Writers and artists — do what you do; give it all you've got. You have no idea where it's going.
“The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.” ~Frederick Buechner, The Hungering Dark
Reading this quote was my wakeup call. I do not choose the members or the size of my audience. I share what has been entrusted to me, and I share it to the best of my ability. If one soul is encouraged or changed or challenged by what I write, who knows where the trembling will stop?
What is your heart called to contribute? Would you be willing to work for weeks on a project if you knew that it was only meant for one other life? What if one person read your words, but that person's life would then make a subtle pivot that would change their direction, and in turn, change the way they lived every day for the rest of their life? Powerful stuff to think about.
Last week, a young woman told a story. She had been one of 7 (yes, 7) readers of a vulnerable blog post I wrote a while back. I worked on it for a week — all 741 words — mostly because it was deeply personal. When few read it or commented at the time, the voices reared their ugly heads. You know the ones. I wondered if everyone thought I was crazy. Was it bad writing? Boring? Do I even have real friends, or are they all too busy for a 3 minute read? Do they all think I'm a narcissist because I want to be a writer? Mercy, make it stop!
Back to my story — this precious woman told me that she had read that little blog post about being kind to yourself, and that it had shifted her thinking about herself in a profound way. She said it changed her marriage, her ability to believe her husband thought she was beautiful, and she knew it would change how she raised her kids one day. Oh. My. Gosh. Humbled I am.
What do we know about the purpose of our art? Is fame and glory better than changing a real human heart? I am enjoying this Scriggler platform — what a vast and varied group of word-artists! Everything we are called to write has a purpose, but we don't control the outcome. You will likely have influence you will never know about. It might never show up in the sad black and white numbers of followers, retweets, and likes. But keep writing, keep it real, and remember the trembling. You never know where it stops.