Why blog? Personal evolution & community transformation

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. ~ Ernest Hemingway



I began this blog a few months ago as a way to explore, record and share my thinking around a particular self-directed professional learning experience: a trip from Australia to New York intended to gain insights around teacher effectiveness, teacher evaluation and teacher growth. The trip was amazing personally and professionally. I met with schools, school leaders, teachers, researchers and global edu-experts who challenged and inspired.

Now that initial blogging purpose is sated and I find myself wondering: should I continue blogging?

My first instinct is: yes. And that mainly emerges out of the enjoyment I have found in reflecting, writing, sharing and engaging with others as a result of my posts. I alluded in post about social media for educators, this post about being a connected educator and this one about finding your professional global tribe, that Twitter has been invaluable in connecting me with other like-minded (and non-like-minded – just as important!) people. Blogging, however, allows for much more developed thinking than tweeting. Twitter can facilitate 140 character conversations, but it doesn’t allow you to burrow deep into ideas and give them a shake. So since blogging, I have been blogging about blogging, and now I’m at it again.

My reservations about continuing a blog are primarily about time. I am a parent of two pre-school age children, an educator at an Australian school, and a PhD candidate who is two years, 150 pages and 300 references into my thesis (more about how I juggle those things here). Right now as I write a blog post about whether I’ll write future blog posts, there is a long list of other things I could be doing.

And yet, here I am.

Partly because this blog has allowed me to explore my own thinking around my work and study. It is a free space to write. I have my PhD to write too, but blogging is a space in which I can write without pressure and with more freedom of style and content. It keeps me thinking and learning and connects me with other thinkers and learners.

I also know what other blogs give me. They can be transformational, inciting change, encouraging action and inspiring thinking through the sharing of stories, expertise and others’ intellectual struggles around big and small ideas. They promote reflection, conversation and growth, in the blogger and the reader. Perhaps my own musings might provide insights for others, open a window to my context, challenge another’s thinking or facilitate connections across geographical and philosophical boundaries?

So I feel propelled to continue blogging, but I wonder how that journey might evolve, if anyone will read my posts, and if that even matters. Certainly I would (will?) be a blogger who blogs when I have something to say, rather than to chase numbers of clicks on a page.

Western Australia by @debsnet


16 thoughts on “Why blog? Personal evolution & community transformation

  1. Thanks! I agree that blogging allows for global, connected learning through sharing, reflection and conversation. For me the reflection on and articulation of my ideas has been as valuable as the conversations which have followed.
    And one thing I have learned is that we never quite know the unpredictable, subtle butterfly effects of our words and actions. If a reader walks away with a thought, idea, affirmation, challenge or sense of connection, then I am part of that synaptic global growth.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My first blog post was a fumbling ponder about whether I could add relevance to an already crowded blogosphere. It was 2009 and I had serious doubts. But this line from your post is why I’m still here, “It keeps me thinking and learning and connects me with other thinkers and learners.”

    Like you, I have an incredibly busy life. Our family ecosystem is distributed differently – we have a young child, a business, a PHD in progress (seven years in) and two demanding careers. Some nights when I steal away to pound out 750 or 1000 words on my blog, I know I could be doing something else. I’ve come to realise the benefit far exceeds any commitment required to keep my blog going. Sometimes it’s the only writing I do all week entirely for myself and that, in itself, is worth every stolen moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Sarah! I guess I am where you were in 2009! Fumbling for purpose and voice in a congested online space.

      I love the idea of a family, and all its facets and commitments, as an ecosystem, an organic symbiotic changing environment, somehow in delicate balance. What a lovely way to think of modern family life!

      Your comment about blogging as stolen moments of writing ‘entirely for yourself’ resonates with me. In a guest blog post on PhD Talk I called my PhD writing time ‘stolen moments’ of intellectual me-time – http://phdtalk.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/the-passionate-phd-let-excitement-and.html – and blogging is even more that way in the sense that, as you say, it is writing for ourselves, free from restrictions of content or expectations of style and objectivity.

      I am certainly learning enough, and having enough of these kinds of valuable connect-with-others conversations, to keep me going.


  3. You have managed to capture the pure essence and reason for blogging in one paragraph. Loved it and will use this to remind others on a personal and business level why communication like this is so important. Please keep blogging….


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