I wanted to write this post two months ago, at the one year anniversary of La Delta, but it turns out I was napping the month of February and then some. Actually, these words have been floating around in my mind for over a year. Parts of this essay have weighed heavy on me for a decade even. And though I’m ready to write these thoughts, I’ve struggled to actually sit down and curate the processing. Any creative person will attest that inspiration is elusive, and always strikes at the most inopportune times. And further, that what you create doesn’t always turn out like you think it will, such as what I’m about to share, but you trust the outcome anyway, that it’s exactly what it needs to be.
There was a time in my marriage when my husband would ask me a question or desire my input on something, and before I’d have the chance to respond, he would naggingly imitate me saying “is that necessary?” That’s because I often responded with that answer—is that really a priority, practical? Do we really need that? However, I can’t remember the last time he mockingly impersonated me, probably because I’ve stopped saying it out loud. I still think it though.
My husband is good at seeing all the parts. I am good at seeing the big picture, and so we compliment and clash, we work hard to understand each other and remember that we approach things from opposite ends. There are strengths and weaknesses in both perspectives, but when it comes to me and my creative side, my “is this necessary?” attitude really gets in the way.
As I hinted at already, I wanted to blog/write publicly almost ten years ago. I even have old essays saved that I wrote for the blog I never started. So why didn’t I just do it? The big picture answer was—what’s the point? The parts were—because everyone else was already doing it, so why add to the noise? I didn’t have a niche, a certain type of blog, a way to market myself. There were/are thousands of other much more talented and trained writers out there, what makes me think I have anything special or different to offer? Or why should I share my work publicly when I can do it just the same within the privacy of my own pen and paper? For years people have crafted words without sharing them on websites and social media, so why did I need to? What was the root of my motivation, for show? Was it really necessary? No.
When you have the strong desire to do something—one that requires putting yourself out there—you have two options: to ignore/supress the desire, or act on it/move forward. I chose the former with writing (and other things), but I disguised my supression with rationale, convinced myself through various arguments that I didn’t need to do something publicly for it to matter, to have value—that it didn’t have to be a show saying “look what I can do!” Of course this is a valid statement, and therefore I held to it for years. But in spite of all my rationalizing, the desire kept resurfacing. And I’d stuff it back down to its rightful place, keep my motives in check, only to resurface, and so the cycle continued.
Until last year, after my thirtieth birthday, I decided I wanted to change my is-it-necessary ways (and other ways), throw practicality out the window, and I started a blog. (And secondly, because a dear friend of mine started her own blog and gave me some courage to do the same.) But honestly, it wasn’t a matter of practicality or necessity that kept me from writing publicly, it was fear. Fear of what people would think, fear that what I had to offer wouldn’t be worth reading, fear of rejection—the failure of something held dearly. My words were safe tucked in the pages of notebooks, but not out on the open internet.
Despite my fears, I created a WordPress account and picked a template. And without thinking too much about it, analyzing every aspect of my motives and the grand purpose of my blog, I wrote about what was on my mind, pressed publish, and held my breath (heart pounding) as I shared my very first post on Instagram and Facebook. I think I was so tired of wrestling with my desire to write that I finally gave in. Really, so tired of being ruled by the fear of failure.
Can I tell you, I have found so much joy and freedom in writing La Delta? That crafting my thoughts and struggles into stories, and capturing photos to go with them, has made me feel alive? That this little space is just the creative outlet I needed? This is no coincidence, this is divine. God placed such a desire in me—to write and share what I write—and in doing what He created me to do, I naturally thrive. By stepping out into the fear of “what if”—what if it’s not good enough? what if no one reads it? what are my motives for sharing?—I’ve realized that none of those things really matter. The big picture is this: I’m living out the desire God’s placed in my heart, and not only does it bring me profound joy, but it pleases and glorifies Him!
And so I would like to take a moment to thank you, sweet friend or family member, for reading the words I write. There is so much noise—so many links and videos and podcasts and blogs vying for your attention—and the fact that you take time out of your day to read a post on La Delta is truly humbling. I don’t have a niche audience, marketing plan, or publishing schedule for my blog, but I do have a vision: that La Delta offer something real, honest, and refreshing, and that I write when I have something to say, and not just add to the noise.
And if you’re like me, maybe a creative type, and you think that what you have to offer won’t be enough, won’t make much of a difference, will only add to the noise, let me give a bit of advice: perhaps what you have to offer is not much in the grand scheme of life, of the millions of people trodding the earth, the endless faces and infinite words that surround us each day; perhaps we are insignificant in light of the universe, but a vapor. However, in spite of our smallness, what may be more significant than impacting the world around you in measurable, tangible ways, is to instead heed to your Maker, to surrender to the work He’s called you to and designed you for, whether that appeals to the masses, or more simply, satisfies your soul while glorifying Him. While the former will tug and tangle you, convince you it’s the essence, the latter is the Truth. It is necessary.