(Apri 29, 2020 – revised for actual blog launch)
A “Johnny Come Lately” – that’s how I see myself.
It takes either a certain kind of arrogance or naivety to start a blog at this relatively late stage in the development of the internet. There are more blogs on virtually every topic or category of human concern than an interested individual can possibly imagine, let alone actually read. So why write a blog that isn’t really needed and probably won’t be widely read.
I can think of several reasons for a person to start a blog:
- Financial: wealth – change our financial outlook. Let’s face it; most people who start a blog, just like most people who post a video on YouTube, secretly hope that their blog will catch fire and change their fortunes, either financial or reputational. Most new bloggers probably keep such hopes secret because they know that the vast majority of bloggers make little or no money for their effort. It would be embarrassing to admit the hope of being able to quit one’s full-time job to blog only to fail to do so.
- Personal: growth – change our personal self. Perhaps we hope to fulfill some inner need or to effect personal development through the discipline of blogging. Blogging may be a great avenue for such goals for many. Growing as a writer, thinker, or influencer could certainly be enhanced by blogging.
- Social: influence – change people; their minds, their lives, their hearts. Most people possess a confidence that they are correct about the important matters of life, be they theological, political, interpersonal, social, etc., and that just about everyone else is wrong. So why not use the internet to bring others to the truth. Never before has the average Joe or Jane, with only a “computerish” device and an internet connection had potential access to a near worldwide audience. After all, this type of soapboxing is so much less risky than standing on the public square with a portable microphone.
- Instructional: help – give some real-life, practical advice and instruction. I’m personally grateful for the web sites that have given detailed instruction on things like replacing a toilet, refinishing a desk, or selecting the best flowers and plants for specific geographical environs.
I’m sure there are more reasons, but these are the ones that come to mind.
So what about me? Why have I started to blog? There are probably several reasons. But I fear that I’m not self-aware enough to know which of these reasons has primacy for me. But here is a list, not in any particular order:
- I’ve been encouraged by my family to write a blog. They seem to feel that since I’ve left the pastorate, I’ve needed, even longed for, an outlet for my pastoral and teaching passions and, they would say, gifts.
- I would like to write and I’ve been told the best way to learn to write is to write, only slightly ahead of reading.
- I’d like to be a part of a conversation, which strictly seeks to avoid the nasty tone of conversation today, be it political, social, or religious. I want to foster conversation between people who see important issues differently, but without the vilification, anger, and disrespect which is rampant on the internet today, as well as in the press, in Washington, and in the public square.
- Within the parameters suggested by #3 (above), I would like to influence others to think about the issues of the day from a Judeo-Christian / reformed Christian / Biblical point of view. I honestly believe that the Bible, and the biblical/Christian thinking that it engenders, has answers for today which would be helpful to so many people as well as to our culture.
- I want to become well off and well known. I’m pretty sure that this is well below 5% of my motivation, but I can’t deny that the thought has crossed my mind that I could make it a little easier to retire if I made even a little money by blogging. Rest assured, I’m not putting any of my eggs in this basket so far as my retirement planning is concerned, but speaking of self-awareness…
So Why Read My Blog
If someone stumbles upon this blog, they must decide if they’d ever want to come back to read it additional posts. I would suggest that they should do so if:
- they found some ideas they want to think about and interact with,
- they want to comment about those ideas in a safe environment; that is where the blogger won’t disrespect the commenter or his comments,
- they care that the comments will only be managed to make sure that a respectful, civil conversation is maintained.
So I’ve been playing around with this for 3 years. I even accidentally published it in 2016 without even one completed blog post. But now I’ve decided to give it a go.
If you happen to read this, come back in a few days and see if you find any reason to read on. If you have read this post from beginning to end. Thanks. I appreciate it.
This is my second blog post; the first from two days ago in which I wondered out loud about COVID-19 and our national response, or responses.
Credit: Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels (a vintage typewritter)