About 6 months ago I decided that I was going to write a teaching blog.
I read many articles about the benefits of blogging just like this “Why every teacher should blog” and the idea sounded awesome. I like to write, I like to think about my teaching principles and I like to read about current progressions in education. It seemed perfect for me. I was also working on reflection strategies, had delivered a couple of workshops and my general feelings were “people seem interested in this, I should make it available to more teachers.” My goal was to write a blog post a month about what was going around in my teacher-brain. At the time, I had no idea how hard that would be for me.
The first few posts were easy. I was pretty sure the content was good quality (from the workshop feedback) and so I was able to write effortlessly and with a degree of confidence. The posts were well received and the monthly goal didn’t seem crazy difficult to do. All I had to do was continue to write about whatever I was thinking about that month. But, soon I ran out of the stuff that I’d been working on for months (sometimes years…!) and had to start writing about my current goals, my current ideas, my current thoughts.
What am I thinking about?
I’m continually thinking about how to empower students; to allow them to take ownership for their learning, to challenge themselves to become better learners and better leaders. I’m continually thinking about the wellbeing of my students and how I can encourage greater balance and emotional awareness.
But I’m also continually thinking about how I haven’t read enough to write a blog. I’m questioning what happens if I’ve got it wrong? What happens if I don’t cite the right person and give them credit for their work? What happens if everyone disagrees with my ideas? What happens if it makes me look stupid?
I classify myself as an ambitious, driven and confident woman. But the thought of typing something that “might be wrong” terrifies me. I’ve been living in this limbo for about 3 months now; buzzing with ideas but paralysed with fear as soon as I think about writing anything down.
I had zero idea how to solve this problem until a wonderful person showed me Document vs. create, a slightly bizarre youtube video with a super powerful message. I realised that I felt like every blog post needed to be perfect; well balanced, fully researched and with a conclusion of some sort. I also felt that the blog had to be explicitly useful to the reader. But why? Why can’t I make a blog that is a documentation of my stream of thought, that shows the evolution of my ideas over time and that might only be useful to me? As soon as I started to think about blogging as documenting my process rather than just showing my creations, everything felt far less overwhelming.
So, what next?
I’m going to challenge myself to write one blog post a week for the next 8 weeks to document my progress towards my goals of empowering students and improving wellbeing. They will be raw. They will be based on gut instincts. They will contain stories and events. They will track my thinking progress. They will be useful to me.
Want to join me on this blogging challenge? Just 8 weeks – tweet me @kirstie__parker – We can make blog squads, comment on each others posts and it’ll be super awesome.
Selfishly, I would also love to have people to encourage me along the way.
6 thoughts on “Why did no one tell me blogging was hard?”
I will happily encourage you!
When you wrote “I’m also continually thinking about how I haven’t read enough to write a blog” something to consider here—I find that working on my blog has forced me to read more, listen to more podcasts, check out more critical youtube channels—it keeps my ‘teacher media diet’ healthy.
A reminder: there is no rule for what makes a post a post. If you follow Seth Godin (he posts daily) I find some of his regular reflections whilst just a few sentences are incredibly powerful:
Some of my ‘best posts’ have just been a sharing of a bundle of resources I will return to.
Example: as someone who hosts a Youtube channel, which three other channels influence/inspire you the most?
Can’t wait to see what you do with this space.
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I think that I realised that it was basically impossible for me to reach the point I wanted to in terms of my knowledge, but I’ve definitely started to read a load more in the past 6 months. Podcasts are still something I struggle with. Maybe I just haven’t found the right ones for me yet!
Ah I love the youtube prompt too – I can definitely use some of the chemjungle learning in my upcoming posts.
I can encourage you by sharing what I’ve learned from blogging and building an online portfolio.
Build it for yourself…
…and write to learn.
Don’t give up. Write each post like you’re writing just for yourself or like you’re sharing ideas and resources you’ve discovered with a close friend or colleague. You don’t need to have all the answers, just good questions and your own observations and reflections.
We’re waiting to read more. Keep going! 🙂
Love the idea of ‘writing to a friend’ 🙂 Thank you for the encouragement!
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