When I started blogging four months ago (seems longer!), I was determined not to put a counter on my site. I didn't want it to matter whether people read my blog or not. I was going to blog because I wanted to practice thinking and writing. My blog was for me, even though it was public.
My dear wife, who had a blog of her own had encouraged me to start a blog, but now she wanted me to include a counter. As any husband can attest, it is nearly impossible to resist and insistent wife, so one night I enrolled my blog in sitemeter. My wife was impressed, and upgraded her counter to sitemeter as well.
Sitemeter tells you some interesting things about who reads your blogs. I don't have many readers, and I really am OK with that. A lot of them click over to my site from my wife's, so you could say that I'm riding on her coat-tails. But the really interesting visitors are the Google searches. I get a lot of international visitors to this post who are looking for information on euthanasia.
My wife and I were discussing our respective blogs the other night. She has a lot more people who read her blog than I have reading mine, so I asked her whether she ever feels pressure to put up a post. When you're posting new content daily, and you know that people are visiting your site daily, hoping to get new content, there is pressure. This blogging hobby has definitely affected my sleeping habits. Since it takes me a long time to write a post, and I generally don't get started until after the kids are put to bed, I find that I'm staying up fairly late, and still getting up early in the morning. I've rebelled a bit lately, consciously not posting so that I could watch TV with my Amy.
The transferral of thought to keyboard doesn't always go smoothly for me. Part of my reason for blogging was to practice that discipline. It doesn't seem to be getting any easier. When I think about things in my mind, everything is so coherent and elegant. Then I try to type it out, and it gets clunky (that is a word, isn't it? I'm pretty sure I've seen other writers use it.). Oftentimes, I'll find myself with several different things that I have thoughts, opinions, and reflections on, but I just can't find the time to record them all, and so they end up lost.
Which brings me to another reason why I blog. I have too many thoughts that, even if someone else has thought them before me, they are original to me. If I don't record them somehow, they drift away. So my blog is my way of trying to concretize and fix my thoughts. To that extent, there are some blog posts that are just for my sake. It doesn't matter to me whether anybody else appreciates them, because they are not the primary audience.
One thing that I find this blog to be very limited in its ability to do is to act as a journal of prayer. One of the basic elements of prayer is contrition. I am a sinner, and when I meet God in prayer, it is with the acknowledgement that I am weak. When I speak of my sins to God and implore his grace to overcome them, it is a private matter. There are, and always will be, elements of my interior life that will not appear in any public forum.
As I sit here, I can think of at least four things that I'd like to post on, but instead I'm typing out this rambling essay, because this is what I need right now. After I finish, I'm going to say my Evening Prayer and go to bed. Maybe the four will become posts in the future, or maybe they'll just drift away, as if the thoughts behind them never even existed.