Three hundred and sixty-six days ago, I climbed out on a limb and began an exercise in bloggery and haven’t looked back.
OK, that’s a lie. I’ve looked back constantly. I’ve read and re-read and tweaked and edited my Disciplehood entries extensively after their respective debuts in cyberspace (as if the sum of these vaporous vignettes represents my life’s work [so far], rather than the disposable bits and bytes they arguably are). But I’ve never looked back on my life before blogging and said, ‘I want that.’
Disciplehood has been a pleasure, a joy, a passion. Right now, I’m absolutely sure that it’s part of what God wants for and from me, and I gotta tell you – having that kind of certainty about even a small part of your life is both indescribably awesome and awesomely indescribable.
Now strictly speaking, I should have written and posted this entry yesterday, but I had bigger fish to fry and wrote Goosebumps-part-4/ and Humbility/ first instead. (Incidentally, is it inappropriate for a Christian to use the phrase ‘bigger fish to fry?’) And I’m quite glad that this exercise in milestone-marking navel-gazing took a backseat to the ministry of actually telling people what I think God wants us to know about Him today.
As of today, I’ve written 71 posts, each of which is in the neighborhood of 1,000 words or so. A year ago, I thought I’d have hit at least 100 by now – an average of two entries per week, so I guess I’m a bit disappointed in my lack of productivity. But from another perspective, 71 ain’t bad – even the hardest-working pastors don’t usually prepare more than 50 sermons in a year. Not that my blogs are in the same league as a proper sermon, of course, but I’m also not a trained and ordained clergyman who does this for a living!
At least not yet…
When I started Disciplehood, it was with the sense that it was the beginning of something God was going to do in my life – I didn’t know what, but I knew it would be big. I’d hoped that one year later, I’d have a clearer sense of what that might be, but I really don’t. And in way, I’m kind of glad about that. While clarity definitely has some appeal, so does the anticipation of the unknown. If it turns out that Disciplehood itself, in its present form, turns out to be the ‘big thing’ I was referring to – that all God is calling me to in this area is to write a blog whose entries are read by a dozen (or less) people – I think that with His help, I can find my way to being OK with that.
Speaking of humbility, I guess I sold myself short a bit in the previous paragraph. Only a few Disciplehood entries have been read by less than a dozen people. I think I average somewhere near 24 or so hits per entry. Not bad, considering that this stuff ain’t exactly Harry Potter, and considering the amount of effort I put into marketing it (none): when I publish an entry, it hits my Facebook update feed and my subscriber(s) are notified via email. That’s it.
Now, a half-dozen or so posts have hit triple digits and a couple flirt with four digits (only one has consummated the relationship, though). These posts’ apparent popularity is mostly due to the fact the photos I’ve chosen to accompany these gather a lot of hits on Google Images searches. That’s pretty artificial in my book, but I sometimes let myself feel pretty good about those stats anyway. How many of the people who visited Mountain Top/ only did so because the photo caught their eye? Probably quite a few. How many of them read the whole post? Probably not many. But if even one or two of those accidental visitors did so and got a glimpse of God in the process, this whole exercise has been worth it.
Having said that, I’d be glad if my blog had more readership. I put just as much (and often more) effort into Disciplehood as I have into anything I’ve written professionally during my 19-year journalism career. I think I have important and entertaining things to say in this blog (otherwise I wouldn’t bother with it). I should really learn more about the fascinating world of meta tags and other traffic generation tools, but for today I’ll stick to word of mouth.
My mouth, in this case.
Here are my Top 10 Most Recommended Blog Entries and Entry Series (some because they’re my favorites, others because I think they deserve more readership than they received). Read them. Comment on them. Tell your friends. Most of all, enjoy!
- J.C. Phone Home (j-c-phone-home/) A little weird and out there, but God is as much out there as he is in here, and I think He likes weird, too…
8. The Downside (the-downside/) Just a little pick-me-up for the glass-is-half-empty naysayer
7. Bibliology (bibliology/) /Johnny & Pete (johnny-pete/)/Satan (satan/) These three were written in one session, and were originally the idea for one entry, so they’re a series, even if their nomenclature doesn’t make it obvious.
6. Grey Areas Part 2: Good Lies (good-lies/) I’m no more proud of this post than most of its brothers and sisters, but I do think it deserves more readership than it got.
5. Silent Night (silent-night/) What was harder on Jesus – Christmas or Easter?
4. Moment (moment/) The roads to Damascus and Emmaus converge for Baldy.
1. Rope (rope/) and Signs (signs/) Like Truth and Got any I.D., these two are only a series in hindsight. Their creation overlapped, and a fair bit of cross-pollination occurred during in the process, so they’re a series to me.
There you have it, reader(s). Thanks for sticking by me over the past year. I look forward to what God has in store for us over the coming 12 months, too. In the meantime…
Peace be with you.