This past week (Thanksgiving in the U.S.), I found myself enjoying time in front of the couch, exercising on the elliptical (my treadmill broke, but a friend graciously gave me an elliptical), catching up on movies I'd missed, and wondering, shouldn't I be blogging or something?
I'm sure I had a few insights that were worth sharing. Although I spent a lot of time just goofing around, I did take time to clip a few things to Evernote.com, as well as bookmark stuff. Why didn't I take time to share it?
Richard Byrne (Free Technology for Teachers) makes a point that many of us who have been blogging for quite awhile find true (I know I've said this myself before, too):
One of the reasons I sometimes hear people give for not blogging, Tweeting, or otherwise participating in sharing their ideas online is, "I don't have anything to say." To that I often reply, "yes, you do." The great thing about sharing online is that you never know who is going to discover what you share. Something that you think has been said one hundred times over might be brand new to someone else. We all have something to share.
Some of my insights were personal. For example, while reflecting on The Thornbirds' signature story (shown below), I did a bit of self-reflection. First, the poem:
There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in it's life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then singing among the savage branches, it rises above it's own agony to out-carol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in the heaven smiles. For the best is only brought at the cost of great pain.......Or so says the legend.
The thorn bird with the thorn in it's breast, it follows an immutable law; it is driven but it knows not what to impale itself and die singing. At the very instant the thorn enters there is no awareness in it of the dying to come; it simply sings and sings until there is not the life left to utter another note. But we, when we put the thorns in our breasts, we know. We understand. And still we do it. Still we do it...
My wife and I loved both the book by Colleen McCullough and the mini-series with Richard Chamberlain. The main reflection I have is that I'm not willing to pay for blogging fame at great cost because it's a fun effort. I worried at that idea a bit, though. If I wasn't willing to pour my heart and soul into an effort, commit major time, did that make me a lesser person? If you don't want to blog about your experience, does that make you less than a person who does..say someone who updates their Facebook (a microblog some say), but not a blog?
Second, my reflections:
One of the questions whenever I take some time off from blogging is, Should I continue blogging? The answer is invariably YES. I'm reminded that the blog is more a notebook, a place to share what I'm learning while I'm learning and a way to reflect on that process. I never quite seem to do enough reflection, though.
Another point that occurred to me is that I'm noticing an inclination to be less forthcoming or open/transparent about what I AM learning or experiencing. This bothers me since openness and transparency are at the heart of blogging...some blogs are focused on sharing information or tools, or selling a brand. For me, blogging is about chronicling the experience of learning.
I dipped into the RSS feed and found something that seemed peculiar. Essentially, the blogs I tended to read weren't about just sharing information but a person sharing their perspective, their insights. I want to do more of that about the work I'm about and I realize that I've let that slip.
So, as we approach the holiday season, the time when new and great resolutions are made, I'm going to keep mine simple. I'm going to try to focus again, not only only what I'm learning, but be more transparent in my attempts to be a leader, a teacher, and, most importantly, a learner.
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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure