|“Cup of Java” © SCM|
For nearly twelve years I had a blog called, Grass in the Backyard. I started it shortly after the turn of this new century when most writers used blogs as their way of getting themselves known and finding a niche on the Internet. I would post very faithfully for a good number of years. It was a fun time for sure. I had a number of followers, but not thousands as I really wasn’t that focused on that aspect of blogging. As time moved on and other avenues of distraction took over, it became hit or miss after a time. I would have spurts where I would faithfully post nearly everyday, and then there would be times when I would go weeks, even months, without posting. Such is the life of a blogger. Now Facebook and other social media have taken prominence and blogs are kind of fading into the woodwork (or is it The Cloud). There is a lesson I learned from all this.
A little over a year ago I got into what I call a “blue funk” and flushed my blog down the tubes. I was struggling with who I was as a writer/artist and why I wasn’t as successful as I should be. My books or art weren’t selling as I thought they should. I thought no one really cared one way or another about my works or me for that matter. It was a time when I really didn’t want to be a writer/artist.
“Maybe you had writer’s block!” Is there such a thing as, art-block, one might think.
That’s a good point and I considered it for a while. Finally I was able to shake off the “funk” and get back into something new and fresh. With this new inspiration I started a new blog. That lasted several months before the arch villain, the “blue funk” came back, whispering in my ear.
“Nobody cares what you write!”
“Your books aren’t selling!”
“You call that art?”
“Your art really isn’t as good as it could be.”
“Give it up, because if you were good, you’d have thousands of followers.”
On and on the harassing words kept coming, and finally I couldn’t take it anymore. So, I flushed that new blog down the tubes. It went this way for a good number of months, back and forth between the accuser and the desire to keep writing, to keep doing art. Needless to say, at least five blogs were started and five blogs got flushed.
Sad, isn’t it? Perhaps I was having a mid-life crisis and didn’t know it.
After much contemplation, I was reminded of an old journal entry from October 2013. Five years ago as I write this new segment! Amazing how words from the past can come back to remind you of what’s important and what’s not.
This is what that journal entry said in part:
“Too focused on stuff. Now, once again, I’m trying to journal and all the same things come to mind.”
“What are those things?” one might ask.
I think two words sums it up – lack and comparison. For a long time I’ve been focused on my lack (finances, right job, success as a writer / artist, etc) to really see what my life is. I was trying to compare my life to other writers and other artists. I looked at their successes, where they were with their blogs, Facebook friends and sales reports. I measured myself against them and felt I didn’t add up to their accomplishments. Why was I failing? Perhaps I really wasn’t good enough. Perhaps I should just quit.
But then one night, the Lord brought to mind that journal entry and told me that my life is my life and I don’t need to compare it to others or try to mold my life by what others think. My writing and my art is just that MY WRITING AND MY ART. It is how I interpret things and put that interpretation down on paper or canvas as I see fit, not as Author Jane Doe or Artist John Buck, but as me, the creator of the works the Lord has given me to bring forth. The creation of my hand is what I’ve been given from The Creator of All Things as He breathes it into my life.
We are individuals with our own unique way of doing, viewing and living. I am me and you are you; don’t try to be me and I won’t try to be you.
There are a few key factors here:
1. My life is my life.
2. I don’t need to compare my life to others.
3. I don’t need to mold my life by what others think.
4. Any lack can be taken care of. Don’t focus on it.
5. Just walk out each day and don’t speculate on tomorrow.
So, in keeping with that journal entry from October 2013, I’ve decided to bring back the blog and keep my focus on what I’m doing and what the Lord would have me do. I will keep the 5 key points before me as reminders of this starting over.