Monday, October 25, 2010
Six years ago today, I started this blog when I realized that I wanted a place to explore my interest in thinking and writing about political and cultural matters. Since then, I have written about 2,300 posts and received nearly 350,000 visitors. I have surprised myself with my tenacity, while also being pleasantly surprised that so many people have found it worthwhile to stop by and see what's on my mind over the years.
But those numbers really don't do justice to what I have been able to get out of blogging. This is because what I actually started six years ago was also the beginning of a journey of personal growth.
This daily routine of thinking and writing has helped me correct mistaken ideas, confirm that I am right about others (as well as better understanding why), and branch out to consider issues I might not otherwise have even become aware of.
On a daily level, blogging is something I usually enjoy, but sometimes I do have to push myself to do it. In the latter respect, blogging is a lot like running. Many runners speak of the value of having a "running buddy" to make the activity routine, and to help them see where they are in relation to their goals.
Although most of my writing here is driven by my own curiosity, knowing that people come here expecting to see something new each day has helped me in a similar way to having a running buddy. So, thank you, regular readers! You have been great running buddies.
In addition to a good number of "regulars," I have had random people from the gamut of occupations -- Starbucks baristas, car salesmen, and entrepreneurs just to name a few -- chime in on discussion threads, always with something germane to add. Thank you, commenters and occasional visitors!
Over the years, this routine has led to my making many new friends and acquaintances, and reviving a few other, older friendships. In the process, I have: received many tips on potentially "blogworthy" material; batted ideas around in interesting email exchanges; and have had lots of advice about things I can also use away from the keyboard, like restaurant recommendations and advice on time management. (Those two came together last Friday, as we headed out of town for a wedding: Mrs. Van Horn and I stopped at a barbecue place in Springfield that Jeff told us about -- and I noted on a list of possible things-to-do.) Thank you friends and fellow bloggers!
I'll close by thanking my family for their support. This goes especially for my wife, who puts up with my routine day in and day out, and in very good humor, at that.