"Success, not greatness, was the only god the world served." Cameron Crowe in Elizabethtown.
I really like the storytelling of writer and director Cameron Crowe. Jerry Maguire has always been one of my favorite movies (although I could do without the language). We actually watched that again last week. I thought about the character and his struggle with his "memo." He thought it was wonderful. He was committed to this new way of undertaking the business of sports agency. . .that is until others read it using their filter of the god of success.
How do we measure success?
In a job, we tend to measure our success by the amount of our salary, how quickly we get promoted, or positive feedback on a review.
In parenting, we will measure our success by evaluating our children. How soon did they potty train? How soon did he learn his alphabet? What reading level have they attained, and how soon? What talents has my child shown on the playing field or in the auditorium? Did they stay sexually pure and substance free? What was their GPA and their SATs? What profession have they chosen and how many grandchildren have they produced?
In blogging, we look at hits or comments or links from other blogs to determine our success.
Can something be great and still not be successful as the world defines success? Of course it can. Look at the many blogs out there. There are some that I read that are great. Great quality writing. Great spiritual insight. But depending on how you are defining success, they might not have it. I am thankful that they are committed to continue writing, and hopefully they gauge success by knowing that they are enjoying producing it, and they are reaching those who do read their words, be it five people or five hundred.
Gina, over at Portrait of a Writer. . . Interrupted, reprinted a great article from Mary Demuth on Publishing. In it, she shares her goals as a writer that are not defined by the "success" of publishing. It's a great read for writers, and I think we can apply it to our blogging as well.
I wrote a bit about my reasons and goals for blogging here, and they are still evolving. But I do hope that I will continue to strive for greatness, for being content with being a thing of beauty, and not worry about success as the world measures it. I am thankful that the God I serve measures my heart and while doing so also doles out His merciful grace freely.
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Some blogs that I think are great and are successful in my mind:
Here and Now
Unfinished Work (Updated Sunday night to add that Dianne has just unveiled her new look tonight, and she tweaked it herself!)
Callapidder Days (Katrina won the Bluebird Blogs free design contest and it's just been installed. It looks great!)