5 Reasons to Write What is Real {not just what sells}

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I was all set, fixed right up with a shiny-new email list powered through mailchimp.com. Now I just had to figure out what to giveaway (like the experts tell us) to convince people to part with their email addresses so that my platform could grow.

I thought about writing a mini ebook on meal planning. I could picture this beautiful cover:

mock-cover @allume

Except people would probably be a little bit disappointed when they read my meal planning advice:

1. Open cupboard. 2. Pull out some type of starch (bread, pasta, potatoes, squash, beans). 3. Open fridge. 4. Pull out some type of meat and two vegetables. 5. Cook. 6. In four hours, repeat process.

Okay. Scrap that idea.

I thought about writing a book about scheduling. Oh, it would be glorious! I could create these beautiful printouts except, well, I probably wouldn’t have time for all that since I’m the worst scheduler ever.

Oooh, cleaning! Cleaning books go over really well. But then I looked over at the chair piled high with papers and books. Bad, bad idea.

My shiny-new email list sat for some time. Oh, I sent out a few fluttering newsletters. Ten faithful followers took the time to open and read them. (Dear, dear, people.) 

Then a neighbor and friend asked if I would be willing to speak at a women’s banquet about my book Pain Redeemed. It’s not a fun book, you know. There aren’t any pretty printables and there certainly aren’t 6 easy steps to anything in it. People haven’t lined up on my blog (hilarious word picture there, just in case you missed it) to purchase a copy.

It’s a book about pain. A book where I peel back the layers of my heart and brutally, honestly, share about my walk through infertility. It’s the book that God called me to write last year. The one I faithfully wrote and self-published because I knew that I needed to share the story now, while I was still clawing my way through the darkness.

And when I stood there, in front of 120 women from my in-real-life community, and shared about where God was in the middle of my sorrow, as we cried together and connected, I knew. I knew exactly what I was suppose to write and give away.

Dying of Thirst at the Side of a WellSo I sat down and wrote a really long poem, then wrapped it all up into a mini ebook.

It isn’t going to go viral, folks. I know that.

But I want to give my readers something real. Something of me. And this is me. 

Here are five reasons for you write what is real about YOU:

  • Real = Lasting

When you sit down and create something out of who you are (not just what is pretty or sells well) it will last. In your life. In the lives of those who read it. {and I’ll add in right here: if who you are is someone who creates awesome meal-planning lists– write a book about it! I’d love to read it. And if you need a cover, we can tweak this one up for you. :)}

  • Any decent writer can create “what sells” but only you can write the real things from your heart

I’m the only one who can share about my journey through infertility. It might not be popular, but I know from personal experience that it can be profoundly moving to the one who needs it. 

  • It requires more than your own strength

For me, to write about one of the subjects I mentioned would be simple. I could just design lovely printables to go with my 6 easy steps to whatever. But it wouldn’t require much of God in the process because it wouldn’t be tapping into who I really am. When I write real, I am forced to depend on Christ. I’d be too afraid to press publish otherwise.

  • Your readers will keep coming back

If you write real, readers will keep returning. They’ll read a little sample and then come to your blog and keep coming back. Maybe it will only be 10 faithful followers at first. But ten who return are better than 10,000 who take your freebie and then disappear.

  • It’s honest

I have at least 3 speaking engagements coming up this year, and possibly more, all based on my book. What if I had written a book on a subject I didn’t really care about? What if I had created something that didn’t interest me or mesh with who I was in real life? Ouch. 

Last year at Allume, Kat Lee shared a session on Blogging as a Ministry. She told a story about something her soccer coach told her when she offered to switch positions with another girl. He gently turned her down and said,

I really need someone in that spot who knows her position and isn’t going to constantly chase after the ball.

Play your position. Write what God calls you to. Faithfully, consistently. Don’t run around and chase after what looks shiny or fun.

We are all given passions and stories. If your passion is cleaning, then write about cleaning! If your story involves meal-planning or scheduling then write about it. If, like me, you have a story that scrapes raw don’t hide your real-story to tell one that sells better. 

Don’t waste your time on things that aren’t really a part of who you are. Because who you are is enough story and passion in itself. God created you. Write the words He has inscribed into your DNA. Be you. 

still striving to write as real as possible,

Natasha

Natasha Metzler

Natasha lives and writes from a dairy farm in Northern New York. Life hasn't gone according to plan but the heartache sings of redemption. You can find her blogging at natashametzler.com

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=666555285 ELISA PULLIAM

    Natasha, I LOVE THIS! I love your transparency and humor. I love the perspective God has given you and the willingness to proclaim it boldly. Thank you!

    • http://www.natashametzler.com/ NATASHA METZLER

      Elisa, thank you! I love that you understand my humor (I worry sometimes that I’m just twisted. lol. ;) and am so glad that this post resonated with you.

  • http://twitter.com/Missindeedy MISSINDEEDY

    What honesty and encouragement to do the hard heart-things. Than you Natasha. Thank you for being brave enough to write about and share your pain, and thank you for reminding us that we all have it to share.

    • http://www.natashametzler.com/ NATASHA METZLER

      “the hard heart-things” <– love this description. Yes, yes.

  • http://www.toodarnhappy.com/ KIM HALL

    How funny that you and I would not write the same books. Cleaning, organizing and meal planning? Definitely not my strengths or interests. :-D

    Congrats on your book! Yes, I agree that we need to write what we know and what we’ve lived. I have no doubt many women will be blessed and encouraged by your sharing.

    • http://www.natashametzler.com/ NATASHA METZLER

      I’m sure glad there are a few out there who are interested in such things so I can glean from their labor, but I’m definitely right there with you… (I should be careful though, next thing God will be asking me to write a book about “Organization for the Disorganized Mind” or something.)

  • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ KRIS CAMEALY

    Natasha, my friend, this is just what I needed today. It seems my passions are not the kind that will bring in thousands of readers or dollars, but the few who want to grow through the hard seasons, the few who want to go deeper into Christ with me. The rewards for obedience far outweigh the glitter of the world. Keep it up, my friend. XO

    • http://www.natashametzler.com/ NATASHA METZLER

      Oh, Kris– how God has used your obedience in such things! You are an inspiration to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708525388 STACEY LOZANO

    Ah dear, thank you. On the day where I woke up questioning, reaching out for God to calm me and keep me steady, your words helped tremendously. Thank you.

    • http://www.natashametzler.com/ NATASHA METZLER

      So glad. {hugs}

  • CHRISTINE

    I am only “dreaming” of blogging. Thanks for the encouragement to write for real from our hearts. Blessings to you!

  • JENNIFER

    This is so beautiful, so true, and what so many need to hear. Thank you!

  • MISS RACHEL

    Oh, OH! Miss Natasha…this speaks directly to this writer girl’s heart. I can’t even tell you. :) {Hugs} Thank YOU for being real…so that God could use you to encourage ME to be real. :D

    • http://www.natashametzler.com/ NATASHA METZLER

      So thankful, Miss Rachel. {Hugs} right back!

  • http://www.barefoothippiegirl.com/ BAREFOOT HIPPIE GIRL

    I love how when we truly write form our hearts it does require God. His teaching us, and His grace.

    • http://www.natashametzler.com/ NATASHA METZLER

      Yes, yes! It is one of my favorite things about writing! Eric Liddell (an Olympic runner) once said that when he was running he could feel God’s pleasure. That is exactly how I feel when I write the real things in my heart. Like God is smiling.

  • http://www.larawilliams.org LARA GIBSON WILLIAMS

    So. Good. If we would each just write (or do or say) what He has for us, individually, to write, do, and say, I’m pretty sure the body of Christ would be set aflame in revival. Great post.

    • http://www.natashametzler.com/ NATASHA METZLER

      Hmm… yes. And wouldn’t that be glorious! Let us eat strive to do our part.

  • http://joyfulmothering.net CHRISTIN

    Natasha, I can soo relate!! I didn’t know what I could write that would be authentically me…then God showed me. I have struggled with keeping a gracious tone with my children in the midst of my frustrations. So I set out to change that and am writing a devotional based on my own findings. I really hope it will release by Mother’s Day, but life has a way of setting you back. LOL

    Thank you for this. It is so important and so needed. :)

    • http://www.natashametzler.com/ NATASHA METZLER

      Ha! Do I ever understand that! My life often gets set WAY back.

      I am so looking forward to sharing your devotional with my mommy friends. I know it will be a valuable resource for them.

  • REBEKAH ELLIS

    This was such an encouragement and a confirmation for me this morning. I just posted what may be my most real (read: brutally honest) post yet about my struggles with anger, frustration, brokenness, and letting go – letting healing and joy happen in God’s hands. I was a little hesitant because it seemed so raw (too real?), but at the same time, I felt the Lord’s gentle nudging, saying, ‘go on then.’ The response (small, but lovely) has been encouraging, loving, and affirming. And I’m trusting that the Lord will let those who need to find it, read it, and perhaps find some understanding of their own struggles. Real and honest. Yes. Thank you.

    • http://www.natashametzler.com/ NATASHA METZLER

      I love this testimony!! Way to go, Rebekah!

  • http://twitter.com/SavedSister7 WENDY DOUGLAS

    Natasha, I so loved what you shared here. I am just starting to write a little more real as I push past the fear of it. I still work through that panic feeling every time I hit publish when I write out from behind that safe place. I know that He is doing a work in me through it though and I hope to be a little braver each time. Thank you for your encouragement today. Blessings.

    • http://www.natashametzler.com/ NATASHA METZLER

      May He pour blessings into you as you walk in faithfulness!

  • SHARI @ LEAVING A LEGACY

    Natasha,

    I loved this! You wrote what I am feeling in my heart. I’m currently writing about my breast cancer journey every Wednesday on my blog. Being real is what’s most important, it’s what really matters. Thank you!

    • http://www.natashametzler.com/ NATASHA METZLER

      Thank you! I will have to check out your series. My mother had breast cancer last year. She just had a check up and is cancer free. We’re hoping to have a party. :)

  • http://wordsfromthehomefront.com/ NANCY SMITH

    Best. Post. Ever.
    I’m serious. If we are transparent and are passionate about our faith and our lives there will be a connection. {BTW: I’m right there with you – I call em my ten little indians} large or small numbers are still just numbers- it’s the spark that counts! Thank you so much- oh, and- I can’t write a book on organization, or schedules, or cleaning either! :)

    • http://www.natashametzler.com/ NATASHA METZLER

      Ha, ha! I like that. :) Thanks, Nancy.

  • http://www.raisingtherosses.com/ ZOHARY ROSS

    Thank you for writing this post, it is exactly what I needed to hear today.

  • LIZZIE BRANCH

    Beautifully written, Natasha. Yes, 10 is like 10,000 when you are obedient to His call to write. He is the miracle maker, not us. Thank you for your honest words. Write on!!

  • HOPEUNBROKEN

    beautiful.

  • http://www.smallishblog.com/ EVELYN RENNICH

    Wow. What a much-needed reminder in this world of blogging and clamoring for page views that we all have special, pre-assigned Ephesians 2:10 good works/good WORDS to share based off of the experiences God entrusted to us. Beautiful. Oh, and by the way… our meal planning books would read exactly the same. :) Thanks for this!