Thursday, March 16, 2023



This coming August 16th, I will have been blogging 3-4 times a week for the last 8 years! How many "posts" have I composed? There have been a total of 1,600 so far! How many times have people looked at them? There have been 326,500 "views" from several different countries so far! 

I wrote 50 columns a year for 15 years for our diocesan weekly paper, The Record. I have published 37 books and written thousands of homilies, retreat talks, pamphlets and class presentations.  I guess that alone qualifies for "a lot of writing!" 

While quite a few people have given me some positive feedback, and several have told me how much my material has helped them, at least one of my brother priests was not so ready to heap praise on me. Most of them never mention my writing efforts, but this one said about me in front of several other brother priests where I could hear it, "Oh, that Knott! He's never had a thought that he hasn't published!" Maybe he's right? After all, I do a lot of writing. I usually write something every day! 

My weekly column in The Record was called "An Encouraging Word." I carried that name over when I started my blog. My books are published under the name of Sophronismos Press. The Greek word "sophronismos" is an almost untranslatable word for "knowing what to do in the face of panic" or "knowing how to keep your cool." 

I chose the name "An Encouraging Word" because I deliberately try to look for goodness to affirm in people as I write, rather than look for their weaknesses and sins to condemn. I have learned that putting one's thoughts "out there" in writing exposes oneself to the world for possible judgement so I decided to publish my books under the name "sophronismos" because you have to be able to "keep your cool" when you expose yourself to people who can evaluate, attack and judge you. As they say, "if you stick your neck out, there is always somebody willing to take a swipe!" 

I keep writing because I enjoy writing and because of the mostly positive feedback I get. I try not to worry about the possible judgment and ridicule behind my back. I know it's "insane" to believe that everybody should like me or like what I do! I also understand that "visibility can lead to vulnerability." Maybe I do write "too much," but maybe the quote below is much truer than "he's never had a thought he hasn't published!" 

Either way, for my own good, I will probably continue to write even if the day comes when no one reads what I write! As Flannery O'Connor said, "I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say."



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