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Welcome to the online home of Tim Challies, blogger, author, and book reviewer.
An Anniversary of Sorts (2005 Edition)
October 31, 2005
Two years ago, on October 31, 2003, I sat myself down and had a good chat with me. Challies Dot Com was a poorly-designed, silly little site that primarily contained photographs of my family. I had recently added a blog to the site and was enjoying being a blogger but realized that I had become terribly lax. Like most bloggers I had begun with a flurry of posts but had soon tired of putting forth the effort and had posted less and less. I believe there were a couple of periods of weeks at a time where I did not post at all. I decided that I either had to do things right or give it up altogether. And so it was that I made a committment on October 31 that I would post every day for an entire year. Lo and behold, I did exactly that.
This time last year I wrote:
I do believe that is one of the very few goals I have ever attained - I tend to aim high and get bored easily. But writing has become a passion of mine and something I look forward to almost every day.
In the past year I have posted some 568 times. I would estimate the posts would comprise somewhere between 250,000 and 350,000 words. I could find out if I really cared to, but I guess it isn’t all that important. There have been several thousand comments made but at least 500 different people. I never would have guessed. The software running the site changed from Geeklog to Movabletype and in the summer I changed from Movabletype’s commenting system to a forum system to escape the spam bots.
The most memorable time of the past year was the release of The Passion of the Christ. I wrote some very early reviews of the film and for several weeks had a completely irrational amount of traffic through the site. I believe the most-read post of all, though, is my review of The Purpose Driven Life which continues to drive in quite a bit of traffic.
That was 2004. I renewed my committment and here we are exactly one year later. Once again I posted every day between November 1 and October 31. Today marks 730 days since I last decided not to post something. I must be obsessed.
2005 was an interesting year for this site. Some of more memorable moments to me are my newfound interest in the Emerging Church and the fallout from various articles and reviews written about that topic. There was the “Abanes-gate” series of interviews that caused quite a fuss. There was the Pyromarketing article that garnered a lot of interest. There were book reviews; lots of book reviews. And of course there was the live-blogging opportunity at the Desiring God Conference. All-in-all it was quite a year and I am humbled as I look back upon it.
In the past months a few people have taken the opportunity to lovingly chastise me for this apparent obsession with blogging. Some people seem to feel it is a type of arrogance that keeps me posting day-after-day. Others feel that I am enslaved to the site or to the people who read it. The truth is that neither of these is accurate. I continue to post every day because of my personality. I know that once I take a day off I will take another and another and soon I’ll be as big a slacker as guys like Jollyblogger, Adrian Warnock or Dan Edelen. And that would be tragic. I mock these bloggers in jest, of course, but the truth is that once I begin to let up I know that I will find it easier and easier to do so in the future. I could show you a long line of hobbies and collectibles that prove this little flaw in my personality to be true. Blogging is too important an aspect of my spiritual life for me to let it slide.
So I will press on. Blogging is one of the best things that has happened to my spiritual walk. Daily blogging has had an important impact in my life. It is a constant challenge to find something worth writing. Some days I surprise myself by writing something that is genuinely (in my biased opinion) good. Other days I fail miserably and produce something I immediately regret. But regardless of whether I love or hate it, daily blogging forces me to stay in the Word, to keep reading and to keep thinking. The times in the past year when I have gone through the valleys are the times I have had little to say. The times when I have experienced a time of blessing and growth is when I feel I have had the most to say. One could easily gauge my spiritual condition by the writing on my blog. It is challenging, then, to bare myself in this way. It is always interesting when I meet people who know so much about me when I know so little about them.
In case you are wondering, I am renewing my committment and intend to post (Lord willing) every day between now and October 31, 2006. So I thank you for continuing to drop by and for taking the time to encourage me when I’m down and calling me to account when I’m too high up. I look forward to seeing what the next year brings for this site!