ADVICE ON BLOGGING: SEEKING BREAKTHROUGH
Seeking Breakthrough in our work: Each of us has some form of work – industry that consumes our time and hopefully allows us to express and blossom in our gifts. I am a writer, so I’ll talk about blogging, but this could be applied to any artist, or any career for that matter, where you find you are not experiencing the fullness of what you have hoped and aspired to achieve.
How do you find the breakthrough you’ve been praying for?
“On blogging, getting discovered and God’s grace”
Blogging takes time. First, it takes time to develop a personal style, theme and voice; and then it takes more time to establish your audience. For the Christian, we can lay aside all our ideas, pray, and ask God to lead us by His Spirit, to show us the prophetic words, images and timing that we can develop in order to reach the audience He has for us.
But, like everybody else, then we practice. We practice the craft of writing because that is who we are. As fiction author Ana Menendez writes, “But writing, like reading, is an intensely personal act. If I could no longer create a world, then all possible worlds suddenly <would be> lost to me.” (Searching for the Real and the True, “Poets and Writers” Magazine, ‘The Inspiration Issue’, Jan/Feb 2011, pg 26).
In addition to the joy of self-expression, we need an income for our exertion. Or, if we are financially self-sufficient, we at least want the results of our creative efforts to be seen by others; success may not be measured in money, but usually we create and desire to share our creations. The overarching reason we blog is to be read – to be seen, to develop a profile – so our work is marketed. It isn’t easy to ‘be discovered’.
How do we get breakthrough? I’ve settled on three particular patterns for success. One may be for you…
Pattern I: The shortcut to your discovery on the world stage may be through the serendipitous moment. First, you receive inspiration, which provokes you to ‘write now!’ Then, knowing when your ‘defining moment’ has come and acting upon it is fundamental to success. Many who have achieved notoriety in any range of fields have expressed an experience that led to success which can be condensed to the following*:
- Listening for the ‘call’
- Believing in what they ‘heard’
- Taking Action
- Serendipity – the divine ingredient that took them ‘over the top of the hill’
These people were alert to their own talents and asserted themselves at the key moments when their efforts and the ebb and flow of humanity would collide, pointing the way to their discovery.
Pattern II: An alternative ‘key’ to unlocking your visibility may be in writing to a large audience with a specific need. You title the message perfectly in order for Google to pick it up through their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and your post or blog or book or video promo goes VIRAL!
Pattern III: Discovery may come through the ‘surrendering of all your effort’ and by yielding your time and work to God. Then you wait for His call… wait until He issues it. This supernatural approach will probably involve more work than it may seem, with fasting, prayer, intercession and acts of service being ingredients.
As for me, I’ve chosen the surrendered approach, yielding to the LORD as completely as I can. I’m discovering that, as I increase my time in fellowship with him, as I fast sometimes, pray always, and wait, I begin to hear Him and His direction for my work.
Most recently, I discovered in this process that, while I thought I’d surrendered my work to Him, most of the creative work that I was doing was based on my will. I thought I was supposed to do “X” because it’s part of the general procedure I follow as a writer – which God has clearly called me to do – and as an entrepreneur of my work. But most of this, in my case, was of my own making and has so far born relatively little fruit. Now I realize: Ah! No wonder it’s been too much for me to manage! It’s been my workload, my burden, not His. I know, “His yoke is easy and His burden is light.” Now I’m realigning my theology with my practice. Time will reveal the impact this will have on my outreach.
For me, this third pattern is the most fundamental. It is all-important. Allow me to take you back to the place in prayer that I was when I made the discovery that has changed my work day competely. Here, I believe, is an all-important kernel for transformation toward Christ.
I was in the third day of a three day fast. I was alone in my study, a place of calm and focus. I reached out to the LORD toward the end of a long, busy and rewarding Sunday. It was about 7 pm.
I told God I wanted to yield everything to Him (including my personal and work life), and to surrender completely. Immediately impressed upon me was the fiction writing project I’m working on currently, a project which was initiated by the LORD many years and several projects ago. Then as I continued in prayer, my long list of writing projects came to my mind, and along with them, a glimpse of various responsibilities surrounding them. Only then did I hear in my heart,
‘The fiction project is a project which comes from my heart. The other work comes from my mind – from my will, not His.’
My world has changed with this revelation. All the activities and responsibilities I had put upon myself to be busy, to tick the boxes, to stretch toward my goal of having my work read were my burdens, not those of the LORD. In this, I have discovered the edge of the knife that divides the supernatural agenda from the natural. It’s as the scripture in Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (NKJV)
I am recognizing the division between my ideas and God’s, my inspirations and His.
Next I wondered, did Jesus feel tempted by Satan after the 40 day fast? Or was that perhaps a less difficult battle than the temptations he faced daily in his ministry. Did his heart go out to someone, his thoughts to another, but His Father pointed him in a third direction and say ‘go there’, and Jesus went?
My journey began with a prayer, asking God to help me to surrender completely. It was not the first time I’d prayed this prayer and it probably won’t be the last. But this time, when my attention again merged into the present world, I realized I knew Jesus better than I had before I started. As well, I’d discovered I’d been sidetracked from the main purpose of my work. Though I’ve worked diligently at my projects, I was living my agenda instead of His.
I hope that I am now changed permanently. I hope this transformation of my mind will ensure my ordered steps are His, and that the labour of my hands and my mind draw closer to the work (and timing) God has ordained for me.
Will my new direction stick? And will it gain me exposure, ultimately? I hope it will stick, not so I gain exposure, but because my relationship with my Father is deepening. If He wants my work to be seen, then I have to believe He’ll guide me to the people, the projects, and the strategies that will work to get the job done, and make the exposure happen.
And, I hope the sharing of my experience will inspire others who are still looking for breakthrough. Let’s take courage, ‘let go’, and to do the work God has implanted in us to do. It isn’t easier to walk the supernatural path than the natural one, but it is the one I choose because I know God is faithful.
In Jeremiah 29:11 scripture says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV)
Joshua was encouraged before he entered the promised land. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (NKJV, Joshua 1:9)
Ready: Choose the method you plan to use in order to have your words, music, inventions, discoveries, work validated.
Set: Have a focused mind and a clear eye for the pathway before you. Love those around you as you step out to complete the work set before you. Be bold, be confident, and be sure – this is your time and your strategy and your moment. Give it all you’ve got!
Go: God’s grace, love, assurance and passion are within you. May you discover the blessings awaiting you.
*Kurt Kettner-Borough, Pastor of The Wave, Puerto Banus, Spain (c) 2015
OTHER OF MY BLOGGING CAN BE SPOTTED AT:
http://sarahtunexaminelife.blogspot.com Useful insights and related thoughts drawn from my personal day-to-day journey
and http://lifefromthelighthouse.wordpress.com Sharing what I learn from God when I manage to listen