One of the reasons I write is that I want to change the world. Okay, maybe that’s a bit lofty, but it would be nice to think our writing is having some impact. If you’re like me, there are days when you really feel like you’re making a difference, and other days (maybe even seconds later on the same day), when you wonder if you’re just deluding yourself. Is anything I’m writing really having an effect? Is there anyone out there who feels challenged, uplifted, or entertained by the words I write?
If things don’t seem to be going well, it can certainly be an opportunity to consider whether you need to make some changes. However, if we’re faithful to what God has called us to do, we have a guarantee. Nothing we do in the Lord’s service is in vain. I love the way Paul’s words to the Corinthian believers are translated in the Message Bible: ' ...don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort' (1 Cor. 15:58). That doesn't mean that we run ourselves into the ground trying to wring the last second out of each day, but if God has directed us towards a task, we know that it's worthwhile. The famous missionary and explorer David Livingstone reportedly had only one convert during his 32 years in Africa, yet he sowed the seeds for the hundreds of missionaries who came later. What if he had given up after a year because he didn't feel he was making an impact?
I've also been thinking of the value of a blog like Christian Writers Downunder, so I thought I'd share some statistics with you. Since it started in July 2011, there have been 324 blog posts by more than 50 different writers. The site has had almost 140 000 page views. All of the blog posts attract comments. Most have at least 70 page views, with many in excess of 100. Rose Dee's post 'Who needs Minions when you have perspective' received 633 views and Paula Vince's post that likened readers to pickled onions received 530. Imagine what could have happened if they'd written about Minions who like pickled onions!
If you have 10 minutes spare sometime, browse through the archived posts on this blog site or look for particular authors and themes using the search function. There's an amazing array of different topics and viewpoints. Truly something for everyone. Thanks to the internet, those posts are a lasting legacy that can be read again and again, reminding us of Jesus' words in John 15:16a: 'You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last' (NIV).
Please hear my heart. I'm not mentioning the achievements of the group so that we can give ourselves a collective pat on the back. Christian Writers Downunder is God's group first and foremost and we're just one of many Christian writers groups that are trying to make a difference (e.g., Omega Writers, Australasian Christian Writers and FaithWriters to name a few). None of us is perfect and there are sometimes bumps along the way, but God can work through us to encourage each other, bless the wider community, and help advance His Kingdom.
Do you ever wonder if writing is worth it? Commit it to God and you'll be amazed at what he can do with a heart submitted to Him.
Nola Passmore is a freelance writer who has had more than 100 short pieces published in various magazines, journals and anthologies (including poetry, devotions, magazine articles, true stories, and short fiction). She and her husband Tim have just started their own freelance writing and editing business called The Write Flourish. She loves writing about what God has done in her life and encouraging others to do the same. (Some call it 'nagging', but she calls it encouragement).