10 years of blogging

It’s become a bit of a habit in recent years. Christmas rolls around and I decide to have another crack at writing more consistently on this blog.

What I do next, is to not, you know actually write something, but to mess around with a new theme and design. I’ve changed the look probably almost every year. So if you’re reading this on Facebook, through a RSS feed or email, then why not head to the site for a minute and tell me what you think of the new look.

As I was tinkering with the design I noticed something I’d forgotten. I noticed that way back in December 2006 was when I first hit publish on my blog. Ten years I’ve been writing here, sometimes more, sometimes less.

This tells me a few things. It tells me that this blog is important to me because I’ve never wanted to give it up. Even during the fallow seasons of lean writing and poor self-discipline.

I’m also sure that I’m now keeping it going for quite different motivations. My younger self harboured ambition that my writing here would open up opportunities to write elsewhere. In fact, if anything the opposite has happened. Writing projects elsewhere have spurred me to be more consistent here.

I envisaged books and speaking engagements. None of that has happened. Not even close. I don’t have thousands of readers and there’s no book deal on the horizon for my wisdom and insight. I’m a generalist not a specialist and nothing I’ve done is particularly out of the ordinary. So blogging has been good for nailing some hubris and some selfish ambition.

So why keep going? From the beginning I’ve found great benefit from having a space and place to express my thoughts. A place to clear stuff out of my head, to create, to write, to think.

Some of the clearing out ends up in the links I produce. I’ve a curious mind (in more ways than one) and facts accumulate, stories accumulate and the links are a good way of sifting through those.

I’ve also produced a lot of content in the last ten years. Sermons, essays, papers, articles and as I digitize my work this has become my archive. I expect this to grow.

I’ve never been much of a journal keeper and it rarely occurs to me to share my feelings or the things I’ve done in my week so I’ve rarely written about that. Instead this has been a record keeper of interests, thoughts, studies and that’s been immensely useful.

It hasn’t cost me much and it certainly hasn’t earned me much but I’ve learned and I’ve grown through the discipline of regular writing. And every now and then I write something I’m pleased with.

That rarely shows up in the stats, my most viewed posts and what I think is important or helpful rarely coincide. It’s another good way of dealing with pride – I’ve long since stopped obsessing over how many views or readers a post has had.

Yet one surprising blessing has been that over the years I’ve met and made friends for whom the original connection was right here on this blog. That has been a grace I couldn’t have expected and greatly appreciated. I’ve received encouragement and support, friendship and advice as well as the occasional reprimand or rebuke! If you’ve been a regular reader of this blog, then thank you. I don’t often know who you are but I appreciate you taking time to read what I write.

My expectation is that rather than diminishing this blog will grow more significant. In 10 years time it will still be a part of my life – a growing archive of thoughts, writings, studies. My hope is still that some will be a blessing to others and I hope that in the midst of all, here and there I will have glorified God.

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