As one year ends and the next begins, it is a natural time for reflection. I am a believer in New Year’s Resolutions in all areas of my life, and that includes the writing I do here on my blog. So today I offer a brief recap of 2015 on The Doc File, as well as some tentative plans and goals for 2016.
Although blog traffic is not the most important thing in the world, I do share my writings in hope that they will be beneficial to others, so I do keep some track of how many people are stopping by. I actually had quite a few visitors in 2015, despite the fact that I did a very poor job of posting regularly. That traffic largely stemmed from one post, which I actually wrote back in 2014 but went viral this summer. Here were the top 5 most popular posts in 2015:
- Myths about Homosexuality, America, and the Kingdom of God, October 2, 2014
- Bruce Jenner and the Multi-Faceted Transgender Discussion, June 4, 2015
- Grace, Law, and Salvation: What “Legalism” Does Not Mean, August 6, 2015
- The Perfect Church, March 31, 2014
- Suffering and God’s Knowledge of the Future, February 9, 2015
A couple of observations from this lists of top post: first, it is not particularly surprising to me that the top two most-read posts in 2015 were directly related to hot-button cultural issues. I do not like writing posts in reaction to current events, but clearly, people like to read that sort of thing. It is nice to see that people also like to read about theology and doctrine, however (see posts 3 and 5), because I enjoy writing about that more. I’m sure that there will continue to be a mix of that moving forward.
Second, it is interesting that two of the top five posts were actually written last year. That goes to show that things don’t have to be written recently to resonate with people, and in the future, I will try to do a better job of sharing some of my relatively older posts that people might have missed previously but would still enjoy reading.
Also looking back, I was disappointed by how little blogging I did in 2015. Going back to when this blog began the summer of 2006, my post totals by year are as follows:
- 2007: 102
- 2008: 100
- 2009: 67
- 2010: 34
- 2011: 35
- 2012: 103
- 2013: 74
- 2014: 69
- 2015: 26
If one thing is clear, it is that I have been a very inconsistent blogger over the years! I can chart some of the ebb and flow of my post frequency with developments in my life over the last decade (starting grad school, determining to use my blog as a ministry outlet, starting an additional blog at a different location, etc.) Obviously, I have lacked discipline from year to year in making regular blogging a priority. To be completely honest, trying to balance regular blogging with ministry and grad school requirements has been very challenging for me, and I simply haven’t figured out how to do it on a consistent basis. I take some solace in the fact that I don’t know of many other people who I think do a good job of consistently blogging well while also tackling grad school and doing good ministry work, but I am still determined to do better in 2016.
Moving forward, here are some things to expect in the new year:
- I want to do a better job sharing quotations from books that I find to be especially significant. I do quite a bit of reading and research, and this is one simple way for others to benefit somewhat from that (it will also help with more consistent blogging).
- Brief reviews from books that I read, especially those that I think are worth recommending to others.
- I am interested in the history of the American Restoration Movement as a hobby, and intend to blog about Restoration history and theology more. I don’t expect these to be particularly popular posts, but hey, it’s my blog! 😉
- I’ll continue to write some periodic posts in the A Theological View of Suffering series. It is an important topic, and I’ve got more to say.
- Considering that I am a youth minister, I don’t write all that much about youth ministry. I plan to do that more often this year.
I want to close by thanking everyone who reads The Doc File for doing so. It is always amazing to me and very humbling when I travel somewhere and meet someone who tells me that they enjoy reading my blog. My blog serves as a space for me to work out my thoughts on given issues, but I share it publicly so others can benefit from it. Thanks so much to those who read and are a constant source of encouragement to me.