There’s something indescribable about following God. I started this blog a little over a year ago without much of a clue why except that I felt God urging me to do it. I was even more clueless about all that went into blogging. (I’m extra thankful for women like Amy & Ashley who have either shared tutorials or personally taken time to get me out whatever technical bind I found myself scratching my head over.)
As I continued to learn and read more about what makes a “successful” blogger, I began feeling extremely overwhelmed. My audience was not growing by leaps and bounds. My eyes continued to cross every time I attempted to understand the analytics jargon I kept reading about. All I knew was that by the standards repeated in the articles I was reading, I was not succeeding, and I went through a long period of being extremely discouraged.
But there were the few who were still reading. Patiently accepting me for who I was when I had yet to learn about niches or true success in blogging. The ones who would leave comments filled with encouragement or like my link on Facebook. While several of these women were my real-life friends already, there were even a few more who grew to become my friends because they chose to invest in whatever it was I was trying to figure out through writing.
It was somewhere around the time I found peace with letting go of statistics and SEO building (which gives me a headache to try and fully comprehend to this day) that God started speaking to me again about a new direction He wanted me to go in my writing. Blogging helped me see friendship in a fresh light. It helped me visualize what quality friends look like in a world that is all about networking and connecting without the commitment of relationship.
And the vision was born to write a book on a topic over which I have contemplated a great deal over the years.
What is it? Why is it so hard? Why do I sometimes find myself lonely despite the wonderful relationships with which I’m blessed?
I began outlining and writing, writing, and writing some more. The next thing I knew, I realized that I had a viable eBook in the works. So I started researching all that went into making it happen. I’d be lying if I told you the to-do list didn’t overwhelm me. There was no way on earth I could do this on my own. It may be called self-publishing, but that term is misleading.
It requires a strong network of friends to make it happen. I needed friends who would listen to me sort out the ideas. I needed friends who had the experience in writing and publishing to offer advice and perspective. I needed friends who would step out on a limb and edit the words that didn’t quite say things the way I intended for them to sound. I needed friends to know what I was doing so I would have accountability to not stop even when it would have been far easier to give up long ago.
As I called my cousin one night close to the end of the process to get some advice, I said that I wished I could help him at least a little bit after all of the ways he’s helped me as I’ve fumbled my way through blogging and writing. His response, “None of us are islands, Kel. We all need help.”
How true his words are! No one is self-made, self-published, or self-satisfied. Obviously we need God, but we need the people He’s placed in our lives as well.
Today I say thank you to the friends who have not allowed me to be a vacant island that is dormant, but for loving me enough to push me beyond my comfort levels and dream big.
Only 8 more days until this small symbol of God’s desire for friendships becomes a reality!
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