The timer on the microwave goes off. My reheated coffee is ready. I pour it into my mug from the morning. The steam rises from that not-really-fresh-anymore-but-still-glorious beverage. I open up my computer. “New document”, I click. The playlist of inspiring but quiet music is playing. I sit down at the counter. My fingers begin to move across the keyboard. Letters spill into words, words form sentences, sentences form the thoughts that have been sloshing around in my heart, ready to burst out. My heart is pulsing with vitality. Here, where words are born, I am alive. But just as the writing begins to flow it is stopped. Jolted into silence by one, ever-haunting thought: what if no one cares?
Billions of words are spoken each day, and in this era of the world wide web we have access to most of them. Everyone has something to say, but is anyone actually listening? Is there any room among the thousands of authors getting published and liked and viewed and followed? Why bother writing if no one is reading? If no one cares?
I close the computer lid. My reheated coffee is already lukewarm, and my excitement for writing seems so too. I pull on my running shoes and head outside to clear my head. My heart again begins to pound, this time from exertion and not from passion. I run through the neighborhoods, avoiding both ice patches and discouragement. In my head phones speak the quiet words of my writing hero, discussing her craft. “If your writing helps one person it has been used by God,” she says. “And it has already helped one person because it has helped you.” I feel my heart swell once more and I run a little faster.
I come home and return to my writing. Because it doesn’t matter any longer who reads it, the number of likes it receives, or if it ever goes anywhere beyond my little blog. I don’t write because of the people that may or may not read a post. I don’t sit down every afternoon and open a new document and start stringing words together for the sake of getting read. That can’t be my motivation, or I would already have quit by now.
I write because every time I make space to investigate my inner dialogues, every time I sit down and process my thoughts on paper, every time I use well-crafted words to express what I’m learning I have been changed. I am more fully myself, more fully aware of what I believe, more in tune to the world around me. My life seems to start spinning when I don’t write. I’m like a little girl who just spun in circles and is dizzied by all the moving features around her. I can’t focus on anything, I cannot grasp a clear perspective in the midst of all the motion. But when I write the ground feels stable. I am steadier, and I begin to see things for what they actually are and not what they look like in the blurry haze I was in.
The thing is, there will be a lot of people who don’t care. There will even be days that no one cares. Those are the days that will either kill you and you’ll dump every word ever written into the nearest garbage can, or they will be the days that bring an enormous amount of freedom. So what if no one cares? So what if my words go unread? I’m not writing to be famous or published or liked or viewed. I’m not writing for the sake of what others think.
I love writing, and so I write. For me. For the sake of my heart. For the hope of some grounded vision and energized passion. For the sake of being more fully myself. For the need to live wholly. For the glory of God.
The glory of God is man fully alive.