On Friday it will be exactly ten years since I bowed to peer pressure and began blogging. The vast majority of those who encouraged and cajoled me into this form of self-expression have long since abandoned their own blogs, worked through and beyond social media, and are now in a more private phase of life. That mildly amuses me.
I have often said that the internet is a gift for people like me who are naturally shy, introvert, introspective and somewhat lacking in confidence. It is sufficiently removed from real conversation to feel safe enough to express things, yet retains the potential (sometimes anyway) for others to comment.
When I began blogging, no-one in my Dibley church had a clue I was doing so, indeed many of them barely used the internet. It was a safe space to play with ideas for sermons, to share liturgies and to post what I felt were amusing stories about Baptist life in the area.
Moving to The Gathering Place that changed, with lots of people reading my stuff, and the need to keep in mind that people would read my stuff, and would take it perhaps more seriously than I intended. I now very rarely float ideas ahead of services and perforce am a bit more circumspect in what I share. Maybe all of that is a good thing.
During my cancer treatment it was certainly a boon having a ready-made space to post stuff suitable for public consumption, even if I did end up with a rod for my own back of needing to post daily, including my day off, as people worried if I didn't! Overall a nice reason to have the rod I think.
The last couple of years I've from time to time pondered abandoning this blog - partly because I eventually succumbed to social media, partly because I often don't seem to have much worth saying, and partly because a few things I've posted have caused significant offence to one or two people. The reality is that ten years on I have less self-confidence and am more wary than I was when I began blogging.
For all that, in ten years I have written just shy of 4,000 posts and I think only pulled about 4... 0.1% is not a bad figure I reckon, even if I still smart over at least a couple of them.
In ten years I have received just over 3500 comments - despite the worst efforts of this blog platform - which suggests a high level of engagement with my stuff. At various times there have also been email exchanges on some of the posts.
The world has changed a lot in the last decade, as has the internet, as have I. It is quite amusing to read the seemingly prosaic language of some my early posts, as well as interesting to see what I was thinking about. If nothing else, it is an interesting 'social document' for anyone who cares to read it.
When I began this blog it's subtitle was "ramblings, reflections and rubbish" before at some point morphing into "everyday adventures of a Baptist minister". Each of these is a reasonable description of what it contains, and each is what it will continue to be.
I'm not promising to blog for another decade... I wouldn't even dare to presume to be here to do so (with apologies to those who don't like talk of mortality)... but despite the hiccups and stumbles along the way, I'll carry on for the time being - and hope that some of it amuses, informs or even inspires others along the way.
As someone who encourages you to blog and yet gave up her blog sometime ago I am pleased, as will one church member of mine who gets worried if you don't blog for a few days, you ae carrying one. ;-)