Archives For writing

To Blog or Not to Blog?

January 11, 2018 — 6 Comments

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I started this blog nearly six years ago. It was my sister that encouraged me to start blogging. I never considered myself a writer, but I always had this desire to write. If I showed you some of my old journals with my New Year’s resolutions, you would see my future writing ambitions. My sister—who sometimes knows me better than I know myself—knew that I needed to guide my passionate voice to a better venue than our phone conversations.

I don’t have a huge following. That was never my goal. I just wanted to share my heart and whoever wanted to listen was welcome to drop by and read. And while I blogged, I was given opportunities to write on other blog sites with much larger audiences. I was able to write for conservative political sites which led to attending large political events. I had a taste of what it was like to be a citizen journalist, and it was fun. But I realized the political media arena is not for me. This might be surprising to you, but writing about politics can get tiresome, and I was getting a bit jaded by it all. I know, shocking!

There was that time that I quickly jotted down my thoughts on Miley Cyrus back in 2013, and my blog post went viral. When it hit 10,000 views, I thought to myself, “Maybe, I should write all my blog posts in fifteen minutes or less.”

I then had the opportunity to write for pro-life sites, and that is where I felt most comfortable. Writing about the beauty of God’s creation and protecting that creation—it never gets old. My fingers easily find the words to write when it comes to my passion for being a voice for life. I pray that I can continue to be a voice for the pro-life movement wherever that may lead.

I am grateful that this little blog has been a stepping stone, and I am grateful for all the opportunities it has provided.

But here is where I get to the whole point of this blog post. Should I continue to blog?

I am a person who knows what I am NOT better than what I AM. I am not a platform person. I love reading blogs from Christian women who share a daily devotional and who have developed specific platforms. Talented writers who have many followers, and they encourage other women in their faith at conferences and various speaking engagements. That is not me.

There are also mothers who have great parenting blog sites. They encourage young mothers and give the latest parenting tips. I might be able to whip up a couple of posts about my lessons learned as a mother but, again, that’s NOT me.

This blog and the title—The Velvet Brick—is me. Someone once told me, “You look sweeter than you really are.” I laughed. It wasn’t a criticism. What she meant was I am tougher than I look. I am not afraid to take on the controversial issues. I’ll throw my opinions into the ring knowing the possibility of the backlash I might receive. I also don’t take myself too seriously. And on occasion, I can be wrong on an issue or how I approach it.

The most important thing to me about blogging is that my faith reflects what I write. But my faith needs to be genuine and, sometimes, that means I need to write with more grace and less religious convictions. Both are important, but they have to balance each other.

I know that God has given me a voice to share my faith and sometimes that intersects with topics in culture, family, and politics. If it is a platform, it is a broad one. Often, I think my voice is getting lost in a sea of other voices with more followers and well-defined blogs. And, perhaps, with sweeter dispositions than me. (She says sweetly smiling.)

I know as a writer/blogger you are supposed to post regularly and market yourself profusely. That’s a struggle for me. I can get tired of myself, and if I do, I know the reader can as well. Sometimes less is more.

So I need your help. I have an existential blog crisis. Should I continue to blog? Is there room for my voice in the wide blogosphere? Should I close up shop and try other writing venues? Do you still read blogs? What have you appreciated here that might help to define where my voice belongs? I would love your opinions, suggestions, or criticisms. After all, I wouldn’t be here pressing the keys on my laptop if it weren’t for my sister—and YOU!

Please comment anonymously or famously below.

My 2014 Declaration!

January 2, 2014 — 2 Comments

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Every New Year brings about new resolutions, goals or maybe “to do” lists that you vow this year you will complete. I have a sort of different one and I am committed to doing it here on my blog.

Okay, here it goes. Here are the words I have yet to publicly say out loud. Wait for it….

I am a writer!

No big reveal to you, the reader, but to me this has been extremely hard for me to admit. You see to publicly state you are something seems to put a tag on it. That tag defines you and then you have to deal with that inevitable confidence issue and the fear of failure.

For so long, I have been afraid to admit of this passion that God has given me. This love of writing, researching and putting my thoughts down for all to see. I don’t have a degree that labels me as a writer. I am a teacher. I have a degree in teaching and that has been my tag that defines me. However, I found this new love called writing and yet I feel so inadequate in even stating the simple phrase of “I am a writer”.

There is probably some psychology behind my fear of this writer label. I come from a family of writers and there’s that “I will never measure up” thing always going on in my head. Then there is my own weaknesses. I have much to learn in the field of writing and I realize I am a beginner. I am thankful for spellcheck and proofreader but even that doesn’t always pick up my grammar errors. If I could only go back in time and take advantage of those free writing workshops that they offered in college. Oh, well!

Even with all my fears and inadequacies, I’ve come to realize that this love and passion to write is still there and I am going to pursue this thing. So here I am… a writer. I am thankful for the small successes I have had along the way in this writing endeavor. I have bigger hopes and dreams in the writing field and hopefully, someday, I will achieve them. For now, my goal for 2014 to publicly state that I am a writer has been achieved. My writing future is now wide open!

Maybe you too have a passion and are afraid of the tag that will label you. Success rarely happens overnight and failing is always a part of the process. It’s a New Year so pursue that thing that you love to do and let it define you even with all your fears and insecurities. Go for it! Declare it!

**Thank you to all my friends, family and readers for encouraging me in this writing endeavor. Your words of encouragement and praise have given me the confidence I needed. I couldn’t do it without you, especially my sister who sparked the idea of this blog for me in the first place and it has led to bigger and better things.