There are some powerful emotional highs and lows that come with blogging. And the fact is that both ends of the success spectrum provide bloggers with some serious temptations to pride.
On one end, it is a difficult thing not to hungrily seek and then gobble up affirmation measured in Facebook Likes, retweets, page views, blog post comments and the like. What blogger hasn’t been through a season of obsessively checking his or her stats? And let’s be honest here: it can be downright addictive when one of your posts goes viral or your blog just suddenly gets more hits than normal.
On the other end of the spectrum, there is always a temptation to envy bloggers getting a little more attention than we are. Every blogger has felt disappointment and confusion at some point when we get exactly zero comments on a post we poured ourselves into. Have you been there before? I sure have. But it’s a slippery slope when we let ourselves dwell on the idea that no one seems to notice how awesome we are.
The thing is, many successful bloggers tend to be humble bloggers. Confident in their abilities and content–but humble. And the most successful bloggers in every genre will all say this: you have to want to help people. Whether it’s writing about how to survive a trip to Target, how to be a great writer, or how to survive tough times in marriage, when it’s clear that a blogger aims to help rather than just share his or her own thoughts, people respond to that.
I’ve been blogging for six years now. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to keep a right heart about the success of my blog (or lack of it), especially in seasons when I couldn’t write very much for one reason or another. Like a lot of small bloggers, I’ve asked myself many times, why am I even doing this?
In the end, humility has always been the key for me. I’ve used two main weapons in fighting temptations to pride as a blogger: The perspective that comes with choosing a God-centered worldview, and the peace that comes with a pure heart in prayer.
First of all, the world doesn’t need my blog. That’s perspective in a nutshell. The particular mission God created me for needs me quite a lot, though. I have to be OK if God’s life mission for me doesn’t involve great success with my blog. I have to be open to the fact that He could tell me to close up shop tomorrow.
Secondly, a Godly perspective reminds me that I can’t measure my success by the world’s standards. A blogger whose site receives 100,000 hits per month may not be any more successful in God’s eyes than a blogger whose site receives 52 hits per month. Mother Teresa emphasized that she was “only a little pencil in God’s hand.” If I feel the desire to blog, and if God seems to be providing space and time for writing in my life right now, then that’s great. What an honor that God might use my writing to bless someone else–even just one person. The Good Shepherd rejoiced over that one lost sheep. And while I of course have always hoped to bless many people through the blog, I have prayed that He would help me to be OK with blessing relatively few people if that was His will for me.
Prayer has also been important for me in striving for humility in blogging. To be honest, I gave this blog to God a long time ago. I recognized that He was the one who gave me a knack for writing and a heart for wanting to help others. I prayed that if it was His will that I would help others through my blog, then He needed to send me the words to share, give me the time to write them, and send them to the people they were supposed to bless.
I pray every time I sit down to write. I thank God for the time He’s provided for me to blog. I thank Him for the ideas in my head and the desire to bless others that is in my heart. I thank Him for giving me the opportunity to evangelize to others outside of my home in a special way. And I ask for the grace to be humble in whatever success He chooses for me.
Please don’t think this post means I’ve got humility down pat. My blog has grown and changed in some significant ways this year, and honestly my excitement about each of my new projects has given me plenty of practice in being intentional about humility! Having a blog with a name like “Humble Handmaid” definitely helps though in the gentle accountability department. 🙂
“I am only a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.” -Mother Teresa