Not exactly, of course. In a thousand posts on this blog, there have certainly been plenty that came in well under my typical one thousand word length; there have also been more than a few that ran really long. If I were actually trying to math it out, I’d probably put my total output around eight hundred thousand words given how my posting patterns have changed in the six years since I started blogging. When I first started this project in the middle of the summer after my second year as a teacher, I was aiming primarily to direct a lot of pent up creative energy into some kind of outlet that would require little enough effort that I could maintain it for an indefinite amount of time.
Beyond the practical considerations, I was also taken with the romance of documenting my life; I’ve played with journaling since I was a kid. Somewhere in the nostalgia box is a journal that I received for a birthday or for Christmas when I was in high school; it has a handful of pages filled out, but it was never something I could do regularly. Being a lefty meant that I never really took to writing instruction in elementary school, and in addition to having often illegible script I also get physically tired of the activity. When I was a junior in high school, I received my first laptop from my dad (it was a hand-me-down, not really good for anything except word processing), and I got this idea in my head that I could use it for note-taking at school. I’d be the super sophisticated guy who brought a computer to class to do his work; it was pretty cool for a few months. One of the primary uses for this clunker was as a medium for me to complete my weekly journals for my English classes. My teacher for my junior and senior years was a big proponent of learning to write by simply doing it a lot, so one of our recurring tasks was to turn in journals of a minimum length (twenty-five lines handwritten). While a lot of my classmates grumbled about this part of the class, I relished it. I turned in pages from fiction that I wrote, but those eventually ran out, so I turned to writing in a Word document where I recorded an ongoing stream-of-consciousness thoughts. That lasted me through most of my senior year of high school; I might still have it in my archived files somewhere. It’s likely unreadable gibberish.
I think what I’m trying to say is that I’ve been at this journaling thing in various forms for a long time, and starting a blog felt like a pretty natural progression of that habit.
In the six years since, the range of topics that I’ve discussed have been relatively wide and also pretty focused. So much of my writing is about working out how I understand the things that I encounter and trying to incorporate new information into my personal schema for how a person’s supposed to live. It’s all filtered through things that I’m fascinated with in the moment, and it’s the fascinations that are probably the most worthy of reflection. In a pretty public way I used this space to disentangle myself from white evangelicalism through its first few years. If you go back through the archives, there are a ton of posts in the first couple years that are just about exploring different theological topics. Then there was the series where I had it out with a Facebook rando about Christianity that put me in kind of a tailspin about my faith. The year after that contains a fair bit of anger at the community that adopted me in college and then turned out not to be a good fit for my developing sense of morality and ethics.
Before too long, the focus here shifted away from theology and more towards my other artistic interests. Since the beginning I’ve spent a fair bit of time dissecting movies and television shows, but in the last few years I’ve moved more towards thinking about comics (I’ve always had a soft spot for superhero stories). Most recently I decided to revisit a hobby that I enjoyed when I was a kid but never practiced with any serious intention: drawing. It’s been a really fun new skill to develop.
For now, this is just a nice moment to pause and reflect on how things have gone in the past six years. The enthusiasm I had for blogging in that first summer is long gone (there’s no way I’m going back to a daily posting schedule; that simply wasn’t sustainable long term), but it’s not a thing that I feel particularly tired of doing either. I think the drive to record things is always going to be there, and even if I take a break from time to time, I doubt I’ll ever get rid of the itch altogether. Here’s to another thousand posts.