Ten years ago I started this little known project called blogging. Before that I used Geocities. Not many of you have heard of Geocities. It was the 90’s webpage builder. Yahoo shut down Geocities’ U.S. service back in 2009. Now, it is just a distant memory. Back in 2004, as I was starting my time at RTS/Orlando, I deleted my Geocities page and started a blog using blogspot. In 2006, I transferred all my data to a free wordpress account. In 2013, I bought my own domain, uribrito.com.
Today marks my ten year blogging anniversary! No cake. No party. Just a reminder that I have been writing for a long time. When I started in 2004 few people knew about blogging. A small social networking service launched in February 2004 known as Facebook had only recently made its debut. And from what I remember, it was meant only for Harvard students at the time. Now, as of the 3rd of October 2013, there were 500 million people with a Facebook account. Much of today’s blogging has been replaced by Facebook status updates and links to other websites. I even heard someone recently tell me that they get all their major links to news reports from Facebook. Still, my perspective has been that blogging provides a valuable resource to express fuller thoughts and also the opportunity to be more precise in your argument and thought. a
I have posted almost 4,000 posts in these last ten years. Here are five lessons I have learned:
First, writing is hard. Sitting down to write something that is more than the mere fluff you get in most places can be rather challenging. This is one reason thousands and thousands of people have blog pages that have been untouched in years. Blogging demands perseverance.
Second, blogging can get you in trouble. In the height of my zealous years as a seminarian, I thrived in writing about controversial topics. Sometimes they were so controversial that it attracted the attention of well-known scholars who would chastise me for such foolishness. I took their critiques as validation of what I was saying. I should have listened to them, but instead I was more concerned with the number of hits my post had.
Third, the best writing I’ve done has been peer-reviewed. I do not consider myself a great writer, but I have lots of ideas. I am well-read and have two degrees in theology. All that is proof that I should have a few things to say that are at least appealing to some. But, though one may have good ideas to discuss, he needs to express those ideas is readable and grammatically accurate way. Nothing is more distressing to readers than sloppy writing. It hinders good ideas from being communicated powerfully and effectively. As a result, I have developed a two-step process for publishing pieces over 1,000 words. First, I edit and re-edit my work. Secondly, I send it to two friends who have some gifts in the art of writing. After they send me back their thoughts, only then do I publish my material. This has proven to be highly successful. As as result I have edited a book, written another, and have published articles in well-known Christian websites. In summary, writing is communal. b
Fourth, writing is public. One of the main reasons I write is for the sake of others. Everything I write is so that others may find interest or help in something I am engaged in. I find the idea of reading or writing for self-pleasure difficult to understand. Of course, like anything, most initial forays into writing need to be kept away from the reading public until they reach a level of maturation. But there is also great pleasure in allowing others to enter into my reading and writing journey. Blogging has allowed me to invite others into my life.
Finally, blogging can lead to humility. I know certain bloggers use their writing as platform for their arrogant rants and vitriol. In my case, even with all the help I have received, I still make remarkable mistakes in my writing. And I am quite aware of that. In my mind, my ideas come out harmoniously, but when others read them, they lack the coherence I thought they had. c Those who have left comments over the years have encouraged me greatly to improve my communication in writing. Instead of reacting as if they have no sense of what they are talking about, I am always seeking to first consider my intentions for writing, how to better communicate my writing, and how to honor those who have taken the time to read my blog when there are millions more they could have been reading. So, thanks to all my readers. You are not many, but you have humbled me in many ways.
Here’s to another ten years!