I should be writing a couple of talks for a faculty retreat I’m giving on Monday and another talk for on Laudato Si that I’m giving next Wednesday. I could also be writing the pro-life talk I’m giving at the end of the month, the talk on prayer I’m giving in November, or the women’s retreat I’m giving in December.
But no, I’m here. Because I’m having a crisis.
I think every blogger goes through this at some time or another, especially when one is looking at a fairly stagnant blog (no fault but mine own). What the heck am I doing? Why am I here?
I’ve been watching a series of videos from Michael Hyatt’s Influence & Impact summit that’s going on right now, originally to see if there were some tips for marketing my adult formation opportunities or strategies to share with leaders in adult formation. Essentially, half of my job is marketing the Gospel message to adults sitting in the pews who don’t know they should care more than they do. So I was thinking I could learn from the “secular” play-makers who are out there.
But after watching several of the videos, I began to wonder about my own blog, website, and online presence. I want readers to my website. I want to be speaking and teaching groups of people. But unlike the people I was listening to — people who had massive followings online, multiple New York Times’ best sellers, and huge “platforms,” I’m not selling anything.
Or am I? As I was listening to them, they all had something in common: They had a product- not just physical products (books, an online course, or newsletter full of tips and inspirational encouragement)- but a product in the form of some niche message.
What was my product? What was my “why”? I love to write, but why should anyone read me? What do I have to offer?
One of the presenters said that we all, at some point, suffer from the curse of familiarity. We begin to assume that everyone knows what we know. We have nothing to offer, nothing to share, because we don’t have anything unique.
Maybe I do have something unique. My friend Jenny insisted I did, when we were in Philadelphia waiting 8 1/2 hours to see the Pope drive by (have you read about that? It was awesome…), and I didn’t believe her. But maybe I do, and maybe it’s just a matter of honing in what sets me apart. I’m don’t have a tribe of cute kids to homeschool. I don’t spend time crafting or DIY-ing my way to Pinterest-worthy masterpieces. But perhaps I still have something to offer. And perhaps it’s time to get off my duff and figure out how to hone that into something that’s worth giving.