As arbitrary as it is, there is something nice and neat and somehow “achievementy” about number fifty, so an apt time to reflect for a bit on what blogging has done for me.
It has forced me to think more than I would normally. I can get quite cross in real life too, but the act of thinking, reflecting researching and writing ideas forces me to really put them into order. I like writing, it comes to me more naturally than speaking, and the act of wrting one word after the other is something which flows much more easily than say doing the same in speaking. Either my mouth rushes ahead of my brain or my brain rushes ahead of my mouth. Sometimes one or the other just gives up entirely. So speaking, except for a few lucid moments between beer 2 and beer 4, is something which doesn’t always work for me.
Writing does, and so blogging helps me put shape on ideas that maybe half coalesced in conversation or in thoughts. It really forces me to think of the best way to describe what it is I want to say, in a way which speech doesn’t.
But it also allows a platform for my own questions and contentions. I have some major questions which remain unanswered, and criticisms I have never really heard a useful counter-criticism against. And I like answers. I like to know why something works in the classroom, I want to know how it’s going to happen. I want to see the evidence. So blogging forces me to look for those answers. It wouldn’t be appropriate to just go off on a tantrum (too much anyway) but a discussion, even an angry one, with references is a little more seemly. And the act of looking up those references makes me check my facts, and the act of fact checking can even make me change my mind.
IN short the blog is a fabulous reflection tool. It forces me to think better and harder about whatever it is has annoyed or excited me this week. And I’ll be honest, the fact that there is a small audience for my rambles and rants is rather lovely, and encouraging, even (or especially) when some of the people who read the blog and my tweets are my peers and colleagues.
When I read back some of the posts I cringe a little, especially when I think about my tendency to arrogance and cockiness. But I’ve only deleted one post and that was on style grounds rather than content. Because the posts themselves form a record – they take time to write and think about. Some have been drafted multiply – the record being my SMART targets post, I think, which went through the editorial screen several times before I released it.
By contrast this post has been written on the fly, because that’s the other thing you can do – just write and maybe someone will read it, maybe someone will comment on it, but you know, mostly I’ve just enjoyed writing it.
Here’s to the next 50!