i wanted to write my “i quit the internet” post wednesday night.
i read a post from early this week and the post was fine, but one of the comments made me feel about an inch tall on a good day. it said, essentially, people who blog for platform and have nothing to say will get nowhere and people who blog because they actually have good things to say will be successful.
i scrolled past this comment like it was nothing but i can’t stop thinking about it.
my neurons fire that what was commented isn’t true but my heart just isn’t pumping that message to the rest of me.
i’m diving deep into these words by addie zierman:
[W]e live in a world where it matters if you tweet and publicize your work. Where numbers mean something to someone somewhere. In this noisy world, if you want to publish a book or make a record or sell a painting, you have to work for it. If you want to create a successful business, you have to market like crazy…
It’s true that songs are meant to be heard and words are meant to be read and paintings are meant to be seen, and it’s okay if you want your work to mean something to someone. There is no sin in that; there is no shame.
y’all, i’m terrible at marketing. absolutely terrible. i’m not hugely strategic when it comes to this and when i listen to talks on branding and strategy i feel like i learn so much but to do any of seems extremely forced and inauthentic to me. i don’t know, judging by the clamp around my heart, if this is fear holding me back, or if it’s the Holy Spirit keeping me in check.
so this comment? it hurt, even though this person wasn’t responding to something i’ve written, doesn’t know me at all, and wasn’t directing this comment at me.
it hurt because although i have a readership for which i’m grateful, what she saw has been fairly stagnant in growth despite my investment in advertising and attempt to grow the blog.
it hurt because although i received a lot of exciting feedback about the unfurling, only a fraction of those people have purchased the book (and i realize there are a lot of reasons people can’t buy a thing the hot minute it comes out. please don’t read this as an indictment in any way!). i’ve given away more copies than i’ve sold.
and i think this hurt particularly concerning the book because i’ve heard from the people who’ve read the book so far how much it’s blessed and moved them, which is surprising and not all at the same time. but y’all? THAT’S WHY I WROTE IT. to bless and move us, collectively, as a body, toward Christ. and what made me most nervous about releasing this was i feared i would fail in doing that. but your words of affirmation have assured me the ambition behind my words was not too big, and the work to which i felt strongly that He had called me was indeed the work He intended me to do.
i told a friend a few days ago sometimes i hate writing and that i do it because i can’t not. it’s Jesus who compels fingers to keyboard because after i wrote my first novel in high school and realized how much work it was (to even complete just a highly mediocre draft), i stopped writing for about a year. and i think i realized then i didn’t want to be the medium through which the Holy Spirit did what only He can do.
but i don’t have a choice in this. because in my mind, when i claim Jesus, the only choice is obedience.
He’s compelled me to write these words, AND Y’ALL: it’s scary to ask this of you, but i’m putting fear aside and asking you anyway. but y’all? i think i wrote a stinking good ebook. the message isn’t mine and i marvel that the words are, but He was gracious to let me put my name as the author. and because of that, i believe fiercely in the words within, fiercely enough that i think you should buy it. because i think it could change your life, if you let it, not in a blaze of glory but in the still, small whisper that urges you to see another way.
i’m not asking you to love the unfurling. i’m not even asking you to like it. but i am asking you to accept the invitation to let it speak to you.
because i didn’t necessarily ask for this calling and the burden weighs heavy on me still to write and speak carefully what the Lord teaches me about living out grace and gospel. and so, for that reason, i still want to quit the internet but this is my solemn vow, as y’all are my witnesses, that i’m not, and i won’t.
in fact, i like to think of this as an unfurling of another kind, in which we set aside hurts to chase what we know to be true even though we don’t feel it. it’s the hard work, but it’s the good work. and if you, too, need to confess a hurt you’re carrying that you know in your head not to be true but can’t quite make your heart believe, then sister? lay it down in a comment or an email and i will grieve and pray and look at Jesus with you.
because the community He’s set before us is that kind of people and His potential for redemption in us and our stories is straight unlimited.