Thursday, May 19, 2011

A year of daily blogging, and five all told

On Monday, I reached five years of blogging, though I've only just realised that today. More than 1,400 posts and about 10,000 comments later (altogether about 1.5 million words), I'm not going to indulge in a retrospective spanning that whole time, though will note again the renewed focus I mentioned here. Instead, I will restrain myself to a brief comment about the last twelve months.

After a slow 2009 and first half of 2010, I decided around this time last year to blog more regularly. This was an attempt to overcome a broader writing inertia where I was finding it difficult to get anything down. The sluggishness of my blog was not because I was powering ahead with thesis writing, but indicated the poverty of written production across the board. On the advice that trying to write anything is a good way to starting to write something, I started being quite deliberate about posting more regularly, and within a couple of weeks was posting at least once per day. I have managed to keep this up now for a whole year, only missing two or three days since this time last year. Sometimes this has involved setting up a few posts ahead of time when I was going to be away (and a couple of times a little backdating to cover my tracks), but I have (more or less) made it.

Has it worked? Well, I think I have moved further on my thesis over the last twelve months than the preceding twelve, though there is still a long way to go. To that end, I am going to leave myself a little more room now that I have some small amount of momentum. Posting will certainly not stop here, but there may be a few more days missed. I don't think anyone is going to be shedding any tears over that, but I thought it might be worth flagging it anyway.

Due to popular demand, I will continue to post dumps of links that I come across, though I have also been trying to cut down my web reading to make room for more "serious" reading. Nonetheless, the nature of my project means that keeping abreast of current stories and studies is, if not required, then at least somewhat helpful. One shift that I hope to implement is to include more explicit interaction with scriptural text, which will (God willing) reflect more such engagement in my thesis work.

Five years probably deserves more of an effort at taking stock, and it certainly deserves the much-needed and frequently promised update to the format, feel and navigation of this site. But instead I muddle on with the wreckage of past posts gradually piling behind me and an ever-growing number of half-baked ideas scattered in front of me (I have about 350 draft posts at last count). That, for today, will have to do.


Mike W said...

All I can say is thankyou

Matheson said...

You are leaving behind you a trail of gems. Keep it up! I hugely value your thoughts, your provocations to thought and action, your links, and most of all your wisdom.

Arthur said...

Loving it, Byron! (I find myself more in need of doggedness than imagination.)

This post reminded me of Graham Harman—his "reflective practice" as a writer is amazing.

The three parts of [the dissertation] Tool-Being are of roughly equal size, but the writing time on the three was approximately like this:
1. three years
2. one month
3. two or three weeks

PJtheoLogy said...

Thanks for your musing, links and inspiration. Your blog has continued to provide fodder for sermon, references to read and challenges for my own spiritual life. Keep it up. Peter Lockhart

Donna said...

Thank you from us too! (Btw, I wouldn't know what to do if your blog changed colour, the world would be upside down!)

byron smith said...

Thanks all. It is always nice to receive a little encouragement from time to time.

Five years seems like an appropriate point at which to stop and reflect a little more on the process of blogging, but that task will have to wait. Maybe at six years (if I make it) - though I'm likely to be even more under the hammer at that point.