Over the last few weeks, I’ve been struggling with something. Six months ago when I began this blog, I did it for one reason: to reach hurting women who have been touched by grief.
My familiarity with grief came from 15 years of hardship due to miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility. We have all been touched by grief in one way or another. When grief succeeds in putting its hand on us, it usually leaves a lasting impression. Throughout the grief process it is important to connect with people who can help, who understand, who wear a similar mark.
This is why I blog, why I wrote a book, and why I pray fervently on my knees for people I’ve never seen face-to-face. I hope to reach people. Help people. To let people know I’ve been there, I’ve done it, and you can do it also.
In order to accomplish the ministry God has placed on my heart, I have to build a platform. If I don’t, no one outside the realm of my personal Facebook voice or church circuit will ever know that this quiet woman from a small town on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania exists. No one will hear my story.
This is where things become delicate. I know I have to post comments on other blogs in order for my blog to become recognized. However, when I participate in this type of conversation, it is truly because I have something genuine to say. I don’t want people to think I comment to gain notoriety. I originally began reading other blogs because I read somewhere that I should, but I continue reading because I want to hear the stories which come from the hearts of other bloggers. I care about what people have to say. I thoroughly enjoy reading what they write about, and I want to contribute to the blogging community via the comment box.
I sometimes tweet, retweet, or share other people’s links on Twitter. This is because I like what I read. I often worry I will come across as someone trying to climb a ladder to the top of the blogosphere. I don’t want to be misinterpreted. Misinterpretation of words is a danger to any author, and I fear it.
Do I want people to read my blog? Yes, I do. Do I need to create a platform? Yes, I do. However, I want to be a servant. I never want to forget why I began this blog in the first place. I want to share what God is whispering into my heart. Most importantly, I want to glorify Christ in the process. It’s the only thing that really matters to me.
I will admit that I am a driven person. Numbers of page views and unique visitors aid in stirring my passion to grow my ministry. It helps me realize people are reading which keeps me from becoming discouraged. Maybe it’s an oxymoron, who knows? However, there must be a balance to strike in all of this. So, how do I find it? I’m still working out those details. Today, I read what I consider to be a beautiful, fresh, and insightful post by Emily Freeman entitled, Why I Want to Subscribe to Your Blog (and why I hope you’ll subscribe to mine.) She discusses a variety of emotions regarding networking, as well as why people choose to blog. It is a fantastic post, and I hope you read it.
On a do-or-die planet where self promotion is hailed as an art form, finding balance is critical. As a Christian, it does not feel natural to work on building a platform where people see my name in bold print. My focus is to have my writing reach people in a way where even though readers may physically see my name, they feel the fingerprints of God throughout the words. When I write, I want to convey hope. I want to help you realize there is joy within reach of exactly where you stand right at this very moment.
Maybe it’s too much to ask. I don’t know. But nevertheless, I am striving for it.
What are you striving for?