Starting over is big, scary, and messy. When I sat down to re-launch This Happy Mom, I faced some hard questions. The biggest of which was “Why does this even matter?” I could just as easily keep writing in my journal and never post again on the internet. I could delete the entire blog, start over under a different name, and never look back. Starting over means that I have to face the mess I left behind.
I dreamed of being famous for being awesome.
My first working title for this post was “SEO, social media, algorithms, and if I care.” To be honest, that wasn’t an easy question to answer. The question behind the question made me face some hard truths. I used to care. For all the wrong reasons.
At one point, I was distracted by the whole “I am a writer” thing. Embarrassingly, I had daydreams of becoming famous because I was an amazing writer. At times I found myself writing for an imaginary audience of critics.
I sought validation in numbers.
I obsessively tracked the number of followers and comments and likes each post received. With every milestone, I felt one step closer to that rock star writer status of my daydreams. Or at least a decent affiliate income.
The money mattered. Not simply to fund my blogging habit, rather, to make enough money to actually notice in our bank account. Being “just a mom” didn’t feel like it was a valuable contribution to our family. I needed to make money to feel valuable.
My motivations have changed.
Now, I just want the words I write to resonate, comfort, and inspire. I still care about social media and growing my readership, but it’s with a very different heart. For my writing to resonate, it has to be read. I want what I write to make a difference.
I knew this was going to feel as awkward as that time I made a dramatic exit from the room only to discover I was standing in the coat closet. Walking back into the room involved owning my ridiculous drama and facing the consequences.
Starting over means redemption.
Starting from scratch would have ignored the long period of darkness when I couldn’t write or even keep promises even to myself. To ignore the broken ugliness would mean I could never tell the story of God’s redemption. I can’t write about how He turned my ashes into beauty if I never acknowledge the ashes.
Starting Over matters because it makes my words matter. My words only matter if they tell the story of God’s loving redemption in my life.