An initial blog post is an awkward thing, like the overzealous salutations of college freshmen. Will I make a good first impression? Am I talking too fast? Should I not have worn the same color shirt and shorts?
(Fun fact: my first words to my wife at freshman orientation were "sorry I'm so sweaty." I thought wearing a black polo with black plaid shorts would be a good look.)
My goals in this post are far more limited than those of the eager freshmen. I won't try to impress you or make you like me, and there's no party at my place. Instead, I want to share some of my hopes and expectations for future posts, as well as some ground rules for the blog in general.
Where Do We Go From Here?
I'll be writing on topics as they come to me, but my goal is to build up a stable supply of articles in the next few weeks so I'm not relying on churning out something quickly in order to meet the publishing deadline. The posts should be all over the place, by design; potential ideas for the coming months include the purpose of and problem with Christian lyrics, the Lord's Supper, why reading The Babylon Bee is bad for my soul, and (in case you saw the meta text in the search engine) gnosticism in video games. There are about two dozen other oddball ideas in there, all of which need harnessed to a keyboard and compelled to produce text.
My writing style may change from piece to piece; certainly, this kind of a post requires a different approach than, say, arguing why evangelicalism is spiritually and culturally thin. Because I'm used to writing on a variety of subjects, for a variety of audiences, on a variety of media, my voice in writing is quite flexible. This flexibility can be a liability, though, as it is hard to cultivate a voice which is recognizably mine. Part of the reason I'm writing this blog is to improve my writing. I'm convinced that there are two main things which will help me improve: reading and writing. Having a weekly schedule requires me to get in repetitions, as it were.
As far as a publishing schedule, my current goal is to put out an article every Wednesday morning. Eventually, I may increase the frequency, but I want to begin with something attainable, especially since I'm starting from scratch. At some point, I will likely introduce paid memberships along with the free ones, because the site will have no ads, but for now nothing is behind a paywall (and I always want the bulk of my content to be free).
First, and most important: there will be no comment section.
I detest comment sections; I find them time-consuming, unproductive, and pointlessly vituperative. I have no problem using this blog to talk into the void, but I don't want the void talking back.
Similarly, I plan not to use social media to promote my content. I have limited time in my day, and I would rather spend it writing than gazing into the toxic waste pits of Facebook or Twitter, hoping for likes and shares. Sure, maybe that means that the blog will have a serious case of "if you build it, they won't come," but the cure of social media is worse than the disease of online invisibility.
I'm undecided at this point about whether to publish an email address on the "Contact" page. Right now, the page has pre-generated filler text, so don't click it. I'm leaning in favor of giving the email, because I do think valuable communication can happen in that medium, but I'd rather take more time to think about it because it's harder to remove the ability to be contacted than to add it later.
I'll leave you with the song I referenced in the first subheading, a great one from Annie Moses Band, from far back in their discography: