As a new programmer, the first output you learn to write is, “Hello, World!” It’s the simplest task in most programming languages. So you start there.
This day, one year ago, I said “hello” to the world with an article about my blogging intentions. I started by going out on a limb—to borrow a childhood experience as my illustration.
My commitment was to write at least one new post and one new wallpaper design each week. Anything beyond that was milk gravy on my mashed potatoes—good, no matter the quantity.
Now, exactly one year later, it’s time to look back and reflect … in a half-rambling, half-ranting kind of way. And now … queue dreamy music.
Ahh, the joys of blogging …
You know, I read most bloggers renege on their commitment within two to three months. Back in 2008, Technorati reported 95% of blogs are abandoned within a year. Isn’t that something?
I’m not surprised. Blogging each week can be a real chore. It’s like doing laundry in a house of six. Most of the clothes are not yours, especially those undies with the mishaps. (Those belong to your son, right?) Blogging and laundry. It can stink. It never ends. It takes time. And, it never ends.
I made it a full year—that’s 52 weeks. But who’s counting? Not me. It was only 365 days that met the fist of diligence. Not a big deal. I threw the punch. It landed. But who’s keeping track? Not me.
In that time, I wrote more than 170 posts and designed more than 60 wallpapers for download in six different formats. That’s almost one design for every day of the year—in case you were wondering. Not me.
I covered subjects related to living, leadership, culture, theology, reading, preaching, coding, and parenting. I featured personal projects, including Core CSS, eControl CMS, The Resolutions Poster, The Preacher’s Library, Resurge (a WordPress theme) and User Social Fields (a WordPress plugin).
The Wednesday Wallpapers were surprisingly the most popular posts. Out of the bunch, Cosmic Treason took the trophy home as the most popular. I Am N and A Bible Falling Apart nearly tied for second place, but The Earth is the Lord’s seems to have the greatest longevity. My favorite is a toss-up between Glory to God and Deeper Trust … and maybe My Conscience is Captive.
And if you must know, my favorite post is Wage War against Gospel Negligence. I don’t know if it’s the image or that the subject matter burns so hotly in my heart. My most popular posts are 12 Keys to Motivate Us for Ministry and 5 Reasons You Need Accountability. But who really cares? Not me.
As a side note, I was guest author for another blog, where I wrote about Prioritizing the Gospel and Fleshing Out the Gospel. Both were reposted here…duh! This is one reward for keeping a commitment to weekly writing. Or, maybe Aaron felt bad for me? Either way…
Readership has topped out just below 900 views on a good day and 200 on a bad one. But I’m not keeping stats at all. No, not me. Email subscribers equal to posts (about 170), and I don’t keep track of other feeders. It’s too much work.
A lot happens in a year, doesn’t it? In real life, I landed a publishing deal (details coming soon), enrolled in seminary, welcomed Ligonier as a client, and changed church membership (maybe the toughest task of all).
So, what has being out on a limb for a year taught me? Two things. Blogging is not for wimps. Nor is it for selfies. (Yeah, I said it.)
There is much more to say, but my head is big as it is. Any bigger and the limb will break. We can’t have that. Not when 365 days, 52 weeks, and 170 posts are in the can. But who’s counting? Not me.
Some Next Year Stuff
Okay, I just can’t shut up, can I? Next year will include some old stuff that never happened and new stuff that I’m chomping at the bit to happen. Here is a preview of both:
- More Reader’s Commentaries. Following up on Forgiveness and Faith will be Fight (a commentary on Jude) and Priority (a commentary on 2 Timothy). Both of which are already in the works.
- Small Group Resources. Complimenting these books will be study guides for small groups. Accompanying them will be a series of posts on the art of small groups. I think these will be rather helpful to the church.
- NoteToShelf. The Preacher’s Library is a dear child of mine. It fell by the wayside due to neglect. But rising out of its ashes will be a newly developed and renovated web app to sync your e-books, notes, and highlights while tracking your books. Yea, you can’t wait for that. I’m stoked, too.
- WordPress Stuff. I’m about finished with a new WordPress plug-in and the Resurge theme. So this year should have a lot of WordPress resources launched for free. One plug-in integrates Mad Mimi to your post digest, and another tracks church folk so you can better target your ministry.
The Other Stuff
Finally, here are some random facts that didn’t make the content cut:
- Popular tags in order of popularity: wallpaper, Jesus Christ, gospel, resurrection, Jonathan Edwards, resolutions, Easter, prayer, ministry, sin, accountability, Christmas, Paul, etc.
- Nathan Bingham called me to the rug when It’s the Little Things: Print-Perfect Posts first posted—I was too opinionated.
- My mother inspired Send Your Children with a Back-to-School Kit, but I got all the credit.
- The most difficult post to write was Debates Over Testament Continuity Matter because the subject was nearly above my head.
- For Easter, I compiled the Gospels (and Acts) and arranged them chronologically to create a series of posts to emphasize the importance of the resurrection. I’m now punching myself in the eye for not turning this series into an e-book.
- Speaking of a series that missed its opportunity, remember the one for Easter and for Edwards? Of course not! It was a missed opportunity, silly.
- The biggest joke of all is that my main reason for starting the blog was to become a small group resource and advocate. But, I never even touched the subject. Well, poo.