Friday, July 11, 2014

To Blog or Not To Blog

August 14, 2010 was a big day for me. It was the day that I registered and started to blog at ChangedbytheGospel. Before this date, I had considered blogging for a long time. I had many things to say, but didn't know if anyone would listen. I was really trying to count the cost of blogging because I didn't want to be the guy who said he was going to blog and then end up not posting anything for months at a time.

Over the last four years, I have written and posted just over 950 blog posts. Those first few years were great. In 2010, I averaged about 10 posts per month. But then I took it seriously in 2011 when I averaged just over 25 posts a month. In 2012, it dropped a bit to about 22 a month. And then in 2013, about 21 a month. But this year, I have averaged about 12 blog posts a month. To make matters worse, it has been over a month since I posted some new content to my blog. I have become that guy I didn't want to be when I started.

I am creeping up on the four year mark of starting this blog, which has led me to contemplate some things about this blog. Should I continue blogging and make it a priority or should I stop blogging? Or is it alright to be the guy who blogs once a month, even though I don't like it? In my thinking about these things, I have tried to make a list, which I'm sure is very inexhaustive. But I'd love any feedback any of you might have on this list as I try to decide what I should do with my blog.

Reasons to NOT Continue Blogging

1. The Time Commitment. To write something worthwhile (I'm not sure I've even done that with the 950 posts I have already made) it takes time. While I love to write, it takes time to carefully craft words and make arguments. It seems as if my life is constantly busy, and so I am asking myself whether this is one of the ways I should to be using my time? I don't know for sure. 

2. Difficulty of New Content. It's not easy coming up with something new. Something fresh. The topics to write about are difficult. While I have ideas (see below), it seems increasingly I sit in front of a blank screen begging for something to come out of my mind . . . and not much is coming (please, no jokes there). 

3. Many Good Bloggers. There are myriads of blogs out there today. There are many just like mine, well, not exactly, for they are much better writers. I don't think I can or desire to compete with them.

4. Readership. I tried for a while to give things away, promote, and increase the readership of this blog. And for some time, I did see many jumps. But is that what this is about? I just wonder if it creates something not so good inside of me that wants to be famous or well-known. Maybe a desire for readership is very bad for me personally. Just being honest.

5. Boring Blog Template. I am in dire need for a change in the template of my blog. I would love to change to a wordpress theme, but just don't have the time or resources to invest in making the transition. 

Reasons to Continue Blogging

1. A Place to Review Books. In the past few months when I have not been writing blog posts, I have continued to read. I have read four books that I have not reviewed. A few of them were good that I'd love to pass onto the few people that happen by here. Some are not so good and I'd like to tell people to not waste their time. Either way, it seems as if reviewing books is always a good thing. If nothing else, it helps me crystalize the book in my own mind, which helps me remember the book.

2. Unique Way of Ministry. It seems like blogging is a unique way to minister to the people of my church as well as those that I've had the opportunity to interact with in other churches. I cannot say everything I want to say to everyone about how the gospel has transformed my life, but I can write it down. 

3. Testimony to My Children. I don't think my kids read my blog. But if I were to continue, I would hope they might someday. How cool would it be for them someday to look back and read hundreds of things I wrote on how the gospel had influenced me? I would hope it would encourage and strengthen their faith. 

4. Some Cool Ideas. I know I shared earlier that it is difficult to come up with new content, but I have had some ideas recently that I think would be cool. I'll share one of them. One of my greatest things concerns is that my children learn discernment. I want them to look at situations and evaluate them in light of who Jesus is and what the gospel says. So often as parents, we just tell them no, without walking them through the discernment process. One of the ways many Christian parents do this is through the arts. We tell them "NO" when it comes to music, TV shows, or movies. One of the things we have done with our children (the jury is still out on whether it is a good thing or not) is that I let them listen to secular music. But we talk openly about it. And when they want to download a song, we take time to walk through the lyrics and evaluate them from a Christian perspective. I thought it would be fun to do a series evaluating some of the most current secular songs through the lens of the gospel. Good idea? I don't know, but it could be fun.

What Should I Do? I go on vacation the next couple of weeks and will probably post a few things from time to time as I think through this in my own mind. But I would love your feedback. Any thoughts?

3 comments:

  1. Thad, I rarely blog anymore, but would like to do it more often. Here's my thought process on this whole thing: When I first started out, I knew I would probably never have a large readership. I'm unknown and I have a small church. But here's the thing: I love to write so much, that I write stuff down even if nobody reads it. I figure, "Maybe this thought will come in handy in the future." So, if I had a thought about a certain theological topic or issue of Christian living, or some other light bulb moment, I would write it down. Then I thought to myself, "If I'm going to write this down, why not just have a blog? At the very least it's a way of recording your significant insights through a permanent medium. If I just write this stuff down and store it on my computer, it will bless no one. But if I write it down on my blog, perhaps it will at least bless a couple people. That's better than no one!" I really don't care if my blog is widely known. It's not embarrassing for me to have a blog with only a handful of readers. Additionally, people are still reading posts I wrote years ago. I wrote a post called "Proof That Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World." That post had almost a thousand page views from around the world! That's a lot for me! The post I wrote about Mark Driscoll a couple years ago (you remember that one :) - that was the most popular post I've ever written. It's still reaching some people. Plus, I've found that there are a lot of family, friends, and church members that read stuff I've written, whether it's on a blog or facebook. I don't know this because they comment (they usually don't), but they'll bring it up to me in conversation. I say ... keep your blog. My two cents.

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  2. I read your blog every once in a while, especially when I see that you have posted something new. Plus I like it as a resource for book reviews. But, honestly, I rarely read blogs anymore unless I am looking for information on a specific topic. And I rarely touch my blog anymore! So, I think you should keep it, but I definitely understand if you don't.

    You definitely need to update the look. There are even some simpler blogger templates I've seen. Go all white background or something simple.

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  3. Here we have a whole new collection of Praise and worship songs, lyrics and chords. Visit us. Be blessed!gospel music online

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