25 January 2007

The Downside of Blogging, Part Deux

by Phil Johnson

log-maintenance is a high-stress, labor-intensive duty. The PyroManiacs gangblog concept is exactly one year old today, and group-blogging hasn't really made blogging a breeze like I hoped it would.

It does indeed save some time, because when your teammates write you don't have to, and that part has been great. It also helps tremendously to have blogpartners who are better writers than you are or more witty than you can be, and I'm very appreciative to the team for that.

But ultimately, the stress and frustration of blogging at a high-traffic blog aren't really diminished all that much with team-blogging. The rude and crazy commenters are still rude and crazy. They proliferate as time passes. Blog-activity—especially the kind that is driven by controversy—always seems to heat up when you can least afford the time. It's a major and constant distraction in real life. People often ask how I find time to blog along with all my other responsibilities. My standard answer: "I don't watch much TV." The full truth: I don't get enough sleep, either.

So I'm going on vacation. Darlene and I are leaving this morning for the Pacific Northwest, where I'll be speaking to to a great group of young people at their snow retreat. I won't be back in Los Angeles until the end of next week. That's Super-Bowl Sunday, but I'm TiVoing the game, because I'm actually slated to preach in the evening service that day. At the moment, I have nothing at all on my agenda for the week following. But I really need to use that week to get caught up on some real-life chores and household responsibilities, and I also need to get started preparing my material for the Shepherds' Conference seminars I'm doing in March. I really would rather not have to deal with the blog for a while.

So here's the deal:

Thursday and Friday we'll celebrate our Bloggiversary. I'll miss most of the party, of course, because I'll be on the road. But between now and Saturday, Dan and Frank can post as many times as they like. I predict it will be interesting seeing them try to step on each other's last post. (Note: That's more of a mischievous hope than a "word of knowledge.") Of course, Pecadillo can post, too, and I suppose he might do that if the Muse drops a piano on his head or something, but he seems to be about halfway through an 18-month-long battle with writer's block.

But then Saturday (day after tomorrow), the blog will be closed for at least two weeks. I, the BlogBoss, have decreed it. No BlogSpotting. No weekly dose of Spurgeon. (Get your Spurgeon fix at The Spurgeon Archive.) No new posts from anyone.

We'll reopen for regular business on Monday, February 12. If that plan changes in any way, I'll post a notice about it. But other than that, starting one split-second after midnight Saturday morning, the blog—and I—will be on vacation. There will be no change in content here—aside from possible occasional updates in the "Where I Am Right Now" sidebar, maybe a simple, captionless graphic modification here and there, and whatever comments you people leave in the meta.

I expect some of our regulars will find a way to make even that—uh, entertaining.

Raja: Thanks for the "conversation." I'm not bailing out on you. We'll pick it up sometime after I get back. For my regular critics who may start suffering withdrawal symptoms: you can send anonymous diatribes about me to the iMonk. He's currently highlighting those at his "Underground" blog. (Of course comments over there are closed.) But if someone has a hankering for a real argument (as opposed to just hacky-sacking someone anonymously), you can take it up with Frank Turk or Dan Phillips for the next two weeks.

See you February 12. I'm gonna get some rest.

Oh, and today is also my Mum's birthday. Happy Birthday!

Phil's signature

36 comments:

Jason E. Robertson said...

May the Lord bless your time away. I look forward to seeing you at Shepherds.

Caleb White said...

You'll be missed, especially since I just started reading last week...happy birthday to both your mum and your blog! :-)

Mike Galetta said...

Phil, have a blast in WA! You deserve a break from the antics taking place in the comment section here... Say hi to the Higgins and the Lights, and all the other great families @ GBC in Marysville we are originally from there but now attend GCC. Many of the kids at the camp were in my Sunday School class back when they were juniors. I am not in GraceLife (we are in FaithBuilders) but I download your sermons very frequently and love your preaching. Have a great retreat (Brad and Susan Leber)

Jacob Hantla said...

I think that is a very wise decision. I'm glad to see you doing it in a planned, discipled way.

My blogging breaks tend to be a reaction to my schedule, not intended, just a result of not having time.

This is an example to us all.

We'll be waiting for you when you come back.

H.C. Ross said...

Hey Rev. Johnson,

I wish you well during your time off.

I think your post gives us all good reason to stop and evaluate whether we have any business getting involved with blogs in the first place.

After all, I'm sure we were all quite busy BEFORE blogs came along, and we'll have to justify adding time with them to our busy schedule when we stand before the Master and give an account of our brief lives here.

Are the pros worth the cons? Some days I wonder.

God bless.

Tominthebox News Network said...

Enjoy the time away! I hope you can see Mt. Rainer...stunning.

TheBlueRaja said...

Happy Birthday to the other Mrs. Johnson; ave a splendid vacation and enjoy your brief reprieve. May it be a Sabbath-like respite.

Even So... said...

Have a wonderful time....my mother's birthday is January 25...see you when you get back...

Carla said...

Have a safe & enjoyable time in my home state & happy birthday to your mom!

Happy Bloggiversary also, to TeamPyro.

Jason Alligood said...

Phil,

Have a great and relaxing time.
I know time away, even to speak at retreats, can get things recalibrated. Looking forward to seeing you at Shepherds' Conference.

centuri0n said...

Spencer.

Spencer spencer spencer.

OK: now let's see if iMonk will say anyting about this post.






p.s. -- this was Dan's idea and I beat him to it.

Connie said...

Hope you and your wife enjoy the break, may God grant you much refreshment!

I've been grateful for TeamPyro since finding you about 6 months ago! This is one of the few blogs to which I can confidently come expecting to be Biblically challenged in my thinking and understanding.

Thanks for your time, energy and insights--Happy Anniversary!

Doug said...

Does this mean we can start up the conversation about schmeradactyls again?

Phil, we will miss you for the next few weeks, but, somehow, we will survive...

The Clinging Vine said...

Have a great time, and come back rested and refreshed.

Oh, and Happy Anniversary, gentlemen!

Steve said...

So the rude and crazy commenters will have to go bark up some other trees for a while. They won't be missed.

I've struggled for some time over whether or not to start blogging. Seeing the stress and heavy-duty maintenance you endure, Phil, has been a significant mark in the "cons" column. Of course, I'm sure if you were to turn off the comments thread, that would save you a ton of time. But I can say there's been some great iron-sharpening-iron activity I've enjoyed as a result of the comments.

May you and Darlene get some REAL rest during this break. The Pacific Northwest is a great place to do that.

JSB said...

Wisely done, Phil. This site is an anodyne for those who take theology seriously in an increasingly Britney-minded world (I'd love to see Phil/Dan/Frank on the cover of People someday). But big time blogging is definitely a drain, and while I love reading TeamPyro with my morning coffee, I know that it has its costs for those in charge.

So I pray that your break brings you and Darlene refreshment, insight, wisdom, rest and fun. And blessings as you speak to the kids.

DJP said...

(I'd love to see Phil/Dan/Frank on the cover of People someday)

Now THAT is a scary thought.

donsands said...

Ministering the Word can be very demanding.
God surely wants us to go aside and be refreshed, and come back even stronger; and so being able to minister the Word in His grace and joy with even more authority.

Lord bless.

centuri0n said...

jsb:

Listen -- let "People" stick to Anelina and Brad and Jen and Britt'ny and whatever. If you saw Dan and me on the cover, you'd put all your groceries back. You wouldn;t be hungry anymore.

Trinian said...

Rest well, Phil! We look forward with great anticipation to welcoming you to the Great Wet North! Don't let the kids (or Sean) drive you too nuts. ;)

C.T. Lillies said...

Frank

You wouldn;t be hungry anymore.

After your infamous cheeseburger post it might at least make them put all the bad stuff back anyway.

Josh
"...the word of God is not bound."
--2 Timothy 2:9

candyinsierras said...

Actually, the only people in People magazine these days don't wear underwear and are in rehab.

I doubt you two would qualify.

Kim said...

Have a well-deserved break, Phil. I will miss Darlene so much!!

Dan and Frank on the cover of People....hmmmm...

TheBlueRaja said...

candyinsierras,

Don't be so sure. Turk's raising that eyebrow for a reason . . .

TheBlueRaja said...

candyinsierras,

Don't be so sure. Turk's raising that eyebrow for a reason . . .

TheBlueRaja said...

candyinsierras,

Don't be so sure. Turk's raising that eyebrow for a reason . . .

centuri0n said...

Raja:

You can't prove that. Nor would you want to.

TheBlueRaja said...

Eewww. Let's get back to something more edifying, like why I'm a heretic!

TheBlueRaja said...

Eewww. Let's get back to something more edifying, like why I'm a heretic!

TheBlueRaja said...

Eewww. Let's get back to something more edifying, like why I'm a heretic!

TheBlueRaja said...

I hate blogger.

And where's my picture? How are you going to know that a fork is headed straight for your dome, making very much the same sound on impact as the word verification for this comment ("qurnp") WITHOUT MY PICTURE?!?

Ebeth said...

Phil and Darlene--have a profitable and restful change of pace (knowing you, "vacation" is not the word for these next two weeks).

Cindy said...

Go, with my blessings. :) Have a wonderful, refreshing time, and come back better than ever.

~Mark said...

Happy Birthday and Happy rehab! 8-)

LeeC said...

Enjoy the respite Phil even though I know you will be up to your armpits in other stuff.

I just saw you are scheduled to speak at my churches mens breakfast July 21st. Think I could weasle a bumper sticker out of you over one of the best breakfast burritos in town?

Kevin Rhyne said...

You know how the first day of diet you are really hungry? You can't stop thinking about food?

Where am I going to go for such witty and profound ways of explaining complex biblical truths...where will I find such cool graphics...how will I know where else to look in the blogosphere without Blogspotting?

You know, your actions affect others also...;)

Have a good break, but don't enjoy it too much!!