First of all thank you so much to Lyndel Paris at Island Girl on a Mission for nominating me for the Blogger Recognition Award! I’ve never been nominated or won any sort of award before -except at the county fair when I threw darts at the correct amount of balloons to win a stuffed animal- but I’m not sure if that counts as an award. Anyway, I just want to say thank you from my sometimes ink-stained, typed-out fingers and emotional rollercoaster imagination but especially thank you from my very grateful heart for taking time that is all your own to read my blog. Sometimes, not just as a writer, you can start to feel like no one sees or hears you. Or maybe they hear but aren’t really listening. It can be discouraging. But that’s when we have to remember that we write, speak, and live and persevere not to receive praise or recognition but because of the kind of person we want to be. To build our integrity and character. But that is not to say that it does not feel good when someone comes along side you and says, “I see you and I hear you.” So thank you very much Miss Lyndel Paris for listening!
How Writings from the Cave Began
I started my blog, Writings from the Cave, after realizing I didn’t just want to write in silence anymore. At University I took several writing classes and it was encouraging to write with others who loved to write and who were also discovering our creativity and being challenged to continue to grow and think and write in new ways. After I graduated, that community was gone. I was back to writing in silence. I failed at finding a writing group to be a part of- schedules are busy and clash sometimes- but I knew I didn’t just want to stop writing. I believed God wanted me to write and I did not want to just sit and let my mind grow stagnant. So I decided to start a blog where complete strangers could read anything I wrote and give me accountability and community. They could give me advice and reassure me when I started to doubt myself. All of my life I usually only had my mom around to read anything I wrote and she’s my mom so of course she would like anything I wrote and of course she would think I was a great writer. And even though I am so grateful for my mom taking the time to read anything I handed her and for giving me unlimited encouragement and support, I still wanted to have a place where others could give me their opinions.
Besides needing accountability I also needed an outlet. A place that was all my own where I could just write truthfully and honestly about the goings on in my heart and mind. It was a sort of therapy to set free so much that had been hidden and trapped and built up in me over 20 or so years. So even though I was hesitant – what if no one likes what I write? Or I do it wrong? – I started a blog for my own sake and hoped for the best.
Advice for New Bloggers
So, this leads to my first piece of advice for new bloggers. From a new blogger myself who is till learning how to do everything, I just want to say “Don’t be afraid.” When you feel that fear rising in you whispering doubts to your mind and attempting to make you feel as if you aren’t good enough, fight that fear back with bravery and post what is on your heart. Don’t write for others to like you or to notice you or write what you think others want to hear, write for yourself. Write from your heart and let your heart speak even when you are scared to. Your honesty and authenticity will be what makes your writing beautiful even if you don’t know all of the “rules.”
Don’t write for a number of “likes” you want to receive. If you write a post and no one even takes notice of it you will start to feel worthless and as though your writing does not matter. I guess I am saying don’t base how good your writing is on how many people acknowledge it. Choose to be confident in your writing knowing you spoke from your heart and you spoke the truth whether it is noticed or not.
Believe that you do have something to say and a unique way of saying it that others need to hear. I used to get discouraged – and sometimes still do- when thinking about all of the awesome writers out there and all of the people writing and I thought who would choose to read me when they have so many options available to them. But then I thought about all of the different TV shows that exist and how each of them has their own story to tell even if the stories are similar they are told in different ways and people love watching even if they have heard the story before. So I ignored the failure voice inside my head and wrote anyway. So, believe in your voice and in your story and in the words you have to say. Believe that your voice will not get lost in a sea of voices.
That being said I would like to nominate the following brave bloggers who have inspired me and encouraged me and allowed me to see their world: