I’ve written a lot of articles for publication, and for some I've even been paid. My articles have appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Naval History, Birds & Blooms, Reminisce, and many other periodicals. But my most valued compensation for an article came from a piece I wrote for a Sunday School bulletin insert. The article was about how God opened the mind and heart of an Italian man, resolving his doubts and producing faith in Christ. What touched one reader, though, was not the story itself, but a Scripture passage I quoted at the end: Deuteronomy 29:29 – "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
Soon after the article appeared, a lady wrote to the editor with this message: “My husband and I have been going through a difficult time lately, and I felt sad and confused. When we got home from church, I took out the Sunday bulletin insert and read the article by Thomas L. Jones. When I got to that verse from Deuteronomy, my sadness lifted and my joy returned.”
The editor of the periodical forwarded the letter to me, and I have cherished it ever since. Like any other rational person, a writer would like to believe he is making a difference in this world. Writers seek to do it through words – words crafted into sentences and paragraphs that we hope will convey coherent thoughts. Getting those words into a publication with a large circulation is gratifying in itself. We think about all those potential readers. But the writer has no idea how many recipients actually read his article. Unless someone writes in response.
This is even more true for blog posts. In the case of a subscription periodical, we can be reasonably sure the subscribers at least looked at the periodical. But the statistics page on the blog site can be discouraging! Some "hits" I get appear to be sites that sell ready-made essays to students!
Since I get no monetary compensation for my blog posts (I gave up “monetizing” a long time ago because of objectionable ads), my reward is learning that something I shared on my blog helped someone in some way. Getting feedback makes my day, and it spurs me on to write more. My thanks to those who have shared! I love to hear from you.