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Drawing Blanks

Image from Flickr
Image from Flickr

Lately, I haven’t done much blogging. I wish I could say it has been because I have been too busy or had other priorities. However, that has not been the case. As of late, whenever I go make a post, I usually get a sentence or two into it and go blank. I have many great first and second sentences, but no more than that currently. Even this post has already been a struggle.

Perhaps, I’ve just created such high expectations for the content I produce because I have come to realize that others actually will be reading this. Maybe I just don’t think what I have to say is worth anyone’s time. There’s a possibility I’m just too lazy to finish it.

I would really like to get past this, and hopefully this post, as difficult as it has been, can a step in the right direction once again.

I’m very interested to hear what keeps you going with your blogging? What inspires you to keep at it? If you’re drawing blanks, where do you go or what do you do to get your thoughts flowing again?

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  1. Post comment

    I’m not sure I have much of an answer here, but sometimes it helps to hear that others have experienced similar things.

    I distinctly remember hitting that wall at one point. I also remember that in reflecting on the why… I realized the nature of my hang-up. I had recently written what I thought were a couple of really comprehensive and deep pieces on topics that were important to me. These posts also received a fair amount of attention via comments. For a short time after that I felt my perfectionism and competitiveness swelling in my throat. I suppose I was afraid to do what would seem like a “choke” to me.

    I really wish I could tell you what pushed me through that… but it wasn’t exactly a magic bullet. I didn’t say to myself: “just post smaller, lighter pieces to get out of the rut.” The bottom line is that if you want to re-engage here… you will. Let it happen. I’ve never been able to do the “post per day/week/etc.” I tend to want things there to happen a bit more organically than that.

    You’ll get back on the horse. Keep your eyes, ears and mind open… and it will happen.

    Sean

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  2. Post comment

    I think — especially right before and after the holidays — blogging is a bit hard……it might be that in fact there is TOO much going on in our minds and instead of writers block…..too much to narrow down to one or two thoughts to jump start a post.

    I would advise you to ponder who you are writing for…..because personally, I think blogs are best when they are reflective, personal, yet you invite, beg at times, and hope people will jump in and extend the conversation.

    Not blogging is certainly okay —
    if you feel you need to say something — perhaps throw out one or two sentences, a quote, an observation — and grow it over a few posts.

    Finally, in answer to your question — comments on twitter, circumstances at my work, other people’s posts, and just life in general usually gets a blog post brewing in my mind. Usually, for me, my favorite posts, hmmm, my most conversational posts have been when I sat down, and wrote it out in 2 minutes or less. My least favorite, the ones that get no comments — I have labored over, think “Pulitzer” — grins — seem to bring nothing.

    So no worries — happens to us all…..

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    You know, you could have just dwelled ….and never let us share with you.

    J

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  3. Post comment

    I am very new to blogging and have felt the same way you do. I read so many great blogs that are filled with the “comprehensive and deep pieces” that Sean mentions above. It is hard to compete. Just recently, I decided to combine my 365 picture project with short blog pieces to help me get past that. Most of my posts are personal reflections with a few longer pieces mixed in. It is working for me. I am not sure if anyone else reads them, but it has helped me to be more reflective in all aspects of my life. Good luck!

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  4. Post comment

    Kyle,

    I know your feelings well. I started my blog when I embarked on my preservice experience with all of these ideas about posting every week, but I quickly realized that sometimes I don’t feel like blogging. And then I got too busy and it fell by the wayside.

    I think one needs to strike a balance between posting for posting’s sake and doing it enough to reflect on one’s ideas and experiences as a new teacher. I started the blog when I didn’t have much perspective on education – I hadn’t done more than learn theories in a classroom. My real hunger to write came when I started working with students, but at that point (student teaching), I was too busy to eat let alone blog.

    I just finished my student teaching in December and I’m ready to get back into the habit. I have plenty of drafts started in my WordPress dashboard and I’m considering going back and finishing some of them and backdating the posts, but I’m not going to force it. As a writer by profession before getting into teaching, I know that not all things I start writing are every finished but it’s the exercise of doing so that pays off. That’s also something I will try to teach my students as well.

    Something I’ve started doing (and I don’t know why I hadn’t done it before) is keeping a writer’s notebook – just somewhere to jot ideas down. I may not blog them all, but it’s a good place to get some points down before heading to your computer. I was stuck in traffic listening to the news about the recent supreme court decision regarding campaign finance reform and started composing a blog post in my head before I realized that I needed to write it down.

    Rather than set a requirement for yourself (post each week), post when you feel like you have something to say or a question to ask or a resource to share. Visit other blogs and consider making a post just about the things you’ve read that made you think that week. It doesn’t always have to be original or earth shattering – sharing posts are great as well.

    I’m looking forward to reading your blog! Heard about it from @shareski on Twitter.

    – Mary

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  5. Post comment

    Kyle,
    While there are a lot of excellent blogs out there which I enjoy reading, I see my blog as a way to remember what went really well and not so great in my classroom. Lately, I’ve started my students on their own wiki, so my focus is on how I’m training them. As a result, there’s lots to blog about. It’s more for me, and if someone else learns from it, great. By thinking of it as a diary of sorts, I don’t worry about how mine compares to others. If I did, I wouldn’t have a blog!

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  6. Post comment

    Thank you everyone for the insight and advice.

    Sean, I think you pretty much nailed exactly what I’m going through. I had a few “successful” posts in the past and now hold all of my posts to that high standard. I will continue trying to create some posts and hopefully it will happen, like you said. Thanks.

    Jen, It is nice to hear it is not only happening to me. Perhaps I’ll try some speed posting, where I create them very quickly, and see where that leads me. Thanks!

    Ann, I am also attempting the 365 picture project (not keeping up with it very well), but perhaps that would be a good starting points for some posts. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Mary, I may start keeping some sort of a writer’s notebook, perhaps that will be a good first step for a lot of posting. I also feel like I don’t really have much to say, especially in the field of education, since I’m new to it and simply observing and learning right now. Maybe as I learn more and get more experience, this might come easier. Thanks!

    Heather, I think I have been approaching blogging as a way to impress people and give them something interesting to read. Instead, like you suggest, I should probably gear it more towards myself, and if someone else benefits, then great. Thanks, that is really something I had not considered, but will likely help me get out of the this rut I find myself in.

    Once again, thanks for the great comments. They have already gave me inspiration to get back on track.

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