For a few months now I have been paralyzed by the numbers. Number of page views. Number of followers. Number of likes. Number of comments. Numbers. Numbers. Numbers.
Numbers are important in publishing. Agents and publishers won’t look at you if you don’t have high numbers. Books won’t sell unless you have high numbers.
And somehow I’ve started to equate my worth as a writer, my effectiveness as a minister, by my numbers. But numbers are so fickle. One post will reach thousands and another 25. Facebook changed their algorithm so now my followers don’t even see my posts unless they choose to receive notifications or if I pay for something to go out. Twitter is such a fast moving feed you may only have minutes for someone to grab onto your 140 characters – so you better make that small number of letters count.
I didn’t start writing for the numbers. I started for the words. Words that make a difference in my life. Words to encourage. Words to bring hope. Words to speak truth.
Most of all, God’s word.
For years my ministry verses have been 1 Peter 4:10-11:
When I’m focused on numbers, I’m not serving others, I’m not depending on God’s strength, I’m not doing it for His glory, I’m doing it for me.
As of today, I quit.
I quit looking at the numbers. I quit trying to please others. I quit seeking attention, publication, the spotlight.
I want to go back to where I started. With a simple toothless grin that lit up my difficult world of postpartum depression, breastfeeding woes, and sleepless nights. I want my writing to be for other mamas and not for me. I want my writing to bring truth into darkness. I want my writing to be for you.
I’m still moving forward. I’m still writing for this little blog. I’m still writing my book. But I’m not going to think about publishing for some time. Not unless I think it is the best thing to do. When I started it, I wanted it to be a resource for new mamas. So, I hope to have it available for you here someday. (Or rather, on my new website, which is ALMOST DONE!)
Thank you, my dear friends, who have always encouraged me and prayed for me on this journey. I think I have needed to go through some massive anxiety in order to reach a point of clarity.
And, God, this is for you. This public repentance is to you. “I acknowledge my need for a savior and I humbly repent. Speak the word that I may be made clean. Wash me that I may be whiter than snow. Restore unto me the joy of your salvation that I may delight in your will, and walk in your way, to the glory of your name, now and forever. Amen.”