Saturday, April 20, 2013

Three Years In

Three years ago today, I set up Obsidian Blooms and posted for the first time.

That initial post became the descriptive passage, “What It’s About” that adorns the home screen when you visit this site. I had hopes that maintaining the blog would spur me to being more regular and productive in my writing. I tend to be a slow writer, uncertain and second-guessing about my choices. I wanted to develop a quicker process, from idea to composition to dissemination. And I hoped to become looser and freer about my choice of subjects, to get over my wariness of airing personal issues and opinions. And I hoped to generate an exchange of opinion with readers about issues and concerns that matter to me.

I’ve accomplished all of these objectives to some extent. I’ve posted 156 pieces, which works out to exactly one essay per week, many of which are fairly substantial. But my intention was to do at least half again as much. I’ve written about some very personal – and occasionally controversial – subjects. But I’ve been fairly general and indirect about religious/spiritual matters, and I’ve hardly touched at all on love and sex, which are as interesting and important to me as anything else I’ve written about.

Occasionally, I’ve gotten a response to something that has led to an exchange and even a deepening of thought about an issue, but that’s come far less often than I’d supposed, and often, when I’ve most expected it, there’s been no response at all.

So, like every other meaningful activity in my life, blogging has been a journey, bringing satisfaction and disappointment. It provides cause for deep gratitude, and the road stretches ahead, with objectives, but no clearly discernable end. Which is alright with me. It’s all been a blessing. And it’s nourished my life in many ways.

Maybe the biggest challenge is how blogging has affected the other writing I do. I had been a committed journal keeper for more than thirty years when I started blogging, and that journaling has slowed to a mere trickle. I’m more surprised at that falling off than disappointed. My journaling had fallen into a rut, and the break from it feels rejuvenating. But I’d expected and hoped that blogging would somehow invigorate my creative writing, which has only happened indirectly. My blog essays require the organizing around an idea that other writing requires, but it’s otherwise a very different pursuit.

One of the most wonderful aspects of blogging has been its reach. Blogging gives me a way to share with friends, colleagues, acquaintances and strangers, with whom I’d otherwise have much less connection. I may get less commentary on-site than I’d hoped for, but I get quite a bit of unexpected reaction and acknowledgment from people as we interact in other ways – in person, by phone and email. And while initially, Obsidian Blooms drew barely a pageview per day, it now average 15-20 per day. It’s a modest readership, but rewarding to know that some out there find value in sharing my observations. And I confess to getting a kick from the fact that readers have linked in from more than fifty countries.

So this post is an acknowledgement of the three years that have gone into this blog and of you readers who have made it so worthwhile. I hope you’ll stick with me and keep reading!

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