The State of the Blog: A Quasi-Important Post

The continued existence of this blog is in question.

As I’ve gone through the science coursework, volunteering, MCAT study, and such to apply to medical school, a surprising number of people have commented to me along the lines of “it’s too bad. We need your voice. How much can you write or teach in medical school, or as a doctor?” And the answer is, not much to none at all, at least for the next eight years. I have generally agreed; I want to write, you want to read, right? But, five years in graduate school, even working myself with a working spouse and parental support, have simply not
paid off professional or financially. That time I spent in grad school, the experiences teaching, writing, synthesis, insight, personal study… whether in Gospel Doctrine classes, firesides, Institute classes over 10 years, writing, or blogging, the cost to access my accumulated knowledge has been zero, with rare exceptions.

Generally speaking there’s a cultural expectation that knowledge should be free, and LDS in particular have a long tradition of distrusting people who get paid to teach religion or scripture, especially if they make some claim to specialized knowledge that merits payment. Well, guilty. I would have liked to make a living off all the work I’ve put in acquiring specialized knowledge and disseminating it, but it seems I can’t.

As with teaching and writing, my primary incentive for blogging has always been pastoral, with a concern for the community and a desire to share what meager talent I have. Given the heaviness of the last year, finishing my science coursework and prepping for the MCAT, I wouldn’t have taken this blogging offer at Patheos if not for its financial potential. Perhaps, given another year or two, increasing word of mouth, and good regular content, I might hit the mark where it makes more than pocket money. (FYI, I have about 8000 hits monthly, but need to be in the 50,000-100,000+ range. Still, I’m pretty impressed by that 8000, since only 4-5 posts go up monthly.)

But things change, and not always for the better. I’m a slow writer who revises often, and I care about what I write, which means, I estimate, that my writing here has been worth about 4$/hour and likely to go down. Living in New York and applying to medical school, I can’t justify that.

The bottom line is, I would love to continue sharing what I have to share here, but I can’t afford the time it costs me. (I hear Ira Glass and NPR Drive Week as I write this…) If you’ve been a regular reader of this blog, if you value my voice here, the posts, podcasts, handouts, if you want it to stay “on the air,” please contribute, if you can. I know times are hard all over. Perhaps some of you have tried before; I just noticed that the code in the Paypal button was messed up in WordPress and fixed it. It’s been at the bottom of the About page since I started, but today it’s here too.

I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far here, but should I abandon the blog to focus my writing time on the book? Your comments and contributions will largely determine the answer to that question.

10 thoughts on “The State of the Blog: A Quasi-Important Post

  1. Well, I’ve been impressed and blessed by this, but it’s a call you have to make. I can keep muddling.


  2. I am not able to donate and I love your blog, but I also understand the need to focus on yourself and your family. If you decide to abandon the blog, I understand. I value your ideas, your knowledge, and your opinions, but I value the health and well-being of you and your family far, far more.


  3. Ben,

    I run If you do choose to stop blogging, please don’t take the site down.


    1. Thanks Kurt. I get a good chunk of traffic from your site. I plan on finishing out the year, at least. I don’t have direct control over the site, but I assume it would stay up for any residual traffic it might generate.


  4. I love your blog and come to it each week before Sunday School. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!


  5. I am in the same boat as you and understand exactly where you are coming from. I didn’t get as far into biblical studies as you did but I saw so many people like you ahead of me that couldn’t make it work financially and I determined that I needed to change careers too (coincidentally into medicine as well). I look forward to seeing where you go to school and what you decide to become. All the best in medicine.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s