Believe it or not, we are approaching the fifth birthday of www.terrilabonte.com. I have published over 250 posts. At an average of about 1000 words per post, that means I have written approximately 250,000 words over the past five years. There have been over 1200 non-spam comments. Who would have thunk it?
It is hard to say how many people read my blog. Analytics show about 350,000 hits per year. This sounds impressive, but I know there is a lot of junk in there. There are so many spam comments that I just delete without y’all ever seeing them. This tells me that a lot of those hits are from search engine optimization companies that pay poor people in foreign countries pennies to “hit” websites. The idea is to create clickbait for their clients.
When I first started my blog, I said, no matter what the readership, I would continue posting until I ran out of things to say. Every now and again throughout the past five years, I would hit a place where I wondered if I had arrived at the “ran out of things to say” point. Then, something would happen in my life or in the state of the world that would make me think a new thought and I’d write another blog post. Now, as five years is drawing to a close, I wonder if now might be a good time to call it quits.
Typically, I have about 5-10 blog posts written and waiting to be posted. Now, I am down to just a couple. Is that a sign that the new ideas are drying up? Am I becoming boring or redundant? Also, it is a bit of pressure to come up with a new post every week. I started a new book a couple of months ago (by the way… remember you can get a paperback or Kindle copy of my book Random (A)Musings on Amazon) but have kind of stalled because the blog has taken precedence. It also costs money to pay for the blog hosting for another year. And, is anybody reading? I know I said that I’d keep writing if I had something to say, regardless of readership. If I were a really noble, well-adjusted person, I would not care about readership numbers. I must confess that I do care a little bit, though.
As part of my COVID reconsideration of my life (see The Year That God Hit Pause – Terri LaBonte- Reinventing Myself in Retirement for more information on that), I am taking a good hard look at the blog. Is it something I want to continue doing?
On the one hand, the downsides I have just noted are real. They may be sufficient reason to shut the blog down before it is time to pay the annual renewal fee. On the other hand, I really do enjoy the blog. The fee is less than $10 per month… less than most people pay for just about any form of entertainment. If I was better adjusted, the readership numbers should not be a factor in my satisfaction level. I could eliminate any undue pressure to come up with new blog posts if I just released myself from my self-imposed requirement to publish every week. I know that people might stop reading if there is not continuous new content, but I truly do not think I am rocking anybody’s world anyway. Maybe I should get outside my head and pay the renewal… then, just do whatever comes naturally.
Part of me wonders if the blog is really what I am supposed to be doing in life. I truly believe that God has a plan for each our lives (Jeremiah 29:11). I think it is important to stay awake to the signs and opportunities He puts in our path so that we will see the plan He has for us when it appears. I believe that, if we follow the path He has for us and use the opportunities He gives us, then He will bless our efforts. He will multiply whatever little we are able to do on our own so that the results will be far beyond anything we can ever imagine.
I have always maintained that His plan for me was not to do anything extraordinary, but to do ordinary things with extraordinary love. I believed that God would bless these little, love-soaked ordinary things and they would have a positive impact beyond my small circle. St. Therese of Lisieux lived simply as a nun in a cloistered convent for her entire adult life and spent her days doing small, generous things for others. Today, her writings are known the world over and they inspire people to walk towards God. Unfortunately, I do not think my ordinary acts, despite the extraordinary love of God that I try to harness within them, are having much impact beyond the people who love me anyway.
Maybe I believe I am only supposed to be doing the ordinary deeds I find in my way because it is the most comfortable way for me to be a Christian. Maybe God believes I am supposed to aim a little higher in finding the plan He has for me. So, is there more I should be doing? Does God have a bigger plan for me, even at this late stage in the game? And does www.terrilabonte.com have a place in that plan? Or do I just need to get over myself? I am no St. Therese of Lisieux.
What do you think? Should I keep blogging? Is there anybody out there reading? How would you feel if I only ended up posting new content on a more irregular schedule? Would you keep reading? What do think about finding purpose in life? How do you know if you are following the path you were meant to follow? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can email me at terriretirement.com.
Have a metaphysical day!