I decided to start blogging after sitting through a frustrating board meeting.
After hours of listening to the founding member of a new ministry share ideas that seemed incomprehensibly irrelevant, it ignited a fire inside me. I realized that if a leader doesn’t care to understand social networking, read books on the topic they speak about or research the market on the subject for which they are writing a book, frankly, they aren’t someone I want to follow.
I resigned from the board.
Instead of trying to convince someone to be culturally relevant, I took my own advice and stuck my toes in the uncharted waters of blogging. Unexpectedly, that board meeting helped me to discern how to harness God given gifts and spurred me into a wonderful community on the internet, complimenting my job as a feature writer.
I deeply regret . . . .
Join me at BibleDude today on my column Living the Story to find out why I value your feedback . . .it may not be what you think.
Shelly, I’m finding it really hard to read the “gray” at Bible Dude, so in case you are having that difficulty too (or maybe it is just my computer!), I’ll repost my comments for you here:
Shelly, this is such an excellent post, and I love that YOU love feedback, and also that you respond to it. I think that relationship is one of the most important things that you have personally engendered through your blog. I think that commentors can feel as if they are commenting in a vaccuum when the blogger never interacts. Wow! An hours’-long board meeting (with basically one speaker)! Oh my. If a board meeting can’t conclude in an hour, it is surely unfocused (and likely a waste of time). I love how you were spurred into a new direction with your writing as a result, so I take it back: God is sovereign, and the meeting wasn’t a waste of time after all. God used it positively in your life. All writers need feedback, and if it is given constructively and lovingly, you are so right: It can really be a gift…..to help us grow, correct mistakes, help direct our writing to meet needs, etc. Editorial comments (from an editor to an author in a professional relationship) can sometimes sting. But again, it depends upon whether they are on target and how they are delivered. I am so grateful to editors who have corrected my mistakes, but with kindness and caring. I also remember one editor early on in my career, who was downright mean-spirited. And after my pain dissipated, I realized she must have had an ax to grind. She wasn’t correcting errors (which she never actually mentioned), but she was criticizing my life experience. So I let go her naysaying, but I did learn from it: I learned how I do NOT want to edit others’ work. And when an editor strips out your voice, it really is time to reassess. This is a very particular gift that God bestows to each writer. You’re right to own your voice, because God has given it to you, and not to employ it (I believer) is to deny Him. When your voice is gone, your writing is like an empty, hanging chrysalis shell. The beauty has flown on. Your writing is beauiful and it continually resounds in lyrical tones with which God has blessed you. And the message, too, must come from Him. (I can tell how much you pray over your messages for His direction). I think it is really important to listen to your readership (and you do). It’s also important to write the message that God has given you to share. Sometimes that takes great courage, and your voice may be a lone one crying in the wilderness. Some readers may not always like the message or think it is relevant. But if it is God-given, somebody’s life will change. And you will receive the most important feedback you can ever hope to hear: “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Thank you for your faithfulness, Shelly, to speak His truth in your own voice! I so appreciate you!
Look! My peeps!