My Writing Journey · Writing

On Blogging Well: Looking Back on One Year of Obsessive Writing

Exactly one year ago, on September 19, 2017, Defy Augury was born with the publication of its first post, “Thoughts on Conversing with the Unsaved: A Poem”. To this day, it remains to be among my most viewed/liked writings on the blog.

It was sort of hard to find out why, since my blog has grown much since then, but as I stop to think about it, this poem is one of the greatest manifestations of Defy Augury‘s mission, at least out of all the poetry I’ve written. This blog exists for two reasons: (1) to glorify God and (2) to lead others to Him—which is, I suppose, a more specific manner in which to seek to glorify Christ. Because the poem so heavily intertwined these two concepts, then, it was the perfect way to start.

Blogging can give a sort of pride to the blogger and for his or her talent, but I’ve also discovered that it also can turn one’s perspective to others. What do they need to hear? What would want to read right now? What things are they struggling with for which I can point them to answers? In looking back on the blog’s first anniversary, then, I want to bring the year full-circle by sharing more of what I’ve learned along the way. I have this twofold goal in my mind—and I hope I’ve successfully carried it out—but how does that relate to the backstage of blogging? How has God equipped me and my words to serve you and continue to obey the Great Commission? What does it mean to blog well?  These are questions I wish to answer in this post—written in 3D, as you can see below:)


I stuck to publishing two posts every week for a long, long while, but when the initial excitement wears off, it’s hard to blog without forcing myself to do so. It’s what I’m doing now—sitting in front of a computer, listening to Patrick Doyle’s Henry V, trying to figure out what in the world I’m going to say next. Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines—they vacuum life itself and toss it into a black hole.

But I keep writing.

Writing is important. I believe that with all my heart. It’s why I keep blogging even when I’ve slacked off a bit from the pace I’d kept before. Books, articles, poetry—they are my inspiration, and they always will be. Even though I’ve slowed down on Defy Augury, I am determined not to stop. One year of blogging brought me to that place where I’ve realized that even if I do not stick to my desired goal, it’s okay—as long as my pen is moving. I must be dedicated always to the ministry in front of me.


I’m going to say something that will seem to contradict everything I’ve previously written in this post: learning to give up is key for good blogging. With dedication comes denial of the self, and not just in writing. I’ve learned to put off other things I’d like to do just so my blog’s lifeblood still has a constant rhythm—that it will not die.

What I deny, though, is far less important than for whom I deny myself. I write for you. Even though there’s no comment boxes on the bottom of the page, I write for you. I write for the one who’s joyful and looking for a place who will encourage her to stay joyful in the right Person. I write for the one who is struggling to understand what life means and Who gives it, afraid to place his faith in the only One worthy of loving. I write for the common Christian, discontent with where he is in his spiritual life and searching for a friend who will spur him on. I think of you always—every single one of you. I do not know everyone, and I may never meet everyone, but you inspire me to press on and love you with my mind and heart. I’ll give up another viewing of Hamlet for that.


I never could dream of how much God would speak to and through me via this blog when I first started. Yet as I continued to rely upon Him day by day, asking His guidance for my writing, I cannot deny that He did.

God Almighty, the One around which the whole of Scripture revolves, He is the True Author. I am only His piano, His princess, His pen. I can recall many times when I’ve just sat in awe of everything He’s done and prayed—all because He’s so wholly saturated my writing. That one post about the last two acts of Henry V—when I had finished a pretty lengthy writing session to submit it, “Non Nobis, Domine” came on at exactly the right time, and I was completely incapable of doing anything except sitting in God’s astonishing glory before calling it a day. When I give my life to serve Him, He just moves my heart to worship, and when I do so, His words come out so naturally. Everything I’ve done, I do for Him. I depend upon my Savior. I love the Master of my life.

Defy Augury is a place for comfort, conviction, and glory. Looking back upon September 19, 2017, I can only say that it has grown for that role more than I could ever have imagined. God deserves all the glory for that.

A year ago today, my blog came alive, sharpened by the power of words and of God’s immense goodness. I pray for many more years of health and spiritual blessing as we move into the next year together.

“Not a whit, we defy augury; there’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all. Since no man has aught of what he leaves, what is ’t to leave betimes? Let be.” ~Prince Hamlet

“My heart overflows with a good theme; I address my verses to the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” ~Psalm 45:1, NASB


~Sarah Merly

September 19, 2018

Isaiah 53