something to say: a retrospective

It’s just a little over two years since I began to blog seriously, although my archives go back almost eight years.

July 2008 I moved to WordPress, and this post represents a milestone of sorts—my 200th post on that platform. It’s also the week I passed 10,000 page views.

I have no delusion that a page view means someone actually read a post, but it is a sign of progress that so far this year each post gets looked at about 100 times. And in just these nine months I’ve written almost half of the posts so far.

It’s been a good discipline for me as a writer to average two essays a week since January, most of them just shy of 500 words. And people have been fairly gracious about the whole project.

My busiest day was May 25 last year when some clearly bored soul went back through my blog, reading about everything I’d written to that point. (Let me know who you are, and I’ll buy you dinner.)

With the exception of my bio, my most read post was a web of grief, an essay about the role social media played in how people managed their grief when Daniel Parker, a young man in our church, died last May.

Other in the top five, so to speak, include a reference to my ordination papers although I wish they had all bought the book. And a wedding homily I wrote for Scott and Lida Hasbrouck, although it was posted the day after the post about Daniel, so there may have been some synergy in that.

The other two in the top five were an obituary I wrote for my mom, and a post about her passing called filling a void. In fact, five of the top ten were about my mother’s death, including amazing graces, traveling mercies and promises to keep.

One post about our trip to Argentina in February and March, and old flames, a post about old girl friends, round out the top ten list.

Since six of the ten had to do with dying, I’m more convinced than ever that social media is becoming an important part of how we share, manage and understand our grief.

Many posts get three or four comments, but those about mom consistently got five or six. The most commented post ever was too cool for the cross, although a few of those were my own. Another one that got more traffic was one about Facebook games: And I still don’t care about your pony.

Friends Terri Reynolds, Tom Ball and Ivan Hoyt get the nod for most consistent commentators. But I appreciate all the faithful friends who have joined me on this journey.

I have to admit I’ve stooped to shameless self-promotion to grow my readership. I even have a business card that identifies me as a blogger. And I’m a long way from the kind of platform many modern publishers are looking for in publishing essays, maybe ten times as many readers.

But I’m learning a lot, and making new friends. And I think I’ve found the kind of focus that ultimately makes a blog work. Social commentary from a Christian perspective would be to put it too mildly.

What I’m really writing about at some level is the gospel itself, and how it touches every facet of our lives. Sometimes it’s more subtle than that. But that’s what it’s about. Grace for us. And glory for God. Christ crucified and magnified.

There is a lot more to say.

3 thoughts on “something to say: a retrospective”

  1. Wally, over the years we’ve talked often about the craft of writing. Recently, I ran across a quote which I think you will like…

    “Still, yearning for clarity contains a pleasure of which I am only now fully aware. Sometimews, on paring a sentence down to its barest minimum, I find it transforms into a question, paradox, or joke (all three being different states of the same thing, like ice, water and steam). That is a relief: clarity asks. It does not answer. Maybe then, in a hundred years, sitting on my haunches like a Zen master, I shall finally write a clear sentence. But it will have no words.”

  2. That was an interesting retrospect to read from the perspective of a reader of your fine blog.
    The last paragraph was my favorite. Great statement of what remains after having read your posts.
    Thank you for writing!

  3. Are you accounting for the readers that are receiving your posts via email?
    …and I know that you didn’t count my wife reading over my shoulder.
    Maybe I should hit refresh. 🙂

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