The Profitability of Writing
One of the great theologians in the history of the church, Augustine, once said:
“I must also acknowledge, incidentally, that by writing I have myself learned much that I did not know.” -Augustine
Considering that I have written over 100 blog posts now (counting this one), I suppose I am not entirely new, yet I still have a vast amount to learn. I wanted to take a post to write out some thoughts on what I have learned, and list some areas where I want to grow. Hopefully, this will prove beneficial for others writing in a wide variety of formats, or perhaps an encouragement to those thinking about doing so.
While there are many benefits of writing to which I could point, I believe personal growth and learning to be chief of them all. Writing over 100 blog posts, easily over 100,000 words, has undoubtedly allowed me the opportunity to think more deeply about a wide variety of issues. I find that writing truly is one of the most profitable exercises for myself as a young pastor and theologian. Not just blog posts, but I write sermons, seminary assignments, podcast notes, and other formats as well. However, the blog affords me a different vantage points than all of the others. Sermons are prepared for oral delivery, which makes them completely unique, especially considering a sermon is distinct from any other form of oral delivery. Likewise, podcast notes are primarily developed for audio, not visual formats. Seminary assignments tend to be very academic in nature, meaning they are very deep and necessitate heavy footnoting.
Yet, the blog can be whatever I want it even varying from post to post. Sometimes I will take a deep dive into a topic showing heavy footnoting in my posts from substantial time spent in research. Other subjects do not require such source material, but are purely exegetical in nature. Still other posts will be an experience from my own life that I apply biblical theology to for the benefit of others. This change in posts from week to week and even post to post allows me to dip my hands into several different realms. I find that action to be particularly beneficial in terms of stretching me not only as a writer but also as a theologian. This breadth of content allows me to seek to apply a biblical worldview to a variety of issues. It truly is something a blog offers above all of the other mediums I currently use, and something proving immensely beneficial for my own growth.
Learning To Write and Think Faster
One of the other benefits of blogging 100+ posts is the improved speed by which I find myself writing. Now, to be clear, I was a fairly fast writer before the blog ever came into existence. I believe my all-time record is, on the safe side, somewhere in the neighborhood of around 10,000 words in one day. I had a stretch where I wrote over 50,000 words in 10-days. If I have plenty of projects, 5,000ish words would be a fairly typical day of writing for me personally. I just don’t usually write that many days in a row, usually only 4 days straight, seeing as I have other commitments. I used to write fast, but not quite that fast, before starting the blog.
I think the reason for the increased speed is the fluency of the flow of thought. Many people might think that the speed of writing will be dictated by how quickly you can move your fingers, that is somewhat true, but not the main correlation. More so, your speed will be dictated by how fluent your train of thought flows. If you can keep the thought going straight without needing to pause (i.e. not struggling with writer’s block or distractions), then you will be very proficient in terms of your speed. Likewise, avoiding keyboard errors also helps. I have found that engaging in the process of writing repetitively also helps my thoughts to come quicker in other arenas, such as conversations with people both in agreement with my views and in disagreement at various points. By no means am I saying that I am the fastest thinker, I am simply stating I am faster than I used to be!
Assisting Other Work and Having A Resource Trail
Another benefit to blogging I have found is the help it provides for other realms of work I undertake. For example, if I want to know some of the deep-dive statistical data around COVID for a sermon or because a friend asks, I very easily can look at an article I wrote. Or, I can quickly find the data since I am used to digging for blog posts. If I am working on a seminary assignment, I will often find I am acquainted with the issues at stake because I wrote a blog post previously which touched on the subject at hand. Then again, I can and sometimes have turned seminary assignments into blog posts, posing another benefit as well.
Of course, having the resource trail with the blog is also helpful in various instances. People who ask me questions about a certain subject can see my thoughts fleshed out in full detail, likely with references at the bottom of my post, which they can go to for further study if they desire. If I am afforded the opportunity by the grace of God, this stockpile of resources should only continue to grow, thereby providing an increased mountain of benefit.
Concluding Thoughts For The Future
I suppose that if I had to put my finger on some places where I would like to most see myself grow over the next 100 posts, it would likely be in the areas of using vivid language and breaking down tough concepts more. I admire writers who have the ability to wield their pens to discuss serious subjects, yet do so in a witty manner which is quite enjoyable to read. Such a literary style helps readers to not only glean information but digest it in a way which boosts memory retention and understanding. Undoubtedly, I have much to learn in this particular area, but I hope to improve this aspect of my writing over the future.
So, there you have it, a few short thoughts about blogging from someone who just went over 100 posts. If you are thinking about starting a blog, I say jump in and have at it. We need more good Christians writing great content for the glory of God in this day. Have fun, focus on being biblically accurate, and produce content honoring to God for the good of others. Drop me a comment and me know what you would most like to see on the blog over the next 100 posts!