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I’m back, and there’s a new plan! — Jesus Christ

I launched this blog in March 2007 with an announcement about the upcoming release of Parenting Beyond Belief. I was 44, and my kids were 5, 9, and 11. We were living in Minnesota, getting ready to move to Atlanta. I’d quit my job as a professor at a Catholic college the previous year and was scraping by with a few freelance writing clients. For better and worse, I had time and some ideas that I hadn’t already said.

Half a million words later, a lot has changed. I’m turning 50 next month. My kids are 11, 15, and 17. I’m writing books pretty much continuously and running a charitable foundation, and I do a decent amount of traveling and speaking. I’m getting an unfair amount of fun and satisfaction out of all this stuff, but it means (obviously) I sometimes drop the blog and can’t find it in the leaves.

Busyness is only part of the problem. Now that I’m writing most of the day, I honestly get tired of my own voice, and I just can’t sit down and force out a blog post — at least not one worth reading. I find I can write about 2,000 good words a day. The next 500 are words, sure enough, but they mostly lay there, grinning up at me as they wallow in their own filth.

Then starting with #2501, every damn word makes me want to strangle myself with my own typewriter ribbon. Which is much harder than it used to be.

The pile of new topics and ideas was also enormous in the beginning. But after 600+ posts, I was starting to do donuts in the parking lot, which feels self-indulgent. The navel-gazing aspect of blogging has always made me a little nauseous (he blogged), but as long as I felt I had fresh things to say, I could handle it.

Even if I can’t manage new posts too often anymore, I’m sometimes glad to find that I still have this window to stand naked in when I need to. Like last year, when I wrote Atheism for Dummies. You all were incredibly helpful in grappling with some of those questions, which is why you get a collective shout in the Acknowledgements.

So here’s the new plan. In addition to the very occasional freestanding new post, the blog will now have three faces:

1. Book blog
When I’m working on a book, I’ll blog that process in short bursts, asking for your help when I need it. (There appears to be a new project coming, btw — stand by for news.)

2. Greatest hits
A lot of my old posts expand on ideas in my books, and I think about a third of them are worth rerunning, especially for those who haven’t read all 500,000 words quite yet. I’ll bring some of my favorites back.

3. Q&A
I get a steady stream of email questions, usually but not always about secular parenting. Instead of always answering offline, I’d like to invite y’all to ask questions or suggest topics using the new Ask a Question form in the sidebar. I won’t be able to answer them all, but I’ll pick a few and answer on the blog. Sky’s the limit on this one. Ask me anything.

Hopefully this will keep it fresh. Thanks for reading!

Dale McGowan is chief content officer of OnlySky, author of Parenting Beyond Belief, Raising Freethinkers, and Atheism for Dummies, and founder of Foundation Beyond Belief (now GO Humanity). He holds a...

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