I just checked my stats page, and discovered that since I published the article, What’s Wrong with Christian Filmmaking, my blog has been read by people in nearly every country in the world, with close to 100,000 visits.
I’ve not had visitors from Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Turkmenistan, Myanmar (Burma), Greenland, Madagascar, Mauritania, Yemen, Angola, Gabon, Syria, a few countries in the middle of the African continent, and a scattering of South Pacific Islands. But pretty much every other country is represented. That’s maybe 180 countries.
People from 180 countries have visited this blog in the past couple of weeks.
That’s even more insane.
What would really be insane is if by reading that article people in all of those places were encouraged to either (a) step out and take creative risks in their art for the cause of Christ or (b) be mobilizers, encouragers, and financial supporters to those people in group (a).
Can you imagine the impact such a creative revolution could have?
The really wild part of this is that I didn’t write anything particularly original, and I’ve had many people tell me that they had written similar things over the years. It was just an idea that went out at the right time and hit many, many nerves. But, I also believe strongly that nothing happens outside of God’s sovereign will, and that He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20) – even with a blog post written on an otherwise unknown and inconsequential blog by an otherwise unknown and inconsequential writer.
Think about it for a second… what will He do? What is He already doing?
At first I thought that perhaps God permitted this to happen so that I could sell hundreds of copies of my novel and jumpstart my writing career, but that hasn’t happened. Now I’ve started wondering what other reason He may have had for doing what He’s done. And even though the number of visitors to my blog has dropped off considerably since that first posting, I am curious to know four things from those who are still hanging around and who would be willing to share:
1) Are you an (a) person or a (b) person from above? Please tell me about it.
2) What have you been challenged to do that you weren’t doing before you read the blog? It could be artistic or supportive, and I’m asking you to self-promote a bit here, so fire away, and feel free to link to sites outside this blog.
3) Maybe nothing has changed yet, but what are you now planning to do differently in the near future as a result of reading the blog? What changes have you put into motion?
4) What steps have you taken to make sure that you don’t just walk away from the challenges that were set before you, and just return to business as usual?
I would love to have some good feedback with this. So if you have the time, please comment! And if nothing has changed for you at all, feel free to write about that as well.
Author of Thimblerig’s Ark
13 thoughts on “Looking for Readers in Repressive Countries”
That’s pretty damn amazing for the reader stats. Congrats.
Thanks, Charlotte! It was a wild ride.
Congrats on that much readership on your blog!
Thank you Aman! I wish they’d all stuck around, but most came and went.
Oops, sorry that was my bad, I recently travelled around the world in 14 days and refreshed my screen on your blog at each destination in order to get the time. Sorry if this was misleading 😉
I’d love to get another bump like that. Would you mind doing another trip? 😉
No problem, give me til the weekend to organise one,
It’ll give me something to do for the weekend 😉
I discovered your blog when your article was Freshly Pressed and thought it was very compelling. I thought you raised a great point with how these films need to take more risks, and I agree.
The thing is I wonder if some Christians aren’t ready for certain risks. For example, I haven’t seen “Noah” yet, but some Christian friends of mine hated it. They felt it was not accurate to the Bible and almost like an insult, and reactions like that make me wonder if that’s why more risks aren’t being taken. For me, I like to try and find religious symbolism in films that might not be an obvious choice for Christian filmmaking or screenwriting, but point out how the story still could have religious significance.
Thank you! Glad you found it, and I appreciate your comment here.
You hit the nail on the head with your comment about the reaction to Noah. My question to those Christians who felt that way would be –
1) What did you expect? The director was very explicit from the get-go that he wasn’t going for a faithful adaptation.
2) Why don’t you start supporting faithful Christian artists as missionaries, the same way you’d support a missionary family going to Africa or somewhere? Then, you might find someone making a big-budget adaptation of a Bible story that will approach the story in a way you can support!
Or better yet – they might feel free to create something fresh and new that does exactly what you say – gives a great story without spoonfeeding you the message – and makes you work to find it.
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I started reading your blog because I saw it pop up in my FB feed and thought since I was researching the movie “Noah” at the time that I would skim through. It was interesting what you had to say. I’m sort of new to blogging so I haven’t figured out how to link other blogs to mine yet (I think I just need to sit down and really get into the code of the blog and mess around with things until I get what I want. That’s just how I roll.)
I find that I myself am intimidated at times to start something creative because I’m looking at the ink splotches around me and thinking how much better they look compared to me. Then there are people like you who didn’t look to be followed by so many people but God brought them to you. It encourages me to keep on keeping on with my blog. And to start new creative adventures as God brings them to me. He is such a good Father and such a great Artist. I can’t wait to see what He does with all of the other ink splotches around me 🙂
I like your “ink splotch” imagery, Larissa. And what happened here was completely God working through the internet – which I hadn’t thought that much about before.
Blessings to you as you blog!