Writing signposts

blogIMG_1009 (2)One of the best compliments I ever received was from an acquaintance.

My acquaintance is not someone I know very well although we both were members of an organization a few years ago and that was our connection.  We do have a few things in common, one of those is that both of us love to write.

I’ve been writing this blog for over eight years now and at some point during that time,  this lady told me she loved my writing so much because she felt like she was right there with me experiencing what I wrote. She called my writing vivid.

Wow. That blew me away. And I’ve never forgotten what she said. What writer doesn’t want to hear that? Receiving that kind of compliment from a fellow writer was exceptionally meaningful and encouraging for me as I continued to write in this Mama’s Empty Nest blog.

This blog, this place where I try to put my thoughts into encouraging words. Where I share aspects of life that mean the most to me – my faith, my family, my friends, my view of the world around me, the aspects of life that amaze or astound me.

This spot where I frequently take inspirational insights given to me by my Heavenly Father and attempt to share them with the world.

This site where I regularly pour out my heart in hopes of striking a positive chord with my readers out there in this too often negative, discouraging atmosphere we call life.

Sometimes I’m pleased with the words I summon up in my mind and plunk down on that blank computer screen. Sometimes I agonize and struggle to unite my thoughts with words that truly encapsulate my message.  

Will my readers get my drift? Will they understand what I’m endeavoring to say?

Is my writing clear? Is it expressive? Does it reach the very hearts of my readers?

That’s what I strive to do. I don’t write my blog to garner accolades, although I do appreciate compliments and encouraging comments from my readers. Those mean the world to me.

I don’t write to become the next best-selling author, although that certainly would be exciting. I don’t write in hopes of becoming a social media sensation, go viral, or invite fame. 

I haven’t developed a writing platform or marketing strategy. I don’t even promote my writing much except on my personal Facebook page and my Mama’s Empty Nest Facebook fan page. 

I write because it’s what I do. It’s hard to describe to someone who isn’t a writer. It’s like this huge cache of words are bottled up inside your very self and you have to let them escape because they can keep you up at night if you don’t write them down.

And for me, without trying to sound too ethereal, writing is like a calling. In my case, the calling often comes from the Lord.

He prompts me to tell my stories, to share my joys and even sorrows, to point readers to His Word to give hope and inspiration, to connect with my readers in a way that positively resonates with them. To shed a bit of light in a dark world. To provide a spot where goodness and kindness beam forth.

And if I succeed, then I’ve fulfilled my purpose in writing.

But I must admit that sometimes I get discouraged.

Sometimes I wonder if taking time and effort to reflect over ideas, search God’s Word, and contemplate over just the precise words to convey my point is worth it.  Other than my few regular reader/fellow blogger friends and personal friends and family, does anyone out there in cyberspace actually read what I write?

I don’t have a clue who reads my writing unless those readers comment or click on the “like” button here on Mama’s Empty Nest or on my Facebook blog fan page. And it surprises me when suddenly a comment appears and a reader informs me he/she has been reading my blog for years and has never commented before. Feedback like that motivates me to continue; there just doesn’t seem to be much of it at times.

Oh, WordPress gives me a stats report to show how many readers clicked on my link each day but even though I supposedly have followers well over the thousand mark and seem to acquire new followers, the actual numbers on the stats bar graph are small, barely breaking the one-hundred line.

Every so often, I’m tempted to “throw in the towel.”  Ignore the computer keyboard. Just stop writing. Motivation wanes. Ideas with coherent paragraphs to link it all together just don’t come easily.

And I wonder if the words that I anguish over, pray over, delve up from the depths of my mind and soul… I wonder….do they even matter?

Just last week, another acquaintance informed me that she loves reading my “messages” but hadn’t been taking time to read my blog posts on a regular basis.  Oh, how I get that. Life gets in the way.  So many more important aspects demand utter priority in life than taking the time to read someone’s blabbering online.

I understand that full well and I realize she didn’t need to offer a bit of apology because honestly, it does not surprise me that folks don’t have or take time to read my blog every day.

But her next statement warmed my heart.  “I have been reading them again and you truly are gifted with writing abilities. Keep it up, you are inspiring me,” she wrote. 

Just to know that on that day one person read my blog, and it impacted her enough not only to disclose it but also inform me that my words inspire her….well, shucks, isn’t that what it’s all about?

My purpose in writing. My purpose is writing. My purpose may be for you.

Whether it inspires one person or one thousand or one million, it means the same to me.  Using my words, I connected with another human being in a positive manner. Using my words, I brought meaning to someone’s life that day and it was good.

So I will continue my calling. To write the words I’ve been given to say. To show you the world through my eyes and from my heart so just maybe it helps you, encourages you, inspires you.  

When traveling down the highway of life, there are so many signposts. It can be completely confusing. We search desperately for the signs that show us the right way to go.

My hope is that my writing is like a signpost offering a little guidance for us – you and me – to navigate our way through life. And that’s good enough for me.

“Good writers are in the business of leaving signposts saying, Tour my world, see and feel it through my eyes; I am your guide.” ~ Larry King

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