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Audience

Who is my audience? Who reads this? Who “gets” what I write? And does it affect what and how I write?
I am my first audience. I write to understand things. Writing helps me to clear my head. Writing is how I define myself – it is how I understand what I’m thinking, and it is a descriptive. I write in order to be me. But I don’t write about the same things all the time. I write poetry, “progressive” Christian commentary, what it is like to be an adult survivor of an abusive family, Bible study, and political pieces about modern culture and what it is like to be female. That is a pretty broad range, and there aren’t that many people that will like each thing. I write about whatever comes to my mind that I want to understand. I also write about things that I think are helpful to others, things that may give them a signpost in an often confusing world.
I feel that sometimes I have something really important to say. Sometimes I feel like I want to shout from the rooftops – hey – look at this, here’s a connection that has just come to me and it will make so many lives easier! I sometimes don’t feel like they are my words. I feel like I’ve found a treasure rather than created one. Writing is like that sometimes. It isn’t always a process of creation but discovery. Sometimes these discoveries are pretty amazing.
My audience is small. It is highly unlikely that the right person will get this information. My audience is varied – all over the world. I look at the profiles of every person who “follows” my blog. I give thanks for each person who has decided that what I have written is worthwhile enough to want to read it on a regular basis. I keep a list of every person that I personally have sold a book to for the same reason.
I don’t feel that what I write is “mine”. I feel that I am a receptacle. I feel that I am a channel. I feel that God uses me (and everyone else) to reveal things. Sometimes I’m not very good with conveying the information. That is why I write every day. I want to get better. Writing is just like any other exercise. You have to do it a lot to get good at it. What is the point of having information if you can’t convey it to others in a way they can understand it?
But I think that is part of faith and trust. I think that if God wants this information to get to others, God will make it happen. I think writing a blog is a great idea. You can write a book, but then you are dependent on a publisher accepting it and then printing it and then distributing it. You have to rely on people being able to get to a bookstore and being able to afford it, or having a library nearby. With a blog, whatever you produce is right there, available, no waiting, to anyone with an Internet connection.
Admittedly, that isn’t everyone. Not everyone has electricity. Not everyone has the infrastructure to have high-speed Internet. Not every government is OK with the free exchange of ideas. Just looking at the map of who has read my blog reminds me of this.
But I think that part of all of this is that I just have to do my part. I have to show up, and receive what I can, and offer it forth in the best way I can, and let it go. Just like casting bread upon the water I have to trust that it will get to where it needs to go.
Would it help if I had more followers? Would that encourage me, or hinder me? Would I get bolder, or more hesitant? Would it help if more people “liked” my posts? Would that mean I’d write more things like that, or less? Would it help if I posted some of my posts on larger sites? Would that change my audience, and then change how and what I wrote?
I think it is best to just write, a not worry about it. I don’t make any money on writing a blog, and in a way I think that keeps me honest. Nobody can “buy” my words. I don’t have to change what I write to suit anybody. While it would be nice to get a little money from this, I feel that isn’t fair in a way. I feel that I get the information for free, so I should give it out for free. But then, there is the time I take to write it – isn’t that worth something? But that too, was given to me by God.
Not everything I write is divinely inspired. Some of it just is rambling and wondering out loud. Perhaps it sounds strange to say that I feel that God inspires some of what I write. But to me it sounds humble – it is giving credit where credit is due. To take the credit for a connection that came to me out of the blue is to lie, in my opinion. I’m sure that some people will think it is vain to say that God inspires me (and others – I’m not alone) but to me it is the exact opposite.
I write all the time. I write every morning. I write while I’m walking at lunch. I write while I’m waiting in doctor’s offices. I write while I’m going somewhere if I’m the passenger. (Long road trips are great). I write if I’m on retreat. I write at work when it is a quiet time and I’m caught up. I keep a notepad with me all the time for ideas.
I pray to be a worthy receptacle, and that God is able to help people through me. I pray that I can help encourage others through my words, and to open doors for them to shed light on confusing ideas. I pray that I can let them know that they aren’t alone in their struggles, and to keep on working on it and through it.

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