I spent the morning thinking about what I value. I asked myself what the why is behind what I write. I came to the conclusion that I value peace in relationships, overcoming conflict and trouble and helping others overcome conflict and trouble.
I value honoring the Imago Dei in people and the truth that Christ’s redemptive work means nothing is wasted or vain in the Christian’s life.
I care about learning from history and nature and gaining wisdom from the Bible and forefathers and sharing that wisdom with others.
I treasure telling kids about Jesus.
I care about seeking wholeness for myself and others. Being productive is important to me as well as resting. I’m an easily-fatigued, low-energy person, but I value doing something that makes a difference for good in my life and the lives of those around me.
As I’ve thought through these ideas and truths I care about, I hope to use them to guide my writing in 2022.
Looking back over what I’ve written and published, either by blog or another web magazine, in 2021. In 2021 I wrote 20 published pieces. Seventeen of them on my blog. Three online magazines. The purpose of this review was to inventory what I enjoyed most, what the impact was, and what themes I wrote on.
I have a hard time naming the themes in my writings. Most of my posts are personal reflections or thoughts on something I’m troubled by or have been helped by. Two of my posts were book reviews. About a quarter of the blog posts are poems. But three-quarters of my blog is an attempt to persuade others to think differently on a certain subject I see popping up on social media, or to think about God or the hope of Jesus in hard times, or something I”m learning in life or marriage or parenting.
What’s interesting to me is that the posts with the most views were the posts I didn’t expect much of a response from. The series on Remembering God did better than I expected. And the poetry posts (which I love to write) were a viewer flop. I still love writing poetry. Blog views or none.
The three articles I submitted to online publications did well. I enjoyed writing the poem to Fathom Mag the most, but it seems to have had the least impact. The TGC article about marriage has generated a lot of private messages and even a long phone call with a perfect stranger from across the country. The Risen Motherhood article on Launching Adults is probably the article I most enjoyed working on.
Reflecting on what I wrote this year I realized something else- I didn’t achieve the goals I set for writing in 2021. My goal for 2021 was to submit a book proposal about being married to someone who doesn’t worship Jesus. The running title in my mind was: Even If. Following Jesus even when your spouse does not. I did work on several brainstorm sessions about that book, but I couldn’t get past the ugh feeling in my gut. I just don’t really want to write a book about my marriage. I guess I’m torn about it. Part of me feels called to write about my marriage to an unbeliever because I know it’s an underserved topic in teachings and writings among Christians. But the rest of me feels a bit of bitterness about it. I’ve dreamt of writing a book that would inspire and encourage others, but I never thought it would be about the difficult marriage I continue in, with love. I guess I just haven’t worked out my own inner trouble on this subject yet. Maybe one day.
I had also planned to compile the poetry I’ve written over the years into different themed groups. I don’t expect I’d have much of a chance of getting my poems published in a traditional way. I don’t think I”m that great of a poet either. But I’d like to organize my poems and print them into small booklets that I could give to friends and family as gifts. That never happened. I plan to take this up again this year. I’ve already started compiling a group on the subject of sojourning through the liturgical/historical Church year. I’m thinking of a compilation towards Easter. And one towards Christmas. The Church has been a stream forming how I think and the shape I take in framing the world. I want to write poetry along those lines.
Years ago I wrote a poem I imagined as a children’s book about a king and a dragon. I’d like to either develop the poem into a grade-school aged reader’s book, or into a picture book for children. I don’t even know where to begin there. But I’ll do my research and if, like the poetry books it seem unlikely, I’ll print it and even take a stab at illustrating it and send it out as a gift for friends and family.
Today’s reflection on what I wrote in 2021 led to a couple other writing dreams I have. I would like to do some research and write at least a good article (and maybe that would lead to a book) on the subject of the historical church and healthcare and how our history might call us to do something about the healthcare crisis in America as Christians. Another dream- write something inspirational about how it’s not a waste of your life to spend your entire life letting Jesus teach you how to love another well.
So now you know what I wrote in 2021 and what I’m dreaming about writing in 2022. I’d love to hear what writing impacted you in 2021 and what you’d love to read in 2022.
Here are the links to my top 10 blog posts of 2021 in order of most viewed, and my published online magazine articles:
From my blog:
#1 How Four Flawed Churches Helped Me Love Christ More
#2 Bidding Moms of Young Children to Rest in the Power of Christ- A book review
#3 Purity culture: The fruit of our “lawish hearts”- A book review
#6 Remember God Can Replace Anyone’s Heart
#8 Learning From My Marriage: Three Practices To Build Compassion When We Disagree
#10 Remember The Hope of Glory
From the web:
TGC: God hasn’t wasted my marriage to an unbeliever
Risen Motherhood: Launching Adults