i’ve never done this right

I never read a single “how to blog” article before I started.

I never tried to find a niche.

I never strategically stalked other bloggers to boost my stats.

I never joined the blogging networks that pay you for running their ads.

I never worked on sensational titles or pin-worthy photos.

I never got sponsors.

I never tried to make a single post go viral.

I never even told you my children’s names or shared zillions of shots of their adorable faces so you could fall in love with them.

By many standards, I’ve never done this blogging thing right. All the experts scream that readers want sound bytes, top-10 lists, slick design, meme-worthy quotes. I’ve done none of that.

(For crying out loud, it’s been over a week since I last posted. Don’t I know the first thing about keeping readers interested?)

But from the beginning I’ve wanted to do this blogging thing real if not right. Which is to say that when my family or my work or the rest of my life needs me more, I always step back for a bit. I don’t stress about posting; I don’t check the stats; I don’t keep up with the comments.

And the lovely thing about a true passion is that it always forgives you the neglect.

Right now I have lots of irons in the fire. Right now I have plenty of projects in the works, including the biggest and longest thing I’ve written to date (!) and a bunch of other deadlines gently elbowing my side: don’t forget us. Right now I have two busy little boys who run me ragged sunup to sundown with an exhaustion of love and giggles. Right now I have a husband who travels and a house I stopped cleaning and an email inbox stuffed to overwhelming with so many good things and people I need to respond to.

So I let the blog slide, or maybe I let it lay fallow, or maybe I let it slow down. Knowing that coasting and resting and pausing are all part of the ride. Knowing that the energy and excitement always come back to this place.

Because you are here, and I never take for granted the gift that is someone else reading these words. What never fails to blow my mind is how that people keep finding their way here, even when I never intended to draw them in.

So today I’m reveling in all that I don’t do right. The bathrooms I don’t scrub, the homemade meals I don’t scratch together, the to-dos I haven’t done, the errands I haven’t run, the activities I never signed my kids up for, even the blog I neglect.

Because in between all that I don’t do right, I do so much real. With a partner and kids and work and faith that I love.

And maybe because all of that is wrapped tight with hope in the truth that faithfulness was always a deeper call than success, I’m reveling in letting things fall where they may. In this season of falling leaves and dipping temps and letting go, I’m giving thanks for all that is done and undone. Knowing that whenever I turn back to pick up what has fallen, there will be time enough, again.

Time enough, always, for the real. If not the right.

Do you ever revel in this, too?

11 thoughts on “i’ve never done this right

  1. Yes. Yes. I meant to blog today…but kids taking turns playing pbskids on my computer and a baby who refused to nap ever, for even 5 minutes – took that from me. Tonight my husband got home from work at almost 8pm and brought dinner – a bag of chicken sandwiches from a fast food joint. That is my “real.” Loved. this.

    1. Lydia, you always do such a beautiful job with writing the real and spying the beauty amidst the mess! I love this about your work; it inspires my own.

    1. I recently learned about this Japanese technique where the artist intentionally places a flaw in their work, to enhance its beauty. If only we could look at our lives the same way!

  2. Laptop’s on the fritz, in the middle of unpacking a big move, trying to adjust to new everything. I had thoughts of even just journaling the entire Ignatian Spiritual exercises at the start of the liturgical calendar…which died almost instantly. I’m very Type-A, but life doesn’t always run along Type-A wavelengths. It’s about picking battles. If real life wasn’t “winning,” you’d be in a mess and it wouldn’t matter what you wrote anyway. Keep on keeping on, and blessings to you.

  3. Yes Laura, I hear you. Today is so gloriously orange and yellow and red…
    …My window view, as I try to understand my new Mac,( and know this is in itself a blessing! ), and to pay overdue bills after being on the road too much, and to catch up on lots of “to dos” ~~ I realize that this in-the-moment living is where we all should be….Keep on keeping on doesn’t quite say it, but this comes close…

  4. I can relate. Sometimes we just need to ditch the writing/blogging and feed other parts of ourselves — do other projects, bake with our kids, whatever. The funny thing is that those experiences end up making the writing so much richer when we finally do get back to it. Funny how that works…

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