This post was first shared in issue 29 of the writing advice column of my newsletter These Sacred Words.
As a writer, I naturally think a lot about writing. But moreso, I think a lot about why I write.
I think about what I see on Instagram and what I hear in writing workshops—that I need to work towards a goal and take steps to get there. They tell me, “You want to write a book? Then grow your platform and build your audience and get people to look your way, click on your content, like your posts, and share your blog.”
It seems most writers equate success with being read. But I’m just not sure that’s what it’s about.
I just have to believe that, at least for me, writing is about more than simply how many people notice my words or click on my blog or like my post.
I think that’s why I feel so attached to this simple newsletter and its small subscriber list. I feel drawn to speak to you guys, not because I want you to forward this email or because I want to have a bigger platform, but because I want to have a conversation with you—you who for some reason felt connected enough with me to click subscribe. I think writing is about connection.
But even more, at the end of the day I have to believe writing is about more than being heard—that there is something beautiful and sacred in the process. I have to believe that there is a bigger audience than the one that equates to likes and subscribes and book purchases. That ultimately the very act of writing itself is an act of worship, communion, and intimacy with God.
As I wrestle with my motives in writing I ask myself, am I writing to be noticed or am I writing to serve? Am I writing to grow a platform or am I writing to worship?
I never want to throw words together just to get them out or to beat an algorithm. I want my words to be birthed out of communion with God, shared to foster connection and truth.
And at the end of the day, I see how intricately connected writing is to life in general. I see my need to redefine what success is. Am I content with a small, quiet, “unimpressive” life? Are not the small moments of ordinary faithfulness, sacred communion, and quiet worship worth so much more?