Writing daily—or almost daily—is an affair of the heart. Who would do it if that were not so? It is also a responsibility. Once a blogger develops a readership—no matter how small—he owes his readers his time.

The big time bloggers simply cannot do this, of course. They get hundreds of thousands of hits a day. Their blogs have a self-sustaining air about them. The writer puts out his words and readers respond—sometimes hundreds of them. The main contact on such blogs is between readers.

In blogs such as mine the main contact is between the author—that would be Scipio—and readers. I would not have it any other way.

Since beginning The Return of Scipio the daily discipline of writing—and perchance thinking beforehand—has concentrated my thoughts marvelously. My mind is more honed and my opinions more clear. I am in debt to you for this.

And I always will be in debt to you.

Captain Ed sums it up pretty well.

Blogging is an odd business. One writes and writes about those items that provoke a reaction, in what seems like a relentlessly solitary effort. It isn’t until people comment or e-mail that one knows a connection has been made with an audience, and sometimes the blogger never understands the depth of those connections.

Years ago I played the guitar. As recently as two years ago I owned 11 of the things. But once I began to write regularly the love and passion—these are not the same things—I felt for the instrument faded away. Now it is writing. For better or worse, that is my love—writing and teaching. One affects the other. One becomes the other.

I feel about the guitar exactly as I feel about an ex-girlfriend. Fond memories, some nice photos, but it was time to move on. I see a guitar and cannot imagine touching the thing now.

The discipline of writing is something I try to place into my students. In a text-message, cell-phone and i-Pod world this is difficult. Most 8th graders live in the here and now. Their passions and experiences are immediate.

Some arrive in the 8th grade already in love with writing. Here is one example. Who would guess that the poetry and prose are those of a 14 year old girl? And there are others I know who are simply in love with words.

Will the passion fade, the love slowly cooling until the act of writing is unpleasant? I remember when I was in love that I did everything with my beloved. Time spent with her was time enjoyed, ecstasy magnified. Imperceptibly it changed, until being in her presence was a chore. Perhaps she felt that way too. Was it I who left first? But anyway she is gone. They are all gone.

As is guitar. Writing remains. But for how long? I used to flatter myself that all my loves—the fleshy ones—were gifts from God. Fool. As if He desired my concupiscence. I now flatter myself that writing is His gift.

Dear Lord, please let it be so.