I remember years ago having to write an essay for an English class on the topic, “Why I Write.” I wish I could find the essay and see what I had to say about my reasons for writing back in high school. Although the decade-old assignment is likely tucked in a clutter of papers on a dusty closet shelf somewhere, the topic has always stuck with me, creeping to the forefront of my mind from time to time as if to urge me to perpetually re-answer that pressing question.
Undeniably, the answer has changed as I have gotten olde, and as both my reasons for writing and my writing itself has matured – as they will hopefully continue to do.
For the past few years, I have waded deeper into waters of the Catholic blogosphere. Writing there has brought an array of rewards and challenges. Among the challenges, I have discovered these pesky little voices inside my head that like to offer their unsolicited input, which goes something like this:
Why do you even bother?
You’ll never write as well as Catholic author “Sally.” Everybody always loves what she has to say…and, to boot, she’s funny, and you’re not funny. Everybody loves funny…
You’ll never be as insightful or intelligent as Catholic writer “Dave.” The depth of content in his writing could run laps around yours. Everybody thinks he’s a writing genius…
You’ll never reach as many people as Catholic blogger “Sam.” Have you seen his number of fans and followers? Everybody who’s anybody knows about “Sam” and his writings…
Why do you even bother?
But somewhere in the midst of all these nasty little voices is a quiet, clear voice speaking softly in my heart. It is for this voice that I write. It says:
“You may never write as well or as humorously as Sally. You may never be as intelligent as Dave. You may never reach as many people as Sam. But if though your writing you bring one person just a little bit closer to Jesus, if you convey insight that helps one soul inch closer to sanctity, if you reach just one person for the sake of sharing something about the love and truth, peace and happiness that animate the lives of those who live for God, then that is worth all of the time, effort, and insecurities of the woman who sits behind every written word.”
Do you have any pesky little voices that try to deter you from what God wants you to do or that cloud your reasons for doing what you are gifted at? Ignore them. God wants to use you to touch at least one person, and to listen to that clear, small voice that beckons you to do His will, even when you feel inadequate or undeserving. After all, His power is made perfect in our weakness, in our unpopularity, and in our littleness. Always listen to—and answer—the quiet voice that calls you.