yada yada yadaHow often do you have a strange dream that stays with you for awhile? I had one last week that’s still making me think about what I write and why.

In my dream, I was trailing just behind a business-type person and asking for information about someone they had talked to or met with the day before. (Of course, it’s a dream so the reason why I need this information is still a mystery and even if it made sense at the time, those details have definitely faded into the fog where all dreams go.) Anyhow, the person pulled up their lists and starting scanning to see where they’d classified the individual in question. But it was the categories of those lists that really caught my attention. Potential client. Networking contact. Money-makers. And then…yada yada yada.

What? Those first few groups were obviously evidence of value and an ongoing relationship. But the last one? All I could think was that I hoped my name never showed up on that list as if talking to me was a waste of time. (Like on the Seinfeld show, just rambling words to fill up space.)

Then my alarm went off and the dream began to fade. Before the moment disappeared, I rolled over to grab the pen and paper I keep beside my bed and scribbled down the important parts of my dream. Because some things are worth digging into a little deeper and I had a feeling those three words held a profound truth for me.

You see, I write because I have something to say. Sometimes it’s a truth that I’ve been reminded of and that I think others would find encouraging. Sometimes it’s to vent about my current frustrations and struggles in order to remember that we all face similar obstacles. With my fiction, I try to show ordinary people wrestling with faith issues or other questions as they journey through life in the hopes that my readers will find not only an entertaining story but also encouragement for their own journey.  Rather than stumble over my words in a public-speaking forum, I simply put them onto paper where I can edit them a gazillion times before sharing my thoughts with the world.

Yet, what if those who read my message then mentally categorized me into their “yada yada yada” mental cubbyhole as if my words consumed their time but left nothing of value in return? Ouch!

So, after a week of thinking about this weird dream, here’s a bit of what I’ve decided:

I don’t want to post a blog just because I should have something there to fill the gap on the calendar. I want the post to have value for my readers, even if it brings a smile to their face, feels like a pat on their back, or causes them to think about a situation in a different way. That means being intentional about topics rather than scrambling to brainstorm while staring at a blank screen.

I need to find out what readers like (or don’t like) about my blogs so I can continue to provide value for them (or change my direction).  That also means I need to ask why you are here reading my blog in the first place. I *think* my readers are also faith-based women who are busy raising families, juggling work responsibilities, escaping into fiction when they can, and perhaps pursuing a dream of their own. Comments here or on my Facebook page help sort out who is actually reading, but in order to know for sure, I may need to set up a survey soon.

Then, depending on who my audience really is, I may change the focus of my blog so there is clarity in my message rather than a mumbling string of words that fades into the background noise much like yada yada yada does. Perhaps I become more of a coach or more of a cheerleader. Maybe I focus more on practically pursuing a dream while juggling the rest of life or I offer more spiritual insight and encouragement into ordinary life struggles.

All that to say, you may see quite a few changes in the coming months. I understand I may lose a few readers as a result, but hopefully I will find myself firmly on a value-offering list for many others rather than the dreaded yada yada yada. Our time is a valuable resource and I’d hate for either of us to spend it on something less than worthwhile.

What about you? If you’ve been a reader of my blog for awhile, what keeps you coming back? What would you like to see more of in the future (or less of?) On a larger scale, when you interact with the people in your life, what list do you think you fall onto?

Yada Yada Yada
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