16 July 2007

I started blogging because some of my former students blogged first. I read their stuff and enjoyed being able to keep up with them and what they were thinking about even though they'd left college. The natural thing to do seemed not only to comment on theirs but to start my own.

It wasn't long, though, till the community expanded and I wound up feeling part of a blogging community that included quite a few people I'd never met before. These people have become prayer partners, assistant editors & critics and writing partners. That's been fun.

When I took part in a panel discussion about blogging a couple of Greenbelts ago, it was clear that the guy chairing the discussion thought that the blog was there to publicize my books. That kind of surprised me. My guess is that the blog has caused me to give away more copies than I've sold through it. I did also then try to run a site about my books -- my blog annex -- but it's been even harder for find the time and energy to put into updating that than my main blog.

Ideally, the blog would fit into my writing life in a different way -- helping me to write every day, giving me a reason to write stuff that I might not put into words otherwise. I'm still wrestling with the idea of the self-publishing alternative that the web offers.

The next question is why do I write? And that too boils down to sharing with people, but also the compulsion to share what I know (and what I suspect) about the gospel. It's also, I suspect, something of a hobby -- something I do because I want to and because I can. Thus it's something I want to get better at for its own sake as well as because of what it allows me to do.

So, two reasons for blogging: contact/sharing with folks; and writing practice/outlet.
This blog is closed now. I've moved to http://gempf.com