three year hiatus: return of the blog

When I was a senior in high school in Jersey City, my English teacher, Mr. Delo, assigned us a project: Each of us would keep a journal every day for consecutive seven days. He wasn’t going to read it – he wasn’t some creepasaurus rex – he would just make sure we had written something.

Anything? Like, it doesn’t have to be good, just write anything?”

“Anything. It’s just to get in the habit of writing regularly.”

“What if we just, like, copy the phone book for seven days?”

Mr. Delo shrugged. “You wanna copy the phone book, copy the phone book.”

Copying the phone book turned out to be staggeringly boring. So instead I wrote. Just one single page, about what happened that day. I wrote a page the next day, and the day after that, too.

I wrote in that journal every day for the next thirteen years.

In 2004, I stopped journaling and started a blog, because I was going around the world and my friends begged me, please, in the name of all that is holy and good, to stop emailing them my wacky travelogues.

In early 2009, a literary agent called me out of the blue to say she’d read my entire blog – which apparently totaled 1500 pages – and wanted to make it into a book.

In 2011, Little Princes was published by HarperCollins.

The moral of the story, my friends, is that every good thing in my otherwise lazy life has had the same genesis: I decided to just start doing something.

So today is National Conor Is Going To Start Something Day!

You know, that name sounded much better in my head, now that I see it on paper. Not catchy at all. And as the name implies, it’s pretty niche. What do you, reader friend, get to celebrate on this day? Nothing – that’s what you get to celebrate.

On National Conor is Going to Start Something Day, I’m restarting my blog! (Okay, now the name of the day is not just cumbersome, it’s inaccurate. But ‘National Re-start Day’ sounds lame too.)

All this begs the question: Who and what am I now, that I wasn’t back then, back when I kept my old journal and in the early blog days? Three important things: I’m older, I’m a husband, I’m a dad, and I’m a Christian.

Four things. Sorry.

But lemme talk for a second about the last thing: Christian. *Deep breath.*

Having been an atheist for the first 32 years of my life, my gag reflex is still triggered when I see social media bios posted that include the word “Christian” in them. Because usually they read something like “Christian First! Also, Nobel Prize Winner and President of Iceland (Yes, that Iceland!!)”

Those kinds of bios used to make me feel like Christians wore a cloak of moral superiority. It had me searching for hypocrisy in their every step. And I often found it, because it turns out Christians are humans. I shouted about their hypocrisy from the rooftops of the blogosphere. That was me.

So now you can perhaps imagine a younger, cooler, blogging-and-world-traveling-2004-era Conor time-traveling into the future and breaking into the upstairs bedroom of today’s Conor, who is living in Connecticut with a wife and two kids and leading a weekly bible study in his house (!) and snoring in his bed, and hissing in his ear, “Wake up, old man! I’m gettin’ you outta here! You’ve been brain-washed! Get on my back, I’ll carry you! Oh man, your breath…”

But that’s who I am now.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not religious in the way I used to think of religious people. (Ugh – just threw up in my mouth again at the word “religious.” Also, the body’s puke hole should really be situated so the puke doesn’t graze the taste buds on the way up.) I do believe in something bigger and greater, that’s true. I believe in loving my neighbor, whoever that neighbor is. I screw up badly every single day (I call it ‘sinning’ now because Christians get to sling around cool words like that) and I believe that I have Someone that can and does forgive me when I mess up.

In short, I am……… a Christian dad. (Which makes me sound sort of pasty and also like I’m wearing a brown sweater that bulges in the wrong places.) I am not particularly cool.

But I still believe in great things. And great things need to begin. So that’s what I’m doing with this blog: I’m beginning something. Again.

By | 2018-01-19T23:48:54+00:00 November 22nd, 2017|26 Comments


  1. Elsa Brule November 22, 2017 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    Love everything about this. (And I’m thrilled to be the first to comment.)

    • Conor November 22, 2017 at 6:25 pm - Reply

      So appropriate that you are the first!! Team Brule/Grennan!!

  2. Sam November 22, 2017 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    Wahoo this is exciting! Your book is one of my favs so I can’t wait to hear more from you. (also following Jesus seems to bring about the best adventures so I’m sure you’re still at least a little cool)

    • Conor November 22, 2017 at 6:26 pm - Reply

      I will hold onto that ‘little cool’ remark with two clenched fists.

  3. Donna Chesson November 22, 2017 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    Anything you have to say will be of interest to your “loyal followers” and those of us who loved “The Little Princes”! So, write on!

    • Conor November 22, 2017 at 6:26 pm - Reply

      Thanks Donna!! 🙂

  4. Maxine Fey November 22, 2017 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    I have been drawn to you and all of your
    Endeavors since I first read your book several years ago. It makes my heart happy that I can follow your blog and be a small part of all God is doi g in your life. Write on, Conner, you are making this 71 year old happy, happy!

    • Conor November 22, 2017 at 6:26 pm - Reply

      Love it!! Thanks Maxine!

  5. Catherine Clark November 22, 2017 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    Little Princes is one of my all time favorite books! I’m totally psyched to read your blog. And I grew up in New Canaan ;-). My sister and I just got back from Nepal. I bought her a copy of Little Princes in the Kathmandu airport and she loved it too. Keep writing!

    • Conor November 23, 2017 at 3:39 am - Reply

      The New Canaan to Nepal express train! I came the other way. We love New Canaan – Liz and I say they’re gonna bury us here. Hopefully not too soon. Thanks Catherine!

  6. Barbara Bradley November 22, 2017 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    Hi Conor, as a Christian and a devoted friend of Joan, I’m looking forward to enjoying this a much as I did Little Princes.

    • Conor November 23, 2017 at 3:40 am - Reply

      I am also devoted to Joan! (Who is my mom, for anyone reading this – it’s not some kind of code, “Devoted to Joan.”) Thanks for reading!

  7. Wendy November 22, 2017 at 10:33 pm - Reply

    The way you reject things, like religion is powerful.
    You reject the counterfeit, the phony, the unacceptable.

    This made you reject trafficking of children as an option in Nepal. The desire for the authentic lead you to fight to reunite those kids with their families. To give them real lives. To be a voice for them.

    Bring a Christian dad who runs bible studies is authentic, manhood in a world full of confused people.

    Questioning things, rejecting things, hating hypocrisy… it’s powerful!

    • Conor November 23, 2017 at 3:41 am - Reply

      Thanks for saying that Wendy! It has been a long journey but so gratifying. Thanks for reading!

  8. Marialaina November 22, 2017 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    This is so exciting!! Little Princes is my favorite book, I used it in a presentation just last week!! When you visited FDU Prof. Sammond introduced me as your biggest fan. I can’t wait to hear more from you!

    • Conor November 23, 2017 at 3:42 am - Reply

      Nice to hear from you Marialaina! Hope life at FDU is going well!

  9. Anna November 23, 2017 at 9:22 am - Reply

    Conner, I started reading again with “little Princess “, I
    I read it twice and whenever I wanted to be in Nepal or
    in mountains I pickup the book and turn to the page!
    Recently I stopped reading too.. so I am glad that you
    writing again… may be I start reading again too 🙂 Thank you!

    • Conor November 25, 2017 at 2:29 pm - Reply

      Thanks for saying that Anna! Glad you enjoy it!

  10. Katrina November 23, 2017 at 9:38 am - Reply

    Your journey has been exciting and inspiring from the beginning, and I am looking forward to seeing what is ahead! You are obviously a man of courage, as was seen from the start when you set out on your adventure. I work with Nepali children and families in Washington state, and continue to pray for and follow the work of NGN in Nepal. Thanks for being bold in sharing your faith, and in all you are doing in Nepal!

    • Conor November 25, 2017 at 2:30 pm - Reply

      Thanks Katrina! That’s so cool that you work with Nepali kids in Washington! Thank you fro your prayers!

  11. Amy Sullivan November 25, 2017 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    I am thrilled that you are restarting your blog and plan on following it. I’m thrilled that you were the first person to respond to our request for a video for our 10th anniversary of the One Book Read, that I got to hear about all of your experiences in Nepal, and that I got to meet you and spend time with you. And I am most thrilled that you are a Christian. Hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Amy Sullivan, WKCTC

    • Conor November 27, 2017 at 10:28 am - Reply

      We (heart) WKCTC! Thanks Amy!!

  12. Matt from Oz November 28, 2017 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    Welcome back! I’m guessing you won’t resurrect your tales of travels with Little Glenn in Thailand, but we’re all ready to hear about new adventures. I reckon you have a few more books left in you, and it’ll be interesting to watch them take shape.

    • Conor November 28, 2017 at 10:47 pm - Reply

      Ha! Old school! 🙂 Thanks Matt! I may have to post some old retro blogs some time.

  13. Betsy November 30, 2017 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    I was just telling a prospective NYU Stern student about the cool people that work there, and here you are, blogging again. I learned of you and your work right before you tarted working as Dean of Students at Stern, then listened to your book, and have recommended since.
    I’m a fan in large part because of your ability to be the person you want to be in your life and also have a job that importantly influences young leaders.
    Glad to see you are back blogging. We are in perilous times and need more humans like you to make your voice heard.

    • Conor December 1, 2017 at 4:55 pm - Reply

      Thank you Betsy! I love the Stern connection! Thanks for reading!

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