Blogging: Simple, Short, Often
I am hoping to be ordained this Summer (June 2014). My final interview is tomorrow morning. I’m pretty stoked about it. I love our denomination, the Evangelical Covenant Church. It’s a biblical, open, and diverse community of churches and ministry leaders who love each other deeply and love the world compassionately.
Because, my degree (Master of Divinity) is from a seminary that isn’t associated with the Covenant, I had to take four courses in the Covenant Orientation program. My first course began exactly one year ago. Today I finished my last course. I’ve learned so much and have fallen even more deeply in love with our community of “mission friends.”
However, because I’ve had to focus so much energy on these studies and preparations for ordination in addition to several major projects and initiative in our church (I’ll write about these later), I’ve had to take an involuntary hiatus from blogging. I’ve missed it dearly but I’ve learned a few things about blogging in the mean time thanks to some pretty good articles about blogging and a good brother in the Covenant, Ben Kearns.
When I first started blogging, I just had a bunch of stuff in my brain that needed to be off-loaded. My posts were just mini-puke fests. They were long and complicated. I had too many points or sections in each post. I’ve learned now that I need to keep them simpler; keep them focused on a single thought as much as possible.
At first, my posts were fairly short. Some were 150 words, others were about 500 words. But then others became more like 800, 1300, 1800, and 2200 words long. That’s when it became unsustainable. I’ve learned that I need to keep my blogs short and sweet. My new goal is to keep them between 350-500 words each. If the content requires a longer treatment, I’ll break it up in to multiple posts.
Early on I posted fairly often–two or three times a week (which is good). But I didn’t pace myself. They were long and complicated and I grew tired of the intensity. Several months in the frequency of my posts dropped to monthly. Then not at all for several months. My goal now is to post a couple times a week in short bite-sized segments. Most of them will have scheduled release dates to ensure a more consistent frequency.
One day in my younger years of ministry, I went to my Senior Pastor (whom I love dearly and still consider a good friend) feeling down and disappointed about a recent project failure. What he said to me was, “Jim. Success is only starting over for the 100th time.”
So … here’s to starting over again.