Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Comings and goings  

There's good news, and there's bad news. First, the bad news.

The Rev. Donald Sensing of One Hand Clapping has decided to take a six-week hiatus from blogging, after which time he will re-evaluate whether he will continue blogging at all. This is a huge loss (for at least six weeks, and I fear probably more) to the blogosphere as a whole and to me personally. He is one of the few independent bloggers with any training and/or experience in journalism, so he understands how the media works. He is a former Army major with nearly 20 years of service, so he understands military matters in a way few people do. A large part of his service took place in the Pentagon, so he has a perspective on national politics that not many can claim. He is also a full-time pastor in a United Methodist church, and he looks at everything from a Godly point of view as much as possible, and his writings on theology and spiritual matters carry with them a certain authority and credibility lacking in some other sites. Without his site to read every day, I'll have to read Instapundit, Jollyblogger, Dean Esmay, King of Fools, and a military blog I haven't chosen yet (suggestions?) just to be informationally satisfied in the manner to which I have become accustomed. I guess he's the Total cereal of the blogoshpere.

Some bloggers have what they call a blogdad or blogmom. A blogparent is one who helps you get started in blogging and encourages you in the early part of the process, offering advice on becoming known and providing endorsements at critical times. I don't have one of those. I started on my own without any help and didn't tell a soul about The Happy Husband until a month after I started writing. But I didn't start just out of the blue. You'll notice that the top category of links in the left-hand column of this page is labeled Blog Role Models. Donald Sensing is at the top of the list. I will never be him, or even similar to him since I have consciously limited the subject matter here on this site, but he shows everyone how well a blog can be written and how potentially influential one person on the Web can be. Two of my role models now (Martin Roth is the other) have taken a break from blogging, probably never to return. (Once you start blogging, you can't stop. But once you stop, it's nearly impossible to start again.) I only hope I can live up to a little of what I've seen on their sites.

Since I have no blogparent, I'm sort of an orphan, though I might refer to my three role models as bigblogbrothers since they have all inspired me in one way or another. I hope Dean Peters doesn't quit any time soon, or else I'll be an only child in addition to being an orphan.

Now, the good news.

I mentioned that I didn't start this blog out of the blue. The seed of the idea actually came from my friend Jerry Novick. He suggested that I pitch a weekly column to the local newspaper, a column in which I would write positive things about marriage. My college degree is in journalism, and I didn't particularly want to have anything to do with newspapers ever again. However, I discovered blogging right around the same time that Jerry made the suggestion, and thus was born The Happy Husband. Well, now Jerry has started his own blog called TheWriteJerry. He's barely been at it a week, but it looks promising. He's a professional writer who has written stories for such notable franchises as Superman and The Hardy Boys, and also some semi-independent publications such as Samson, Judge of Israel. He is also part of a group I affectionately refer to as "my geek friends" (the others being Rey and MCF, who is still contemplating starting a blog), and I can't wait to see what shape his blog takes in the future. (Oh, and he wrote some very nice things about me the other day.)

In a bizarre coincidence, the very day that I helped Jerry get his blog started, I got an e-mail from my friend Amy (who went to high school with Mrs. Happy) asking how to set up a blog herself. My advice to her consisted mainly of "try Blogger," and shortly thereafter Amy's World of Random Thoughts made its debut. Amy is a total media geek and elementary school teacher in Texas, a combination that should make for quite a few interesting posts.

So I've sort of helped two people get started in blogging, and now I'm encouraging them in the early part of the process, as well as offering advice when asked and providing endorsements. Should I be passing out cigars? Maybe not, but I couldn't be more pleased at their arrivals.