Open Mic: the Blog Reset Button (I need your feedback!)


shrug

I need some help with this blog.  I don’t know what to do anymore.

There are a few reasons for the lack of posts recently here at the long way home.  My job and living situation notwithstanding, I really do feel my thinking, writing, and inspiration slipping through my fingers like sand with each passing month I go while not in school.  I really miss it.  Even my very ability to think deeply feels muddied by the monotony of having a 9 to 5 job.  The deepest, most meaningful things I’ve said or written in the past several months have only been regurgitations of things that I said or thought months ago.

The good news is this: this seems to be changing.  Or at least, the desire to see it change is growing. I’m finally finding the rhythm I need at work to find time to write.  I’m reading and listening to the right things that are spurring me to think once more– driving me to want to create again.  I seem to be hearing once more the whispers from all those albums, short stories, plays, blogs posts, articles, books, and even my forlorn podcast I was working on way back when.  It’s all pretty exciting.

But…

I still don’t quite know how to channel this reborn inspiration (as has been the story of my life).  Particularly when it comes to this blog.

I love blogging.  I’m built to be a communicator, and writing is my primary outlet to do so.  This blog, for the past five-and-a-half years (ever since that fateful first post), has served it’s function well, providing me not only with catharsis, but also with community; people who will push back against my thoughts and words in such a way as to send me back to the drawing board to refine them.  But this community is only formed when there are people actually reading the blog.  So, all that to say, I actually care about how to get more people reading this blog.  Not merely for the sake of ego (though I’m sure there’s some of that there), but for the sake of growth and refinement.

But here’s where I need your help:

Nearly every article I’ve read about having a successful, well-done blog says that the two primary things one needs to have is (1) consistent content and topics and (2) consistent writing frequency.  For example, it’s better to have a blog just about theology and culture on which you post once a week, than having a blog about every topic in the world that you post on everyday.  I can do with either one of those, but I’m having difficulty doing both.  I can write every day, but my inspiration is coming from church, technology, economics, philosophy, art, music, and social policy.  Or, I can write once a week about any one of those topics.

My question to all of you is…

When you come to this site, what are you expecting; what are you looking for?  The vast majority of my articles have been on Christianity and theology.  Is that what you’ve come to expect?  Or, do you sort of like the more eclectic mixture of topics?  I usually do either more “article”-like posts or more “personal” posts.  Is there a type of writing that you, as a reader of this blog, prefer?

Here’s an idea I’ve had: My online magazine, Reform & Revive, is officially dead (and has been for some time; I’ll be making the official announcement and plea for ideas in the coming days).  I’ve been tossing around the idea of using the Reform & Revive site as a place for my bigger, longer, more substantive articles and using this space for more personal posts and quick blurbs promoting Philly things and links to articles I like.  Is that workable, or do you all prefer having one site (this one) for everything.

I’ve already gone longer than I’ve wanted.  In short, I need to press the reset button on this blog and either get serious about it, continue to neglect it and be half-a—ed about it, or just abandon the enterprise altogether.  I don’t know what to do.  This site is just as much for its readers as it is for me, so I want to open it up for all of you.  The audience of this blog has never really been big on commenting (I’ve never understood why), but I’m hoping this will get some feedback.

If you actually cared enough to read through this entire completely  inconsequential  post,  then I count you among the faithful which have an obligation to leave feedback for me to use in determining the direction of this website.  Thanks for your time.  I love you all.  Really.  Please know I consider you my dearest and closest internet friends.  I’ll never forget this time we’ve spent together.  I love you.  Always.

Silver fish hand catch!

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8 thoughts on “Open Mic: the Blog Reset Button (I need your feedback!)

  1. I think you should condense everything into ONE single source. One place for your random thoughts, philly happening’s, long insightful and questioning posts.

    I think the one thing i would suggest is to make sure you’re writing for you. Don’t write for others, you have to create for yourself. Find that child like passion that all creative individuals have. Find that little fire, figure out what it is that fuels that fire and throw fuel on the fire. What makes you want to write. What was it that made you want to start all these endeavors? Find that.

    Then, figure out a time that you can schedule, like you would work, a time to write. Don’t push it off for time with the guys, your favorite tv show, just devote that time to fuel the fire. You may not write much more than “what the f— am i wasting my time here?! I’m writing nothing” the simple acto f devoting yourself to that time to do that thing will work wonders.

    “Would you still [write] if you knew no body would ever [read] it? If no… then maybe you’re not meant to be a [writer.]” A professor asked me that, about art, and it really made me think and it changed my whole thinking about art making.

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  2. Okay, Mike. What if I actually wrote the bigger articles on Reform & Revive, but did mini articles here to send people over there (like I do with my Patrol articles)?

    p.s.-thanks for your encouragement and reply. I already have five new posts completely finished and ready to go for the next couple of weeks.

    –paul

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  3. Paul,

    I enjoy your musings on life and faith. I find your wrestling through theology and real life implications to be enjoying. Mainly because it’s good to actually hear people wrestle through these things and not just intellectually believe them. It’s also the place where I am currently. I also really just love you as a brother and want to be able to encourage you in all things. I’m Timothy to your Paul.

    -Tim

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  4. I will have to second Tim’s comment. I stumbled across your twitter posts some time ago and picked up on your writting from there the wrestling with life, theology, and real life implications are what have really resonated with me. I’ve become a pretty big fan of Patrol. I’m not a seasoned writter or even much of an novice, but I do think that mike is onto something. If you have other places that your writting is more “structured” why not have a place that is just fun, where you can just write.

    Either way I think you’ll figure it out. Wrestle on brother.

    Ryan

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