A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man

So I went on this self-absorbed rant yesterday about what a doorknob I am. Blog-confessionals are a bit weird, because in essence you’re broadcasting your flub to the entire planet. And when your flub is being big-headed, that seems a bit counter-productive. But in this case I think it helped. I didn’t get an avalanche of e-mail from devoted fans telling me how cool they think I am (and thankfully no e-mails from my frantic mother). I didn’t see thousands of dots on my guestmap (which I won’t anyway, because it only holds 40 at a time). I did see three more dots on my map and I got one e-mail from someone who calls me “Journally Man.” That one person even quoted some Madeliene L’Engle at me, who I apparently introduced them to. You can’t ask for more than that.

That one e-mail reminded me why I do this. Four and a half years ago, I wrote these words describing why I was starting this online journal: “I just hope that at times my jumbled mess of thoughts will make sense to someone, and make them think. Maybe you’ll step away from your computer screen a changed person. Or maybe you’ll just laugh and shake your head.”

The goal isn’t fame or money or traffic–it’s simply sharing a little hope and making people think. That’s all I really need to worry about. Of course it’s never that easy, but it’s the thought that counts.

I think part of my ego problem is that I always think I’m something that I’m not. I have a writing major and I like to write, so I think that makes me a world-famous writer. I may have that potential in me, but it doesn’t mean anything unless I prove it. And maybe making a few people think through this silly website is more than enough. But part of me itches for that published fame, and I think it may be greed. I’ve read enough books about writing to know that writers are poor. Rookies like me put so much stock in being published, in writing a book, in seeing our name in lights. We forget that being published is terribly hard work, that proceeds from a book amount to squat, that only a handful of writers make the bigtime money.

You’d think I’d just accept that and move on. But I don’t. So my head is wrapped up in ego, in pride, in selfishness, in greed, in glory. Forgive me Father, for I am but a man.

I miss the confessional in the liturgical calendar.

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