It’s My Third Birthday

October 17, 2011

Three years ago, give or take a day or two, I started this blog.

No one knew about it, because I told no one about it, including my wife.  No one read it, as I expected.  It truly had no people.

Part of me didn’t want to tell anyone because I figured I’d quit after a month or two.  Do you know how many blog die from abandonment and neglect every day?  More than all the abandoned doggies, kitties and dolphins in the world.*  Please, if you don’t want you blog anymore, put it up for adoption, and always have your blogs spayed or neutered.

*Not a fact.

And here we are, after three years, about 500 posts, and one weird joke about neutering your blog.  Wow.  By far, this is the one activity I have kept up most consistently.  No exercise regimen, no diet, no job has survived my blog.

Maybe you’re just starting out with your blog, and you don’t know how you’re going to manage it.  Maybe you’ve been at it for a while, and you feel your blogging energy start to dip.

So after three years, what keeps me plugging away at three posts every week?

Feedback

Three times a week, I spout off my opinions at you.  There are times when I’m tired, and it’s tough to write.  But hearing from all of you makes it worth it every time.  This blog is read by all kinds of people who have experiences I can’t even imagine.  You are often wiser, more articulate and funnier than even I am, and that is saying a lot.

Connections

Then there are the people who I’ve been able to make a deeper connection with, thanks to blogging.  From Skype conversations to annual Blogger Meetups, I’ve met dozens of people who are way more interesting than I am.  I am always on the lookout for interesting people in blog land, and that keeps me interested.  If you are blogging, but you aren’t finding interesting people, you probably aren’t trying.

Do Lots of Stuff

It’s also important, when keeping a rigorous blogging schedule, to keep a rigorous schedule of other things that refresh your energy.  Read great blogs, eat delicious food, exercise vigorously, work hard in your house or job, play loudly with your family, laugh at hilarious things, hug friends.  Those all give me way more inspiration than staring at a blank screen, waiting for me to write.

Opportunity Knocks…or Types

Finally, there are the little opportunities that come up: the chance to interview someone, blog somewhere, do something fun, just because someone read my blog.  I’ve got a couple of opportunities cooking right now that I’m really excited for the possibilities.  Whenever I’m tired and want to quit, I think about what little unknown opportunity might come up next week if I just keep going.

I don’t have any of these things because my blog is the best.  It’s not.  Yours probably isn’t either, but you can have all these things too.  Just keep writing, improving you craft.  Be social and outgoing with other people in blog land.  Be active in lots of things to refresh your creativity.

Tell me, how long have you been blogging?  What keeps you going when you want to quit?  Ask me any blogging question you want, and I will answer you!

35 responses to It’s My Third Birthday

  1. Hi Matt,

    Happy Third Birthday.

    Good job!

    My own blog, Rabid Fun, is coming up on its sixth year now, but, judging from comments, hardly anybody bothers to read it.

    So I get discouraged at typing on air all the time and I think of quitting.

    But I imagine I’ll keep going because of Dracula.

    As a kid I stole a copy of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula; it was written in the form of diary and journal excerpts. What a cool idea, I thought. So I began to keep my own daily journal–just in case I ever met a vampire–but all my diary recorded were homework assignments.

    Nevertheless, I plugged away off and on. Thus for close to 40 years, I have recorded my days trying to make sense of my own life. Got a closet full of old, hand-written journals. But about seven years ago, my grown kids gave me a computer and urged me to keep my journal on-line in the form of a blog.

    I don’t post every day any more; my life is just not that interesting, and nobody really cares for my jokes, devotions, news, meditations or observations. But I’m still trying to make sense of my own life and someday maybe the Kid In The Attic (my envisioned far-in-the-future reader) will find my record of one guy’s Christian life with warts here at the turn of the century, helpful in his own struggles.

    And besides, who knows, I may yet encounter a vampire, so I keep blogging.

    John Cowart

    • John, are you kidding?!?!?!? You’re my second favorite writer! Matt is obviously my favorite (cause it’s his blog I’m posting on 😉 I L.O.V.E. your tongue in cheek humor. Your stories are so insightful…
      I mean you Matt. This all applies to you Matt.
      :)!!

    • There you go, and you know, John, everyone has a bigger impact on others than they are able to percieve. The vast majority of blog readers do not leave comments. And judging from what you’ve shared with me about yourself, you have had a huge impact on the people who are fortunate enough to know you personally.

    • John, I always read what you post! I may not get to it right away, but I eventually catch up. You make me smile. You make me think about Jesus. Don’t stop blogging!

  2. Happy Birthday!

    I’ve recently passed three years blogging at my current blog (joannamuses.com) but had other sites and blogs prior to that. Getting positive feedback makes it easier to keep going. It blows my mind to think someone I’ve never met in a city that I’ve never been to on the other side of the world can be impacted by something I write sitting here in my room. Writing is also a personally helpful exercise as trying to condense what you are learning down into 400ish words forces you to think more carefully and clearly.

  3. Happy blog birthday, Matt.

    I’ve been blogging since March 2009. What keeps me going, even when I want to quit, is the people I’ve developed relationships with online.

  4. Thanks for the post. I’ve been at it for about 1.5 years. It really is fun. I really like your post about the big church.

  5. I have 853 posts over six years. You are right, just keep plugging away at it. A large number of readers isn’t very important to me, what is important is that I am read by people who understand what I am talking about, who share the same thread of spirituality as I. Even among Catholics there aren’t many who really get what I post.

    Happy Birthday, Matt’s Blog!

  6. Wow! Great to hear! I just launched a blog 3 WEEKS ago and am committed to giving it 6 months, posting 3 times a week, praying that if God breathes into it and wants to use it the readership will grow. My blog is awakemysoulblog.com . My goal is to make people smile while paying attention to the relationships, experiences and practices God uses to form us. Thanks for your encouragement!

    • Best of luck to you, Laura! Actually, it’s not a whole lot of luck, is it? :) I give lots of general advice to bloggers: keep a regular schedule that is manageable. Pay attention to your word counts (I go for 500-800. In the beginning, I would have unwieldy posts that could drag on for over 1200 words). And make lots of blog friends!

  7. Awesome, Matt! Love the blog and haven’t missed a one in years. I also enjoyed the Skype, the kangaroo privates souvineer, and your chat with the SPAM-Bot.

    Tell me, how long have you been blogging?
    I started in ’05 on MySpace, and switched to Blogspot in ’06. I wanted a chance to tell stories about me and Jesus, mission trips, answered prayers and other adventures in the Spirit. I thought after enough time I would have a book’s worth of material. In the process I ranted about politics and dead religion, told some funny sorties about my family, posted the wisdom of my kids and wife along with some other stuff.

    About a month ago, after well over 1000 blogs, I felt the Lord say it was time to stop the regular blogging. I was writing 4 times a week for two different ones – so I did. I really struggled with it, but without a schedule I can just post the stuff I want to write about. I am back to my stories of the supernatural when they occur. I am also writing one over at MyFitnessPal.com when I have a few minutes. Just wiseass stuff about my journey with gettting healthy.

    This weekend I realized that I have accomplished my goal of writing a book about me and Jesus. It is with a copy editor now, and there are some folks that are interested in helping me publish it. Amazing! Even cooler, on October 25th I am doing a TV interview about it!

    What keeps you going when you want to quit?
    Read other blogs, schedule a time to write, and if it a Christian blog, fill your life with Kingdom living. Be a wiseass, be sarcastic, and don’t take yourself too seriously. Think about others lives, and how the church could get involved, and most of all, be yourself. If it is all about numbers and notoriety, I am sure it will be unrewarding. But if it is an expression of your passion in life, even if 3 people read it, you’ll want to get on to the next one.

    Congrats Matt, I look forward to reading your blog 3 times a week until eternity.

  8. Happy Bloggin Birthday Buddy!

    I’ve been blogging for about 3 and half years…BUT I only got serious about it, really, …with purpose…about 6 7 months ago…and it’s been awesome!

    i’ve blog met really cool people out there…and it’s awesome to connect with other brothers and sisters in Christ…in Cali, New York, Atlanta, and all over the Country!

  9. Happy Birthday young’un. Glad you’re in the blogosphere.

  10. Happy Birthday. It is amazing how many blogs are out there. And how many blogger just abandoning them. I have discovered I have caused one blogger to quit writing 3 of her blogs just because she is aware I read them, even though I never comment. I just wish I could use my power for good, on my son. :) Keep writing, sir. I’ve learned a thing or two on this site.

  11. Happy Blogday Matt!
    I don’t blog. I don’t like to write that much. Actually, I don’t like to spell check; grammar check; and edit that much. I just like to talk that much. One day, I’ll hook up my computer camera & figure out skype, and then WATCH OUT! We will talk until the cows come home! (a little Wisconsin humor. very little.)
    Oh, wait, I did create a blog to sell my home. In June. Still trying to sell. I am definitely not a successful blogger. :p

  12. Great job. I found your blog a few months ago and have been working my way backwards in it. Thanks.

    I totally get you here Matt. I have almost a year in. I wasn’t sure I wanted anyone to know I blogged at first. It shows in the thin comment sections of my posts. I did commit recently and bought a domain and did a total rework. I figured if I was going to put time in it I wanted it to look good in case someone did stop by.

  13. Happy Birthday, Matt! Glad you have kept at blogging this long so I could find you. I’ve only been blogging since June. I had started (meaning reserved the blog address) the blog about two years before, but I don’t think that 3 or 4 posts in that whole time period really count. I don’t have a blogging question for you now, but I reserve the right to come back and ask later! 😉

  14. Happy birthday!

    I’ve been blogging since 2006. Not always consistently or with anything to say, but blogging nonetheless. There was a time in the middle there where I stopped blogging publicly to figure out my priorities. I’ve been trying to be more consistent in my frequency and style of posts in the past year, but it’s definitely a work in progress.

    For me, blogging is more a way for me to work through things and develop my writing than for me to have an audience. I’ve always loved writing, having a blog pushes me to write consistently and thoughtfully in a way that my pen-and-paper journal does not. So I try to remind myself of those things–that I’m not really writing for an audience–when I’m discouraged. Which works well, because I really don’t have much of an audience anyway.

    Thanks for writing. I’ve really enjoyed your posts and the conversations that ensue.

  15. Happy blog-birthday!

    I’ve been blogging for about 4.5 years now. Started when I went to Australia in April 2007, and moved back to Edinburgh.

    I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to quit. At one point my church wanted me to stop blogging because I was ‘too honest’, but it was people commenting on those ‘too honest’ posts or e-mailing me, and friends who told me I shouldn’t stop that kept me going.

    These days I just write whatever I feel like, I don’t mind if anyone reads or not. I just like recording stuff I’m enjoying in life, funny anecdotes, things I’m passionate about or things I’m struggling with.

    I’ve really enjoyed your blog for its honesty. Keep on writing!!

  16. Happy Blog Birthday! Been at it myself for just under two months now, averaging about six posts a week with limited work and tons of free time. Wondering how my blog will evolve if/when work picks up again and my free time becomes more limited.

    Blog question for you: ever consider going hipster with a video-blog?

  17. Three years ago this past Saturday, on a rainy evening in an RV park along I-44 in Missouri, I wrote and posted my first-ever article for a blog. It’s been an erratic but fun ride. I’ve taken a couple of short vacations, but basically a “daily” posting. It’s a potpourri, whtever is on my mind at the time, or occasionally a “borrowed” bit of material that I think should be even more widely read. It is the people I have “met” that has made it all worth while, and that is what keeps me going.

    Of course, reading “Church of No People” is an important part of my blog experience. Keep up the good work!

  18. Happy Birthday to your blog! I actually sang that in my head while typing. I’ve been blogging since August 2008, although I had no idea why I was dooing it then. I suppose I thought I had something to say.

    What keeps me blogging now is that I finally have a plan, a reason…and a desire to see it grow. It’s slow…real slow. That’s ok. I enjoy reading your unique perspective on things. Keep it up!

  19. Congratulations on your anniversary man.

  20. Happy third anniversary, Matt! I just found your blog today, and it was your title that drew me in, since we will celebrate our 3rd blogiversary on November 12th. We post five days a week, but this month we’re doing a the Ultimate Blog Challenge and posting everyday. We do it because we have a passion to see marriages grow stronger year after year. We have been married for 32 years, so anniversaries mean a lot to us – even blogiversaries because it represents so much of life, love and experiences shared with your spouse or your readers.
    May the next three years be even more fun and productive!
    Blessings,
    Debi

  21. I’m on my third year. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I kept a blog about motherhood while I was actually mothering young ones. Now, I can look back and laugh and smile about how things were only three years ago.

    I very much enjoy reading your blog. So glad you started and continue to give your input the the blog world!

  22. What keeps me blogging? Not sure really, I love to write and not everything I write is meant for book format or Twitter, so I put them into posts.

  23. Matt,

    Happy #3!

    I was on Rambling Barba and he referenced your blog so I wanted to stop by and check it out. You have a catchy name, for sure! Thanks for this post – I’ve just started blogging and am excited about it but have wondered how I can get people to actually READ my posts. I watch the visitor count like a count-down on ebay. Who has visited? Any comments? Any adds or likes? Kind of funny, really.

    Like you, I also enjoy speaking and teaching and think blogging is a great way to get the Truth out there and my blog, Warrior Life, is centered around living a life that is all about Jesus, not one that only acknowledges Him on Sunday, maybe Wednesday, and as a courtesy at meals. It’s about being a spiritual warrior.

    If you have time to stop by my blog, let me know what you think. I’ve just recently moved it to a new site so there are only a couple of posts.

    Thanks again – I look forward to visiting often!

  24. Matt, thank you for your honesty and sincerity, not only does the blog world need it, so does the world in general.
    Ps: for the record, you are interesting!