Mondays are my Sabbath day, and they represent a chance to relax, do some recreational reading, tidy up some loose ends around the house, and often spend some time blogging. Today, as I was reading some comments, I noticed on my dashboard that my most recent post was number 500 in the history of this blog! I don’t post nearly as frequently as many bloggers do, but 500 still seems like a lot to me! It’s hard to believe that I’ve been doing this for that long.
Blogging is undoubtedly among the stranger things to induce nostalgia, but I found myself in something like reflection mode this morning as I walked the dog on a beautiful fall day. I’ve been blogging for nearly five years now. I started mid-way through graduate studies in Vancouver with no conception of what I might expect from this thing called a blog or how long I might maintain it for. I continued as I entered the uncharted waters of my first pastoral position on Vancouver Island with no real idea how or if blogging and pastoral work would or could go together, and the blogging imperative seems to have followed me all the way back home to southern Alberta. In a sense, blogging has been one of the few constants over a five year period in my life that has seen considerable transition and upheaval.
For some reason, though, big round numbers seem to be an occasion for re-evaluation. And now, at 500 posts, I’m asking myself, why keep blogging? I don’t get paid for this, after all, and it’s a lot of time and words to invest in an activity that yield no direct material benefits. Do I do it for others? For myself and my own ego? Both? Is there still a point to this? Is the world of blogging a kind of fad that is fading away or simply getting lost in the noisy chaos of the online world? Is blogging fatigue setting in? Do I have anything worthwhile left to say?
In thinking about these questions, I returned to my first post in 2007 and looked at my original reasons for giving this blogging thing a try: 1) To clarify my own thinking and test ideas against or alongside the ideas of others; 2) To learn from others and have interesting conversations; and 3) To record and track my own thinking over an extended period of time. It seems to me that all three of these hopes or expectations have been met, and then some! I have “met” many interesting people whom I have learned a great deal from, I have had many interesting conversations, and my writing here has provided an interesting means of tracking my own thinking over the last half-decade or so. Three out of three isn’t too bad…
In addition to all this, as I rounded the corner back to our house on my nostalgic walk today, it occurred to me that there’s at least one other reason to keep blogging: quite simply, I enjoy writing enormously. I like trying on different words and arranging them in sentences and paragraphs. I still marvel at the way in which pressing keys with little symbols on them leads to words appearing on a screen that somehow transmit what’s going on in my little brain through mysterious little wires and waves to other people in front of other screens in other places. Even more remarkable, these symbols on screens representing what’s going on in my little brain occasionally connect with what is going on in the brains of other people out there. Incredible.
Please don’t feel obliged to comment or say nice (or not so nice) things about the blog. I’m not fishing for compliments here, nor have I written this to either be talked into continuing to blog or convinced to stop! This has been more of an exercise in thinking out loud about a practice that has morphed and grown and (hopefully) deepened over time, one that I have come to personally appreciate very much. I’ve said this many times before, but it’s worth repeating: thank you to everyone who reads, everyone who comments, everyone who drops by for even a single visit. There are many, many words out there clamouring for attention, and I’m truly grateful that you would pause for a few moments on mine.