I got an email from Google Adsense recently wishing me a happy anniversary in Blogging. Adsense is a platform where publishers like us bloggers use to earn revenue. Advertisers place their ads on posts and pages and we collect our dues from Google. I have been blogging for 4 years now; commercially for 2 years. This is why I quit.
So I have this relatively good traffic blog that was even nominated as the Best County blog in the BAKE awards. I used to display ads on both blogs. My biggest plan was not to blog commercially for Silomasays but the county blog was to be like a financial arm covering the high hosting and maintenance costs of the blogs.
It happened that in my two years of blogging, I had only accumulated £40 which is close to Ksh. 4,500. I then imagined the input that I immerse in this work and the monthly needs of hosting and maintenance and I realized that this was not worth it. Writing is not my passion though I do it as often. It is not a thing I would die doing, it is just another pass-time activity.
If this is a pass-time activity, why does it draw out all my strength? If this is just another hobby of expressing my thoughts, why do I even have a domain? Why don’t I just stick to a silomasays.wordpress.com domain and call it a day? Why do I strive to share my posts to reach as many as possible? To add salt to injury, a friend of mine who runs a blogspot Elder Says told me he gets £70-75 an equivalent to Ksh. 8,000-8,500 every month. His last post was in November 13th 2015.
I became confused, I thought of quitting as always, evident in a post I did a while back, When You Become A Slave of Your Own Blog and thought, why is it even a big deal? This ain’t my passion anyway. Sometimes I wish to delete the 173 published posts knowing that it would hurt but I would get over it, sell the two county blogs and move on with life stripping the thought of ever becoming or being called a blogger.
In all these thoughts something restrained me always. Procrastination acts of ‘I will do this tomorrow’ took the better part of my troubled months. My biggest trouble was not in the blog but of how many people I would leave hanging. Not the readers who love my posts, but the audience that get motivated by what I write.
I took the matter to God asking for direction and control. I was fed up and tired. I asked God to reveal Himself to me and that very day I had a dream. I rarely dream. If I do, I dream of things that do not make sense. I dream of chocolates and githeri, or sometimes herding cows with an X-Box controller. This time round, the dream was as real as it could be. It was vivid, spring clear and moving.
My friends and I were going to Tanzania for a trip. You know how weird dreams can be, we were strolling from Nairobi to Namanga the border in footpaths. The scenery, the streams, the birds were overwhelming. On our arrival to Namanga, we came across this school. Seated close to the window were these two very needy cousins of mine schooling in a recently opened polytechnic. It was funded by a Briton who loved the society. We were getting a place to spend the night before resuming our stroll to Moshi or Arusha or whatever part of Tanzania we were visiting. I left our hotel room. I was so curious to go and check my two humble cousins and whatever course they were doing in that institution.
I went to their class and we started having a chat when their teacher stormed in and advised that we should talk outside. I left the class and came to this noticeboard. I saw an engraving, It was a stone tablet plastered on the wall with deep chisel-cut engravings that read.
HALL OF FAME
The Author of Silomasays
There were many words of praise below the title that made my eyes roll a tear on every read. By the time I finished reading the whole thing, my T-Shirt was all wet and my head was pounding maybe from the desiccation of tears. In a crying tone I asked myself, ‘Is there someone who reads me? Such a lowly? That even the very founder of this institution decided to engrave my work in honorary writings?’ I thought of my cousins, I thought of their humble selves passing by the noticeboard every day reading the engraving of the wall. I thought maybe am an inspiration to people in the institution. I asked myself, ‘Why then am I thinking so lowly of myself?’ I went to my room and told my friends that I cannot go to Tanzania, I am going back to my house. I had stuff to do.
I woke up shocked. Just the previous day I had asked God to reveal to me about me and my blog. Like Pharaoh I hardened my heart, ‘This maybe just another dream.’ Like a non-believing Thomas I narrowed down my thoughts to, ‘This is just a coincidence.’ I then went forth to think of my plans to continue pulling down the blog. That night as I went to sleep I said the Lord’d prayer. I affirmed, ‘God, may your will be done. Incline me to your will.’ I dreamt again, this time not about X-Box or spaghetti or toe nails but something more scary.
Even before I got saved, I used to really inspire my neighbor. She was a sweet soul, broken as me but even in my brokenness and debauchery I found a way to motivate her. My dream kicked off in a supermarket. There was all this commotion from one of the shelves, one so loud to create attention. ‘Well, it is another love drama’ I thought. Old men with wrinkled faces held their shopping baskets in awe as the pretty ladies encircled the ordeal with their mouths aghast. I am not a fan of watching scandals, especially if I cannot provide a solution. This time round something moved me and I went to watch. I found the long-time friend on one end of the circle all tears as her boyfriend was shoving down shelves on the other end causing destruction.
The boyfriend was really shouting and cussing as she cried. She was badly dressed, her black lipstick, scary tattoos and numerous piercings made her look like a rock star. I wondered why I didn’t get hold of our friendship because she never went into those extremes of life. I got close to her and she fell into my arms hugging me and crying in pain. She cried wetting my T-Shirt. I then spoke to her, reminding her that there is someone who truly loves her, someone who truly cares about her and would want to be with her forever. I told her that that person is Jesus, she accepted Christ and we prayed with her. This left all other shoppers clapping and ululating loudly as the boyfriend stormed out of the mall.
I wonder why the sages didn’t put the similie, as weird as dreams. My dream fast-tracks into a land yonder. I am a football referee, well-dressed ready to get to the pitch. It is then that my fellow referee really begs that he would want to ref the first game and I would handle the next. I got to the bus to pick something. As I sat I realize that my shoe laces are loose. As I went to tie the shoe, screams filled the air as people scampered for safety. There was a psycho holding a knife, mad and furious and in thirst for blood. I was all alone in the bus and this psycho got in pointing a knife at me. It was my newly converted cousin. One who knew Christ recently. He was so bitter. This was evident by the thick veins that formed on his head.
I was terrified, my red socks flopped to my knees and my body shook like a warm-blood in Iceland. I approached him whispering words that did not make sense but he warned of an impending strike. From his look, he wanted to kill me. I was his target, I then regretted how I allowed my ally to ref the game. All of a sudden this courage filled me and I approached him telling him that I understood what he was going through. I told him that I understood the struggles that he was undergoing though everyone was quick to judge him in his salvation. I told him that I understood why God didn’t seem to answer those prayers, why Christianity felt like another big scam. I assured him that I was there, once upon a time.
He lowered his knife, I moved a step closer but he roared words that I couldn’t fathom. I told him that all will be okay. I told him that I was ready to help him and I would always be there for him. Tears started rolling down his cheeks as if pulled by a thirsty sponge. He at once got close to me and grabbed me. I got tongue-tied thinking maybe the cold piece of steel had struck my inner organs, only to feel it dropping on the floor. He gave me a grip hug wailing as tears again wet my T-Shirt. He wailed for quite a long while and we prayed with him re-dedicating his life to Christ.
Still semi-conscious, a voice was speaking in me saying, ‘Now you know why you shouldn’t quit. Your lost friends need you and new converts giving up on Christianity, down struck with thoughts of despair and with no hand to hold you need you.’ I forget all my dreams. In 15-30 minutes I do forget any dream despite how scary or how fabulous they were. These two consecutive dreams have stuck in me, haunting my every thought of this blog. It then hit me of how my WhatsApp has been, new texts from people who just became vulnerable after reading my articles.
I remembered of the persons who would ask me why I do not write. Why I don’t give them constant motivation.
So, God has truly revealed that this is a calling, not a hobby. It is not just another wall of art nor a platform to showcase my masterly in art. It was not ironical that every time I thought of quitting someone would tell me, ‘Hey, I read your post and it positively changed me.’ It was also not a coincidence that every time I felt like pulling it down, that Email or WhatsApp notification would remind me that I am not writing for myself.
I don’t take credit for all this work but YOU do. You are my reader, my audience, my very reason for the existence of this blog. You are very special to me. You encourage me in my brokenness (because I read my own posts when I am down) and I was called to serve you. It is an awesome relationship we have here and I thank God for you. So I thought of quitting, but I didn’t. I thought of quitting on you, forgive me, it is human nature. The good thing is that I consulted God and this wonderful piece came through. I don’t want to you to be entertained from this story, rather, I want you to be changed by it. I want you to involve God in EVERYTHING, buying that phone, making any decisions etc. You are not perfect in your own decision. Pray that you incline to God’s will. Do not think of quitting. Thanks again for keeping this blog alive. Why don’t you subscribe?