January 05, 2009

Out with the old, in with the new

It has been my practice from year to year to post a "state of the blog" on New Year's Eve or Day - a year-end reflection of how the year has gone, as well as a few thoughts on my plans for the coming year. Not because I get paid to blog or have any other particular goals I need to reach. But for me this is as much an exercise as a hobby. I blog because I write, and the blog is an outlet that helps me keep the writing skills up.

(I suspect this is why I just can't seem to get into any other social media such as Facebook or Twitter. They are antithetical to the lengthier discourse you find in the blogosphere, and are intrinsically superficial. Does the world really need to know every time I take a leak, in 140 characters or less?)

Well, 2008, like 2007, should go down in history as one of my more pathetic years for blogging. Entire months went by without even a single post; major events and milestones went unnoticed; I skipped the annual facelift yet again. Hell, my annual Remembrance Day post is still sitting on my PalmPilot in draft form. (At least I started to write one this year, which is more than I can say for '07.)

Actually, the fact that I do have a handful of ideas kicking around in draft form is encouraging. It means I at least had ideas, and most of them (including the aforementioned Remembrance Day post) can be salvaged, if they aren't time-sensitive. Fortunately, in the past month or so, I feel I've gotten my second wind.

So unlike the last couple of years, for 2009 I am going to set some goals.

  • Finish the facelift; it's long overdue.
  • Post something theological. Biblical topics used to be a significant part of this blog's content. But since they also require some of the hardest work, naturally they fell by the wayside.
  • Judging by my search engine hits, the topic that still brings the most people to the Crusty Curmudgeon from Google is some variation on knowing the will of God. I hope people are finding those posts useful, but it's a constant reminder that the series is unfinished - which I will attempt to remedy. (See "hard work," above.)
  • Anything I present in a public setting, such as Sunday school classes, will be adapted for the blog soon thereafter.
  • I plan to resume participation in the Christian Carnival, on at least a monthly basis. (See "biblical topics," above.)
  • I've been threatening for years (almost since Nemesis came out, in fact) to post my thoughts on the entire Star Trek feature franchise. Wouldn't it be nice to have those posts in the can by the time the new prequel reaches the big screen in May?
  • Ditto my abortive series on the Coen brothers' films. Not that I'm working toward a new release in their case, but since I started, there have been two - and for both of them I have partly finished reviews (see "kicking around in draft form," above), which I may as well complete and post in order.
  • I've wanted for a long time to blog through a significant work of Western literature, especially philosophy, chapter by chapter, and it so happens that I recently acquired my preferred translation of Augustine's Confessions. Look for that around June - and if time permits, maybe I'll start work on Plato's Republic as well.

Ambitious? Yep. I may not reach these goals, but there they are. In this case, to travel hopefully is better than to arrive.

All the best to you, Faithful Reader, for 2009.