Timeline (for reference):
Jan 2019-Dec 2019 (Year One) Setup, preparation, writing and collation of everything for the blog to go live.
Jan 2020 – Dec 2020 (Year Two) The blog launches in Jan with the podcast going live in the of June.
Jan 2021 – Dec 2021 (Year Three) The podcast and YouTube channel go from strength to strength as we hit 1.2k subscribers in 2021!
Jan 2022 – Dec 2022 (Year Four) TBC…
I write this in Dec 2020, the blog has been live for a year, the podcast for 7 months.
It’s strange because for all of you reading this, When Belief Dies has been live for two years, but I am writing this in Jan 2021, and it will go live in Jan 2022. This is simply because the blog had its first year offline. All the collation, creating, writing and prep took from Jan 2019-Dec 2019, with the launch in Jan 2020.
I am always amazed at how much time and energy goes into this kind of thing. I come across blogs all the time, and never before did I stop to think about the prep, planning and foresight these people probably put into their work to make sure it had legs to make it through. Though as my wife keeps telling me, I am very ‘special’, so it could just be that I am a bit mad.
It’s been another great year for the blog. The podcast is in full swing, and I’ve put a lot of capital into the audio quality, ensuring it will be excellent for years to come. I’ve also invested a lot of money into various blog things (domains, plans etc) as well into my internet connection and, strangely, mobile phone. You might not think it but having a shit internet connection really isn’t helpful for podcasting, especially when you podcast via video chat with various people around the globe. The phone is a personal gift to myself, as well as a tool that I use every single day for the blog.
It’s strange but all the things I read, watch, tweet, share and respond to via my phone enable me to be efficient and (I hope) effective in running When Belief Dies. Anyway, enough about phones.
This year has seen the YouTube Channel go from 0 subscribers to over a hundred, which for an audio podcast, isn’t bad going! I’ve also managed to talk to some fairly well-known individuals about some really intense subjects and probably shown how little I know, whilst also trying to make it as clear as I can for everybody who listens.
It’s been an incredible year, filled with great conversations and some amazing new friends that I’ve met and made online. But there have been challenges. Starting the MSc has been a really bold move, and without the ability to work from home I wouldn’t have managed to fit everything in. I am hoping that 2021 will enable me to continue working from home to give me the time in the evenings to focus on the MSc and this stuff with you all. Covid-19, I wonder when this comes out in Jan 2022 if it will all be a ‘bad and distant dream’, I doubt it. Things seem all over the place right now, and life looks very far from normal for any of us going into 2021.
I have wanted to get involved more in conversations on other peoples podcasts, which I have managed to do twice now. I hope that I can continue to work towards engaging with others over the next year. Finding people to write the odd guest blog post would be good, or going onto other people’s YouTube channel or Podcast would also enable me to reach a new audience.
I enjoy networking and it’s been really good speaking to some of the big names that I’ve had on the podcast to date. It’s also been really hard having Dave step down from running and hosting the podcast with me. But on reflection, a fair few people said they could see this happening a few months before it did. I guess there really are prophets after all.
The style of the blog has continued in an honest way. I am glad that I don’t shy away from talking about hard topics that either confuse me or stump me. You see I don’t want this place to just be another mouthpiece for any well-known atheist rhetoric. I want to honestly know why someone believes something and then look into it myself. This, as any regular reader of the blog will know, has led me to question some of the issues held within nonreligious worldviews – these are issues with things like morality, free will, purpose and reason. All things I am constantly in dialogue with on the podcast and will continue to write about, I am sure.
It’s hard for some people to read a blog running a good 12-24 months behind itself. I get that.
Though I also get that it gives me time to work things through and respond in a more open and kind way when people push back. It enables me to challenge nonbelievers’ positions and beliefs, in a way that stops them from wanting to convert me back to their way of thinking.
It’s a healthy place to be in, but I do understand the confusion it can cause in knowing where I am today. As I always say – the blog posts will keep coming, and if you need to know right now – the podcast is bang up to date.
2020 has been a really hard year for the family and me, but it’s also been a year of perseverance. We have continued every single day to live, and I have continued to ensure that I write, record, edit and publish. I hope that you enjoy this, I hope that you like these conversations and I hope that this all continues. I hope you see the effort, passion and reason I share this all with you. Ha, there is a lot of ‘hope’ in that paragraph.
Thank you for reading my words and sharing your thoughts. When things have been toughest over this year, and I have wanted to take down this blog and pack it all in, re-reading your comments and emails has been the thing that has kept going each time. Please never doubt how important encouragement is to people, so thank you because it has been really helpful to me this year, and long may it continue in the years to come as well.
Stats Tracker (taken in Dec 2020, with 2019 for comparison)
Blog Subs: 184 (0 in Dec 2019)
Patreon Supporters: 0 (0 in Dec 2019)
Twitter Followers: 163 (89 in Dec 2019)
Instagram Followers: 200 (19 in Dec 2019)
Facebook Page Likes: 64 (0 in Dec 2019)
Facebook Page Followers: 68 (3 in Dec 2019)
YouTube Subs: 107 (1 in Dec 2019)
Estimated Weekly Audience (podcast): 111 (0 in Dec 2019)
To close, as we all reflect on the year we have had and the year that is to come, I would ask you to consider supporting When Belief Dies. This takes a lot of work, and the plans I have for the future are daunting but also achievable.
So please consider hitting ‘support’ at the top of this page. You will also find links to the YouTube Channel, Podcast and social accounts up there. You can subscribe via email at the bottom of this post. This blog is roughly twelve to twenty-four months behind where I currently am in my journey out of religion. It’s important to remember that when reading and commenting.
Here’s to another year of When Belief Dies – I hope you enjoy the journey.