Why start back with blogging after more than 18 months away? There are a few reasons:
1) My wife wants me to do it.
Really, this alone ought to be enough. But she has been not-so-subtly encouraging me to get back into the habit, mostly because…
2) I miss it.
A couple years ago, I got out of the habit of daily writing. There were good reasons at the time. I was doing a lot of writing for seminary, and also pursuing another writing project (my hymns blog, Systematic Hymnology, which may also make a comeback soon, Lord willing). And then picking up and moving my family across the state, a process which began a few weeks after my previous blog post.
But now we’ve pretty well settled into a new routine in our new place of ministry, and I have no more excuses to stay away. I need to write to help me think, and a blog remains my best outlet to do so because…
3) Social Media doesn’t cut it.
For the last few years, I’ve replaced much of what I used to post on the blog (links to thought-provoking articles, political & cultural commentary, etc.) with posts directly to social media. But it has become increasingly apparent—particularly in the most recent election cycle—that outlets like Twitter & Facebook are not conducive to the type of interaction that I crave. The reality is that most folks on social media don’t click links and read articles; they react to headlines and then move on. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with that… I’ve certainly been guilty of the same.
But I’m not looking for drive-by “likes” and comments. I write to help clarify my own thinking, and I value the thoughtful feedback of folks who take the time to read. Clicking a blog post link requires one more step from readers, which tends to weed out those folks who prefer to comment without reading. By the way, if you’re reading these words right now, you’re not the type of person I’m talking about! You’re exactly the type of reader I value, and I’m so glad you’re here! And I hope you’ll be back.
4) I’m reading again. A lot.
Back when I was writing frequently previously, a high percentage (and certainly the most widely read) of my blog posts were book reviews. Again, due to the high volume of seminary reading followed by the craziness of moving to a new church, I didn’t read nearly enough in the last two years. This year, I’ve made a commitment to get back to reading and reviewing at least a book a week, and the blog’s a great place to do that.
And to be perfectly honest, the income (in the form of Amazon store credit) I get through links from these book reviews is a nice benefit. It’s not much, but the couple hundred bucks a year I get (even during the last year+ when I wasn’t even using the blog!) helps feed my reading habit. Speaking of which… you can put a few pennies in my pocket by clicking that link on the right side of my page any time you happen to have a purchase to make from Amazon!
So stay tuned for more new content. I haven’t yet determined the frequency with which I’ll post, but at the very least there will be some book reviews appearing shortly.