Tuesday, August 29, 2006

a few paragraphs containing today's thoughts

When I first started blogging, my purpose was just to toss out a paragraph of whatever random thoughts I might be thinking on any given day. It was very simple and for a couple years, I rarely missed a day of boring my reader with my random thoughts. I just jotted down whatever snipit was on my mind. That was three years ago. Yeah, I know, many of you weren’t even born yet. How quickly time passes.
After a couple years, though, it began to seem as if I wasn’t as random a thinker as I had previously thought. Or at least, my brain began to distill all the random thoughts into a few themes that required much more than a paragraph or two in a blog post.
This is a very frustrating dilemma; it is quite satisfying to empty your brain in a couple paragraphs. It is exasperating to fill a couple paragraphs and realize that you’ve not even begun to explain what you set out to talk about, and that, in fact, you don’t even know how to explain what you set out to talk about. So the couple of completed, incoherent, malformed paragraphs get relegated to the “blogs in process” folder and hang around in your brain, cluttering up any new thoughts you might have and keeping you from concentrating on anything long enough to clarify, explain, and turn any thought into a cohesive understandable idea.
I’ve probably written more this summer than I normally do when I update every day, but nothing is complete, or it is too long before it is finished, or it is too personal, picky, or opinionated to publish. So I’ve got a folder full of half written, brilliant missives, destined to change the world, while my blog, like the world, stands static for weeks.
Nevertheless, some of you continued to stop by even though your aggregators indicated that nothing new had appeared on my blog. Perhaps you stopped in to look at some old thought or a photograph that had been collecting dust. Whatever the case, those faithful few of you who have visited despite my unfaithful blogging as of late, have tipped my visit counter to 40,000, representing 82,135 pages viewed. Not that I’m concerned with numbers – but numbers represent people and I am concerned about people.
It happened at 5:36 this evening while I was teaching. The lucky 40,000th visitor was the inkslinger from Austin, who also sent me an incredibly encouraging email this evening that had nothing to do with my blog or his being the lucky 40,000th visitor. Such humility.
All this is to say, that I am challenging my self to quit thinking new thoughts – they just make me suspect anyway – and to devote a few minutes per day, dusting off the half-baked thoughts and incoherent paragraphs I’ve written over the past few months and try to find something that won’t put readers to sleep, hurt their feelings, and/or get me in trouble.
So… warning: look for actual words to appear on this blog in the near future.