On Wednesday, I hit one wrong button and double posted. People who subscribe to my posts found two in their inboxes, the one meant for Wednesday and the one meant for the following Monday. Today.
And I felt terrible. Feelings of failure. Feelings of fear, because the second post hadn’t been through its final, night-before edit. That second post was important to me, but who reads two posts from the same author in one day? What if people never read my stuff again? What if I lose readers? What if my blogging career is over?
I mean, blogging career? Where did that phrase even come from? I post random stuff from my brain three times a week and don’t make a penny doing it. The questions in my head were telling. I had to be honest with myself and ask why I blog. Why do I write? The things I share, in both my blog and my fiction, come from down deep, and it’s dangerous to share that much, especially for someone who struggles with identity issues, anxiety issues. I could stop writing and live in complete obscurity and never feel certain kinds of stress again. Oh, the peace. What’s wrong with me not to jump at such peace?
Some of it is pride. I admit I look at numbers. Number of readers. Number of hits on my Facebook pages. Numbers of fiction books sold. I realize I won’t get rich and famous for my words, but my pride doesn’t care. It craves validation. It wants me to look put together and organized and like the kind of person who doesn’t hit a wrong button every now and then. Since I’m decent with words, my pride wants me to succeed in words at all times, and it gets upset when I don’t.
Some of it is fear. I struggle with parts of writing. I don’t read reviews. My first fiction book has over ninety reviews. Most of them are very good reviews. I’ve read maybe five of them. I don’t want to fail, and that shows itself in strange ways. When I’m on Amazon, I get nervous because my reviews are there, as though they will simply pop up while I’m looking at shoes or vitamins. Some of them are bad, and some are personal, as though the reviewers hate me personally for wasting their time with a book they didn’t like, and that’s scary. It’s conflict, and I don’t like conflict. So, fear is definitely a part of it. Fear of failure, fear of people.
Fortunately, there’s another level to my writing. I hope it’s a calling. Whether I share the words or not, they are there. They have been my whole life. And they will be written down in some form. I know that’s as necessary for my life as breathing.
I feel like each post and each book I write has an audience. Someone out there somewhere needs to think I’m not alone. Someone else understands me today. That’s it. That’s why I share. It’s why I try to be honest, even if I don’t look so good doing it. Maybe one single person out there needs something today. Maybe I’m the one to offer it. I can’t let that one person down. God has given me the ability to connect with written words, so I write words.
I think that’s the secret exposed by my fear of the double post. If I write for me, I deal with pride. Fear.I can fail and look foolish and lose numbers and validation.
If I do it for God, let him validate me and love me and breathe identity into me, then hitting a wrong button won’t be so stressful. A negative review is just words from a stranger. I can focus on touching single souls, single lives, and not think in terms of the masses. And I truly believe most things in life happen between single souls.
I need to dwell less on numbers, readers, hits, likes, and all that stuff. I need to remember who gave me the skills I possess and know if those skills go away, I’m still God’s beloved. If everyone hates my books and drops their blog subscriptions, God still wants me to be his daughter. My room in heaven still waits for me. It’s going to be okay.
And I should relax, because we all hit the wrong button every now and again.