Is There Anybody Listening?
I’m staring a new
I want to write for at
least 30 minutes a day.
This is going to be my
new blog. Simply journal entries that
may or may not lead to something bigger. I might not post every day 30 minutes might
not be long enough to write a complete a thought. But I will at least try to write every day
and post whenever I have something coherent to upload.
I’ve attempted to journal
several times in the past. Sometimes in
the form of a handwritten notebook other times in typeset form.
I have also blogged
before, as this space is a testament but over the past several months (years) I’ve
gotten away from it. Through a series of
events, heart aches, mental blocks and physical needs I simply stopped writing.
I think it started shortly after I published my second book “Meekoethics – What Happens When Life Get’s Messy and the Rules Aren’t Enough.” My business was taking more and more of my time and attention. I was growing frustrated with the slow pace of growth and I simply had no desire (or knowledge, or ability, or whatever) to promote my writing. I sold exactly zero copies of Meekoethics in the months immediately following its release and I also noticed a marked reduction in the amount of reader engagement I was getting on the blog.
Is there anybody
I slowly and reluctantly
came to the conclusion that; no, no one was in fact listening. In an attempt to revive things, I redesigned
the blog, jazzed up the visuals, built a fancy new website and even tried my
hand a video blogging, but none of it worked, the engagement was gone, and my
heart wasn’t in it.
So, I stopped
Blogs it seems are passe. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (and probably
a hundred other platforms that I’m too out of touch to know anything about)
have killed the long form blog. And that’s
a shame because it’s nearly impossible to get a complex idea across in only a
few characters. We’re living in a
soundbite world, our thirst for knowledge has been reduced to shot glass sized
gulps of whatever the news media or celebrities can dish out. And our attention span has gone with it. Maybe that’s why we have a TV personality for
a president and our political discourse has been reduced to hashtags and name
I can tell you this; if
you’ve read this far, you’re a rarity in the online community and you’re my
kind of people. Stick around and we
might actually have some fun, figure out a thing or two and maybe even influence
the world together.
But that’s not really
why I started writing again. There is a bigger issue that I’m wrestling with lately,
one that’s admittedly both more and less selfish.
When I stopped writing
I seem to have lost a piece of myself. You
see, if I’m being honest, I have to admit that never really wanted to write for
an audience anyway.
I started journaling for
the first time when I was in my late teens as a way to organize my thoughts,
make sense of the world and talk to God.
Journaling for me has always been a form of prayer. I started posting my journal entries on-line
way back in 2008 on a whim and suddenly found that other people were interested
in what I had to say. I kept doing it
and before I knew it my journal/prayer life had over 100 regular readers all
over the world.
When I started to notice a trends in my writing around questions of economics and theology, I used it as a stepping-stone to my first book; “Meekonomics – How to Inherit the Earth and Live Life to the Fullest in God’s Economy”. That book led in rapid succession to a short personal finance guide “Six Steps to Financial Freedom – The Meekonomist’s Guide to Getting out of Debt, Building Wealth and Leaving a Legacy.”, and the aforementioned “Meekoethics”.
Then I started to lose
my voice. (My writing voice that is, I never
lost my ability to talk). The lack of
engagement I noticed on the blog and my inability to promote my writing started
to take a tole. I tried to write a book
on leadership but after a few false starts had to face up the fact that I’ve
never led anything and know next to nothing about the topic.
And then I just
started to get depressed and stopped writing altogether.
I know realize that because
writing for me was never really about the audience I lost something else when I
stopped. I lost my connection to
God. In a sense, when I stopped writing
I stopped praying.
Well – not exactly.
But my prayer life did
change. Now instead of pouring out my
thoughts in a prayerful written format all I could do was sit, think and
Don’t get me wrong,
that type of prayerful meditation was helpful, for a season. It helped me remain connected to God in a way
that I hadn’t experienced until then and it helped me learn a whole new way of communication. It kept me grounded and prevented my
depression from running so deep that it consumed me.
But it wasn’t the
same. I’m a writer. I learn, grow, organize and make sense of the
world by writing stuff down. The
physical, tactile connection between my mind and my body that writing brings
out is essential to my way of thinking, learning and communicating.
As I started to figure
that out, I did what I have always done – I wrote it down, but I stopped
My latest work is a short book on prayer that I have called “Prayer School – A Contemplative Guide to the Lord’s Prayer”. I wasn’t going to publish it at first. I had just planned to let what I had learned through writing remain between me and God.
But then something
strange happened, Amazon sent me a cheque for royalties from the sales of my
first three books.
Suddenly I felt like a real writer again. Some people, somewhere, have read my work and thought enough of it to plunk down their hard-earned cash to own a copy of something I wrote. My secret hope in making my writing publicly available has always been that somehow God would use my prayers to help other people and when I got that first cheque it was as if God said, “Yup, people are listening”. (“Yup” is in the Hebrew, look it up…)
That’s why I published
“Prayer School” and that’s why I am returning again to a daily ritual of writing
my thoughts. It’s always been how I
pray, think and learn.
I still have a lot to
say, questions that I want to find answers to.
I have ideas for several more books, seminars, and videos. I never want to write for my ego. I never want to get depressed over a lack of
engagement. I don’t want to measure my
worth by the number of likes I get on social media or the size of my royalty
It’s not supposed to
be about me. At the end of the day it’s
still just meant to between me and God.
You’re invited to eavesdrop on my prayer life.
So welcome back to my
blog. It’s just me and my thoughts, prayers
and questions. If you have anything to
add, feel free, that’s what the comments section is for. If not, that’s okay too because the only one
who’s listening, the only one that matters at least, is God.