It scarcely seems possible that an entire year has passed since I undertook the publication of a new blog post every day during the month of October 2015. It was an arduous task, and one consequence was that I did not publish a single post in the following month of November. Still, the discipline was helpful, even if exhausting, for one who had never attempted anything close to a schedule that demanding in the four years (at that time) since I started the blog.
Like almost every other facet of my life in the past ten years, this blog, which I started in October 2011, has turned out far differently than I imagined. In the first place, it is still up and active. That surprises no one more than me. I assumed I would find the task so consumptive of time and mental energy that I would come up with some reason to abandon the effort within a year. That didn’t happen, and I’m glad it didn’t.
At the outset, I assumed that the one thing most likely to provide sufficient motivation for me to keep cranking out blog posts would be an ever-expanding base of regular readers. I had followed enough blogs by the time I started this one to know that some bloggers had built a readership numbering in the thousands. That kind of following, I reasoned, would be more than enough impetus for me to do the hard work of attempting to write something worthwhile on a more-or-less regular basis.
That didn’t happen, either, at least not yet. My regular readership is but a small fraction of that of the best known names in blogging, but I’ve learned that it is a privilege and an honor to have even one person look seriously at my writing every time I post something on this blog. It would be the height of hubris to take that for granted. I certainly don’t, and I am more than grateful for every person who takes the time to read what I write.
Since October is fifth-anniversary month for the blog, I have decided to undertake, even as I did last year, the publication of a new blog post on each of the thirty-one days of the month. I called last year’s experiment the “October Potpourri.” For a great many reasons, I do not want to reprise that nomenclature. I am calling this year’s undertaking my “October Journal.”
I have never kept a journal. I don’t know why. I see the value in it, and I am introspective and sufficiently self-aware (or so I imagine) that I should take naturally to that discipline. I have found, however, that while I am constantly thinking about something, and much of that has to do with the integration of my personal life experience with the cultural realities around me, I have never been able to do that on a daily basis in written form.
And so, this will be a new experience. Pure stream-of-consciousness reflection. Every day I will post my thoughts about one or two issues or events or concepts or personalities or menu items or who-knows-what. No agenda. No attempt to make every post a work of literary art. No intention for every post—or any of them, for that matter—to cause readers to marvel at my brilliance or insight or humility. Just normal, off-the-cuff musing about life and faith and love and politics (not much of that, I promise) and the world’s greatest grandson.
I will plan to write the post over a cup of something in the morning and post it later in the day. Some days I’ll probably end up writing it over a glass of something in the afternoon and posting it quickly, before I lose courage.
I have absolutely no idea where this will go. Moreover, when it comes to this experiment, as Yogi Berra once said, “I not only don’t know anything, I don’t even suspect anything.”
See you Saturday.