At the end of the school year, I am always encouraging students to reflect on their school year. Similarly, educators need to do the same, and it is vital, very healthy to do. Only today, I reflect on my online blogging, inspired by Day One: Introduce Yourself | The Daily Post I’d like to seek out the answer for myself.
Who am I? I am an educator, an English Language Arts teacher and I like to write, and read. It is funny how most English teachers I know have hidden aspirations to be, have wanted to, become a published writer, of some sort. . .to write the “great American novel” perhaps? I can’t speak for others, but my reasons for writing, has always been therapeutic.
Why public journaling? Private journaling has always been something I’ve done since I was little. Blogging just comes in a format (modern times) that is just convenient. I used to journal (privately) on my computer, but the internet adds a different dimension, not so private anymore.
I have a bin filled with handwritten journals, diaries and notebooks. They’ve traveled with me from city to city and I can’t seem to get rid of them. At one point, maybe 20 years ago, I was going to torch them on a hibachi. I couldn’t do it.
Placing things on the internet isn’t the most safest thing, but it’s really about preserving whatever I write. Honestly, I have my old journals, but I really don’t reread any of it at all.
The online aspect, I suspect, is to fill that need for acknowledgement. It is nice to receive ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ on posts as a sign of connecting with others. It is self-assuring to know that someone ‘understands’ or ‘gets me’ at least for that moment.
Do I continue to blog because I crave the desire to be known or prove my worth? Nah. I say and think a lot. Blogging helps me get those thoughts and ideas out. If people comment, read or show interest in a topic, its nice to know that I am not the only one.
What do I blog about? So far my topics of interest seem to be random from life as a teacher, educational topics, reading, learning disabilities, my own mental health and stability, book reviews, my faith, single parenting and family, all while living in Hawaii.
While I discover where my interests lie, I can learn more about what I write about and why, therefore helping me to hone in on becoming more specific, more focused, eventually fine tuning it for myself and for potential readers.
Who do I think I might connect with? I never really thought about the readership of this blog. Since I treated it as an online journal, I focused on the output, sharing my thoughts, my feelings, my observations. In a sense, it’s all about me. Should others happen to stop drop by, I was tickled, not really looking for anything more than
The purpose of the blog somewhat conflicts in me.
1) I had always thought I would want to start blogging for a living, become a freelance writer, but this particular blog doesn’t serve that purpose. The output is for me, my therapy, and I’m not quite sure it would benefit readers other than amusement or for my own mental health.
2) Another purpose for this blog is to teach me discipline. Regardless of any writing aspirations, seeking publishing or not, I like to write, and having somewhere to do it helps keep the skill sharpened.
3) This blog also helps me figure out what I want to say about all or any of the random topics I think about. I thought I’d do a ‘teacher blog’ but as I started with that intent, I started writing on other things. Sometimes I envy those teacher blogs, who seem to have it all together, and their blogs are focused on delivering just that. But for me? I have too many unrelated topics in my head that it might not be ‘right’ for a steady readership and so I hope to become more focus for an audience (and blogging purpose).
The last question on the Daily Post entry asks, “If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you have hoped to accomplish?”
If I can blog successfully throughout this next year, I would hope to have created a discipline in my blogging. Discipline in writing is an important skill to develop, and I’ll start with working on that consistency.
If I were to summarize what I could work on then it might be to have a better understanding behind its purpose and focus. The statement, ‘less means more’ might befit what I need to work on.
For whatever reason, social media has placed this sense of belonging that heightens the fear of rejection. It started with Facebook, and how many Friends you can get. How many followers does one have on Twitter? On Instagram? Although that isn’t entirely the case on WordPress, I wouldn’t want to alienate a potential reader by being sporadic and random in an unfocused blog.