, stumbled around trying to find a focus for it.

I’ve noticed certain recurring themes in my writing. Brokenness. Devastation. The need for restoration and hope—in ourselves, our relationships, our world. It’s reality. Your reality–and mine as well.

The blog became a reflection of me: the broken, sometimes desperate, manages-to-mess-up-the-simplest-things-in-life me.

To a certain extent, I don’t mind being vulnerable in my stories and blogs. (In person, it’s a different story.) I’ve got more than enough broken pieces to pass around.

I try not to pretend I’ve got all the answers or even most of them. I share my struggles, not as a person who has finished fighting, but as one still fighting, but with hope of victory. I know that others can relate, and I hope that through my writing someone will find assurance that they aren’t alone.

To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, I want to be the beggar telling other beggars where to find bread.

But I’ve started to wonder if I’ve become self-absorbed in the process. Am I glorifying myself—bringing attention to my weaknesses, becoming absorbed in my struggles rather than helping others in their struggles, trying to be the source of hope rather than the one who points to the source of hope.

Am I pointing others to God or to myself?

It’s a Catch-22. I have to be able to market my book, and by extension, myself. I have to find my target audience and get in front of them. But I also have to restrain my natural tendency to yell “Hey, look at me!” rather than look at others’ needs.

Where self-obsession ends, service begins.  –Rev. Jean F. Larroux, III

I don’t want to be absorbed in myself and forget my purpose in writing. It’s not about me.

It’s about pointing my readers to God … helping them think about him in a new way… holding out hope to them… reassuring them that they aren’t alone, that someone does care.

It’s not about me.

If I ever forget that, remind me, okay? Thanks.

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6 thoughts on “It’s not about me

  1. Hey Laura:

    I must confess I had dreams of building a base for my book by blogging. I have since abandoned that notion because after 6 months of blogging I only consistently get about 60-100 readers a day. That is hardly a base. What I found was it was a platform to be a witness. You never know the people’s lives that you will touch.

    As to my coaching service, I have had better luck by appearing as a guest on radio shows. In point of fact I have not gained any new clients from blogging. Still I know that I have helped people because even women have sent me notes of encouragement.

    So I must be about my Father’s business.

    Blessings on you and yours
    John Wilder

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    1. Holy moly, you get 60-100 posts a day! I think the most I’ve ever gotten is 57; I’m always a bit baffled by what posts people read and which ones they don’t. Since most of my hits come from Facebook, I sometimes wonder if it’s a timing thing: on some days/hours, everyone is on Facebook and sees it come through their newsfeed, and other times nobody’s there!

      You’ve got a great attitude about what the purpose of your blogging is. I’d love to say that I consistently write to minister to people but many times (especially when I see, oh, one hit a day), I forget that it’s not about me. I may never know if that one person was impacted by my words. Blessings on you, too!

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  2. “But I also have to restrain my natural tendency to yell “Hey, look at me!” rather than look at others’ needs.”

    Silly willy. How’s that Longellow quote go? “Oh mighty oak / grant me the wisdom / to see myself / as I am seen” Or some such.

    By boldly looking at yourself, you grant your less-courageous audience the ability to see reflections of themselves. Only, slightly removed, cognitively. Enough of a distance that they can say “Even though I’m eerily reminded of *my* doubts/insecurities/fears, I’m safely looking at *her* doubts/insecurities/fears.”

    Misery loves company, yes? 🙂

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    1. Okay, I’m not sure I’ve ever read that Longfellow quote; a bit pathetic, considering that I have a bachelor’s and a master’s in English! But that’s a great thought by Longfellow.

      I think you’ve hit the nail on what I hope I can do with the blog. I want be vulnerable so other people know they aren’t alone, and perhaps I can address their doubts/insecurities/fears in an indirect way by addressing my own. Like sneaking in the back door of someone’s house (only without being a burglar with evil intentions!)

      Thanks for reading, Michael.

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  3. Hey Laura:

    Well there is a method to my madness. I write frequent posts about sexuality and how to do it better. I also write posts about men women problems. The other thing that I do is post on Twitter and Facebook. I also visit a lot of sites and comment on them which brings in other readers out of curiousity. Still I don’t consider 60 -100 readers a day much of a base or following but I know that I have helped people because they have told me so. If we help one person then it is worth it

    I also repost other blogs on mine when they deal with my chosen issues and they tend to have higher numbers than mine which also brings in readers. I hope that my suggestions help.

    Blessings on you and yours
    John Wilder

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    1. Thanks, John-
      I’ve been to a marketing seminar (focused on fiction) and the leaders suggested many of the things that you’re doing. I do the Facebook “thing”, but I’m leery of trying to add Twitter to my already overloaded schedule; I’ve got at least a dozen or so blogs that I follow and comment on, though I don’t get many hits from those. Most of my hits come from my Facebook profile and I have about 260 friends, so there’s a limited number of people who see the blog come through their newsfeeds. I’ll have to see about Twitter and work on some of your other suggestions!

      Thanks a bunch!

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