There’s a nifty little feature here on the wordpress blog I’ve found myself staring at off-and-on recently. It’s called “site stats”. You can look at your blog readership and see which days people are coming over to viachicago the most. I could see it becoming a ridiculously consuming, remarkably vain pursuit of mine to continue checking out. But my purpose in looking at the stats this month has not been my lame attempt to give my own back a pat.
I made a New Year’s resolution to start blogging
more again in 2011. The problem is, I don’t take resolutions lightly. At all. In fact, I only make them if I believe they will also serve as lifestyle changes. I’ve never dieted. Hopefully never will. Instead I want to live in a constant state of eating pretty well. I’ve never committed to reading x-amount of books in a year. Instead I want to live in a rhythm of reading pretty regularly.
I was incredibly late to the Donald Miller train. While everyone else was reading Blue Like Jazz, I was still shaking my head at the six billion people who’d just read Purpose Driven Life. Why? Because I can be a better-than-thou, snooty little punk. I was the same way with Harry Potter. I was the same way with jeans that weren’t bootcut. In all of the above, I was wrong. Again. I believe that’s becoming a theme here on the blog.
Anyway, I’ve since become a huge Donald Miller fan. I’ve read nearly every book he’s written. I’ve begun to follow his blog daily. I’ve even seriously thought about attending the conference he puts on annually now. I admit, it took me a bit to realize that not everything he said was filled with gold and perfect wisdom. But a blog post he wrote back in December has been on my mind for the past two months. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. More than that, though, I haven’t been able to stop living by it. It was that insightful for me.
I’m no longer writing for you. You have no idea the freedom that one sentence opens up for a writer. If I write for my own sake, or if I write for writings sake, for the simple joy of putting words down, then writing becomes a labor of love again. Blogging becomes a lifestyle choice that I want to keep. It is no longer a task I have to check off to keep this little project barely afloat.
When I look at the viachicago site stats, I do so as a constant reminder that when we create on this blog, people respond. When we don’t, people don’t. The catch, though, is that the “creation” there was not for the sake of readership, it was simply for the sake of the creation itself. It was writing for writing’s sake. And that is contagious. Life giving. Filled with joy.
Miller writes, “what gets lost is a joyful obsession with the work we create from the purest of motives, a sheer joy in the act of creation itself that causes us to lose ourselves in something else, and in a way die to ourselves over the absolute love of a thing we are breathing into life.”
Are you losing yourself in something else? Are you dying to self over the absolute love of something you’re creating? You were made to.
I’ll tell you “why” tomorrow. Better yet, I’ll tell myself tomorrow.
Because it’s not for your sake. It’s for mine.
To write it out. For writing’s sake.