This post was inspired by On Being a Writer by Ann Kroeker & Charity Singleton Craig and was written for an online discussion group about the book over at Kate Motaung’s place.
Chapter 6: SEND— Publishing What You Write
Ooooh, gosh. Publishing?!? Sending my work “out there”? To, like… real people??? I don’t know about that…
I had trembling hands and was in a cold sweat the first time I hit “Publish” on a blog post and emailed it out to a handful of my safest, closest friends!!! And I must admit: even though it’s been nearly 7 months of pretty consistent blogging… hitting “Publish” on the majority of all the posts I’ve written since then haven’t been significantly less stressful than that first one. I still get great anxiety and really have to pray and tune into God and ask Him to remind me of why I’m doing this almost every single time I choose to post something and send it out to my subscribers.
It’s a scary, weighty thing to me.
This business of letting my heart-in-writing lay bare for all the world to see has required a type of courage that I don’t remember having to tap into since I was a naive, insecure middle-schooler trying to navigate the unpredictable mean-girl-drama at my new school.
Honestly: if I didn’t fully feel God’s divine hand leading me to this arena, I would certainly not be doing it.
I have no desire to be well known, nor do I have any desire to tell anyone what to do with their lives.
And yet I feel God calling me to, little by little, share the words and the epiphanies and growth moments He’s given me so that others can be blessed or encouraged or affirmed in some way.
I feel inadequate. I feel lost sometimes. And I still wonder whether I should actually hit the “Publish” button on almost every single blog post I write…
Yet— because I feel it really is God who is calling me to keep my soul pondering and my heart listening and my fingers typing… I do it.
It is so stressful to me when I put something especially dear to my heart online or— worse: into someone’s inbox so that they specifically will see it!— that I literally have to pray myself through it. In fact, a month ago I took a 2-hour long hike and spent the entire time arguing with God about how I didn’t want to share one of my posts with a group of women I felt really strongly that He wanted me to share it with. After two hours of wrestling through it and trying to rationalize my way out of it, I finally resigned myself to “Okay, fine, God. I’ll do it. It makes me nervous and I fear how people might judge me or misunderstand me or be turned away from God as a result of what I’ve written… but I will trust that this really is You leading me to share this piece. I will trust that You have a plan to do some good through it— despite me and despite my flawed writing and imperfect communication. Ugh. Lord… let Your will be done.”
So, yeah: it’s scary.
But I’m doing my best to follow God step by step and go where He wants me to go— even if it’s nerve-racking and even if it takes me to places I might not choose if left to my own devices. And I’m doing my best to use discernment regarding what to write and how to say it and when to post it and when is something just for me and God to keep between us two.
All that being said:
I still don’t feel either ready or led to publish anything… yet. I do feel that something is on the horizon for my writing, but I’m honestly not sure what. Maybe it’s attempting an (in)courage post. Maybe somewhere else. I’ve always felt like there’s a book in me somewhere— I’ve felt that for at probably 20 years now. And I have hints here and there of what might be included in that book… but I still haven’t been given my specific marching orders from God yet. (And I’m in no hurry!)
So I remain faithful in the little things. I just keep loving my husband, loving and serving and teaching and training my kids, cultivating authentic friendships, reading books and listening to high quality teachers and speakers and world-changers, spending time with God and pursuing His will and direction for my life… and writing away here in the quiet of my bedroom. Just me, God, my Bible and my laptop.
I am finding God in these mundane, quiet places. And I am praying that He will let me know what to do and how and when to do it when the time is right. And I pray that I will have the discernment and the courage to follow His lead each step of the way.
Thank you, y’all! Thank you, Kate. I welcome your feedback!
What about you?
Have you sent any work anywhere yet? What goals do you need to set? What fears do you need to overcome?
Please feel free to share your comments or your own journey in the comment section below.