Staring at an empty page on Microsoft Word, I sat alone on a kitchen stool in silence. Irritated and frustrated, I racked my brain for a blog post idea. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much success.
I know I have to think of an idea. I can’t keep stalling…What if I write about overcoming sin? Nah…I mean, haven’t I already written about that a hundred times? Where have all my ideas fled? Why is this so hard?
As I continued to stare at a completely blank page, I couldn’t help but wonder…why do I even bother? Why do I keep writing? Why do I keep blogging? Where is all of this headed?
To be honest, the answer is kind of messy.
My Messy Motivations
The truth is, I’m scared. I’m scared about what will happen if I stop writing. I’m scared about what will happen if I stop blogging.
For years, it has been my dream to get a book published. I can’t stop thinking about it and hoping for it. Even as I’ve gotten older and life has gotten busier, I clung to the idea of writing books. I still want to write books. I want to be famous.
Yes, I know this is a completely self-centered motivation. I know it’s not what I’m supposed to want. But it’s the truth.
I want people to see my name on a book cover and ask for my autograph. I want people to drive for hours to hear me speak at conferences. I want people to follow my writing journey and tell their friends all about me.
And it is all about me…right?
If I Stop
No, it’s really not all about me. But, in my thoughts, words, and actions, I have made writing all about me. Even my fears about writing revolve around me.
The reason I’m scared to stop writing is that I may never write again. I don’t want to stop blogging because I may never blog again. If I put away the pen and paper (or word processor), I may never return to it.
And if I never return to my writing, my book will never get published.
And if my book never gets published, I’ll never be famous.
And if I never become famous, then what gives me value?
Dear reader, I truly believe this is a question we all must answer in life. If our success, prestige, wealth, appearance, career, popularity, awards, social media followers, relationships, and everything else was stripped away, would we be valuable? Or would we be worthless and purposeless?
What if I am more than a writer? What if you are more than your success, prestige, wealth, appearance, career, popularity, awards, social media followers, or relationships?
I think I am. And I think you are, too.
“Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:6-7 NASB)
Christ didn’t say that He valued our achievements or our social status or our job titles. He stated that He values us. With or without our worldly success.
When we make our identity about something, rather than Someone, that thing becomes an idol. And we worship it for all the wrong reasons.
I keep blogging because I want to please potential publishers. I want to please potential publishers because I want them to publish my book. I want them to publish my book so I’ll become popular and adored. Obviously, my motivations aren’t biblical.
How about you? Where does your identity come from?
Do you work endless hours at the office so you’ll get a promotion and a fancy job title? Are you often low on finances because you’re spending money on the latest trends? Do you ignore amazing opportunities to keep your 4.0 GPA? Do you constantly count your social media followers? Are you dating someone simply because of how he or she makes you feel about yourself?
These are just a few questions you may be wrestling with. Though we may not like to admit it, we all struggle to find our identity in Christ alone. We all want to find our value in something we achieve, and we want others to notice our achievements.
But Christ notices us—even without our achievements. We don’t have to try harder to get His attention. He sees us. He values. He loves us.
And that should be the reason we seek any achievement—even a book deal.