Saturday, July 14, 2012

What If You're Not a Writer?

My baby girl, Aria.
She's one of the reasons I need to stay focused on what I'm called to do.
First off, Jeff Goins' book, You Are a Writer, is a really great book. You should buy a copy and read it. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone who's ever even thought about writing.

But what if you aren't a writer?

This post may offend my writer friends, but hopefully they'll hear me out (and offer some input).

I've been thinking about blogging lately. That's kind of what you do when you have one of these things. I've already talked about why I blog (to encourage others), but lately I've been thinking about how I blog.

I'm not one to do things half way. If I'm in, I'm all in. So where is this blog going? I'm a business owner and an entrepreneur, not an aspiring writer. I don't have a life long dream to write my own book. I don't take this blog as seriously as some suggest I should.

I haven't bothered to upgrade to Wordpress or buy a cool theme. I don't spend as much time as I should editing posts or creating new content. I don't comment on or read other blogs every single day. I'm not out building new relationships with great authors. I don't seek out people to follow on Twitter in the hope they will follow me back and grow my "audience." I'm not looking for opportunities to guest post or asking people to guest post here.

In short, I'm not trying to be one of the cool kids in the blogosphere.

All of those activities are things I know I should be doing as a "blogger" or a "writer." If I'm honest, I may have felt guilty now and again for not doing this work. A lot of my friends are on top of it. They have amazing blogs with loyal readers and tons of inspiring comments. It seems like almost every day I see tweets about the top ten ways to grow your blog, or the five things you can do today to improve your posts. Basically, I'm doing it wrong. And I know it.

One sure-fire way to be successful at nothing is to try and be successful at everything.

I've been told by a few that this blog could turn into something really good. Am I willing to do the work to make it good?

Don't be deceived. It takes work.

The answer, for now, is no. I'm not a writer. I am, however, striving to be a better communicator. This blog helps me tremendously. It helps me better understand myself and encourage others. I might be a writer in the future, but today I'm a business owner.

I don't have to be like everyone else. I still get value out of what it is I am doing. I'll keep writing because I want to encourage others with my story, and I want to hear their story in the comments and via email.

So how can this post encourage you?

I want to give you permission to write for your own reasons. Focus on the most important priorities for your purpose and remove the other distractions. Don't feel bogged down by all the things you should be doing as a blogger. Just get something done. Do the work, but do it for you. Stay focused on being successful at that which matters most for your life.

I hope you have a blog, and you share your thoughts with others. Your words are powerful and unique. You are the only one who can distribute them.

Are you a blogger who has priorities other than your blog and do you feel guilty about what you think you should be doing?

P.S. I'm super excited because my wife finally started blogging. Do me a favor and check out her blog at Simply Stokes. Leave her a comment to encourage her to keep going.


Adam Culp said...

I agree, it takes a lot of work. I started a blog at and worked very hard at it for more than a year, but truthfully I grew tired of it and it now collects dust. (I do need to get back to it "for me" though.) Thanks for the words of encouragement.

Luke Stokes said...

Thanks Adam! Looks like you have a great blog with relevant product reviews and information people who are into running would love. You may want to check out and say hello to Chad. I used to work with him at Dave Ramsey's company and he's got a pretty cool blog going. A great way to get blogging encouragement is to be in a cool community. One that you're comfortable with but doesn't become a distraction.

I love your "for me" comment as well. That's definitely what it has to be about. I love comments and feedback about how I'm communicating, but that can't be my only focus. That being said, without someone to dialog with, no communication takes place, so I greatly value every reader and every share.

trinity said...

inspiring words I needed to read as a part-time student/ massage therapist trying to gain some presence online with a blog. I have been looking at so many blogs tonight and feel overwhelmed. This helped so much, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Luke Stokes said...

Wow, thanks Trinity! Your comment is so encouraging to me. I hope your blog is a great success by the standards you set for yourself and not anyone else.

Cindy said...

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pebbles yap said...

people do need some inspiring words to keep them going. thanks for sharing this with us.


leeshink said...

thank you for putting this up such a really great site. Stimulating me to read much more.


cleonlim said...

thank you for sharing this. i'm not a writer who's trying to be one.. lol,,

les_lim0121 said...

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