Some Blog Housekeeping

Time to talk shop. 

Last August, my literary agent and I pitched a book proposal around and, though we got some interest and even a couple offers, we felt that the time wasn’t right. We pulled the proposal and I set about to write the book in full. I also set about to get my traffic up over 100K pageviews per month. I succeeded at the latter, but not the former. The book didn’t get done, and we’re currently shopping a new — but related — proposal around.

But the blog grew, and it continues to grow. Even lacking a breakaway post, Theoblogy is up every month over the previous month. And, even more gratifyingly, the commentary is voluminous, robust, and respectful.

Blogging is a grind. There’s no two ways about it. With the goal of posting 11 times per week, it never stops. It’s disputed about who first said it, but someone famous once said that the study of history is just “one damned thing after another.” Blogging can feel like that at times. That’s what it’s felt like this weekend, facing another new week with few new ideas.

What’s strange is that last week was a good week. Good posts, and good traffic. Until Friday, when I posted one of my more pathetic answers in the Questions That Haunt series.

I wasn’t feelin’ it, and I should have waited a day or two. But when I don’t answer the QTH on Friday, and we have the kids for the weekend, then it waits till the next Monday. That seems unfair to you as readers, and unfair to my next week. I’ve thought about changing the QTH cycle from Tuesday-Friday to something else, but the present schedule makes the most sense with my own schedule.

Also, it’s hard to write a book when I’m already cranking out about 3,500 words-per-week here on the blog. This blog isn’t a digest of other blogs — I try to post original content every day. And a human being can only generate so much original content in a week. So balancing the content for the blog and the content for a new book is a tricky balancing act. Plus, I also work several part-time jobs (acquisitions editor at sparkhouse, adjunct professor at St. Cloud State University, co-owner of The JoPa Group). Finding time to do the mundane things, like my taxes, seems almost impossible.

In a couple weeks, I’ll be taking a week off. I’ve approached some folks about guest-posting, so I hope that you will keep reading even when I’m away. I’ll take another week off in August. That’s about all I can manage away from the blog per annum without seeing a major drop in readership, which I’d like to avoid. I value the growth here, and I appreciate the value that you put in my writing to come here every week, or every day.

Regarding comments, we tried and failed to install Disqus last week. I don’t know why it didn’t take, but it seems to be a problem with Disqus and their inability to merge my Google-based account into a verified Disqus account. So, while other Patheos bloggers have Disqus, I won’t for the present time. I’m sorry about that — I really think that this blog needs a better commenting system, one that allows for liking particular comments and for better threading. But I’ve been asked by Patheos to back off on that request. They tell me that in a few months, all Patheos blogs will be moving to Disqus, so we can look forward to that. In the meantime, you can now subscribe by email to the comments on a post, so you’ll know if someone adds to the conversation.

Finally, my thanks to you for reading and commenting and sharing and liking and linking and tweeting. I couldn’t (wouldn’t) keep posting if it weren’t for you.

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  • pgregory70

    Sounds like you’ve a lot going on. Make sure to completely check out during your week of vacation. Unplug, man. It will do you good!

  • It’s funny to me that you felt like your most recent QTH post was one of your weakest. That was the one that I could actually stomach, given my current theological stance.

    Good call on taking some time away. It’s necessary, and good for your readers, too. It reminds us that we shouldn’t be so damn demanding, and understand that humans are not robots, and that’s why we like to read their thoughts.

  • Craig

    I’m in favor of inviting guest posts. Please just request that the guests try to follow up their posts with at least some interaction in the comments section. (I’d even love to see someone like Roger Olson post something here, since on his own blog he does far too much hiding behind his ability to censure the responses.)

  • A couple of thoughts…well, one thought and one questions really.

    Regarding Disqus, fwiw, I use google for my blogs and it seems to work fine. You might want to talk with their support crew. Maybe they can help.

    And about the upcoming book, I’m curious as to why you are going through a publisher. It seems that with 100K page views a month, you probably have more than enough rep to strike out on your own with self publishing. Have you considered that avenue? I suspect it might be to your benefit.

  • “Also, it’s hard to write a book when I’m already cranking out about 3,500 words-per-week here on the blog.”

    I can really relate to that, Tony. I feel that way about writing sermons each week. And in fact, I think that’s why more pastors don’t write.

    On the weeks that my colleague preaches, that’s when I get other kinds of writing done. I try to put in the same amount of time I would put into sermon writing into other writing. Or into turning sermons into other kinds of writing. And vice versa.

  • Congrats on the 100K per month! We were just talking about that on Sunday evening, so I happy that you made your goal.

    I hear you regarding the grind of blogging. Keep grinding though. (Re: grinding, I had a joke about you spending too much time at the skate park and not enough time at your computer. Glad I didn’t share that one because it wasn’t very funny.)

    Look forward to Disqus, it’s a good platform, but if you want the future of commenting, take a peek at

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  • I am thinking of creating a blog in Ireland if I can find the time