Why Should I Blog?

I am fairly new to the concept of blogging. The only blog posts I have written have been for classes where blogging was required. I really don’t engage much in social media either, so the frequent sell of leveraging social media and internet networks for personal and professional engagement in larger communities while tempting didn’t seem like something I would be good at. However, the following phrase from Seth Goden completely changed how I think about the idea of blogging: “What matters is the humility that comes from writing it. What matters is the metacognition of thinking about what you are going to say.”

That rationale for blogging resonates with me as something that was easier to tackle as a beginner. I could blog just to put my ideas out there, to gain publicity, to give my research more visibility, or to create a public professional profile for myself that will be valuable moving forward. But as someone who writes pretty much exclusively for publications and class reports, taking all of that on sounded a bit daunting. I was having trouble finding a starting point to “create a professional profile and engage with the entire online community”. I was completely overwhelmed at that prospect. But writing just to practice writing and to practice putting my thoughts into writing in a space where I can quickly get an idea of how people from diverse backgrounds interpret my writing seems like a reasonable starting point (I don’t actually know if that is actually any easier, but it seems less intimidating to me personally).

So instead of this being another class where I just write blog posts to check off the requirements, I am going to make an effort to really make this a growing experience using blogging. It is a chance for me to become a better writer while simultaneously getting used to engaging in a practice that will be hugely beneficial in the future. Hopefully this will be a starting point for me.

14 Comments

  1. Couldn’t agree with you more! Having a genuine and sincere voice is way way better than the un-relatable “professional” face we sometimes put on. And not just in writing blogs, but in all manners we interact with each other ( and that includes teaching too !)
    I like the quote you chose from Goden and hope you will have a great experience with blogging.
    Bon Voyage !

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  2. Cherice- I appreciate the direction you are taking with this blog and I think your approach will most definitely help you down the road (the quote was solid too!). I have actually found that although my blogging is often a requirement for a course, the flexibility to choose my topic, length, and reach are almost therapeutic for me in a way. What I mean by this is that, given how much research and reading, which then turns into more technically sound writing, that we do, the ability to write about anything I want to, even if its for a grade, allows me a lot of freedom. Not only do I get to share my thoughts, but I also get to see what those around me are thinking and this has brought me a lot of joy (and sometimes reassurance), which has been awesome.

    I wish you the best of luck with your approach and I look forward to visiting your blog throughout the semester!

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    1. Thank you so much for the luck. I think I both struggle with and enjoy the openness of the blogging responses. But I also know that in the past I didn’t spend as much time as I should have to really have a rewarding blogging experience. Hopefully I can get to the point where I am experiencing some of the same joy and reassurance you do.

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  3. Cherice,

    I love that you’re optimistic about your blogging endeavors—that you’re finding the benefits in writing that transcend a classroom requirement. That’s what this past week’s readings are pushing for (what we too are pushing for): to rediscover the joy, the “adventure,” in learning, rather than view our daily tasks (e.g., blogging) as yet another check on the to-do list, another piece of, what Gardner Campbell calls, the “management structure,” of the “mechanics of ‘student success.'”

    As a teacher, I’ve been reflecting on how I can integrate public conversation into my writing classrooms. How, I wonder, can I best do so for students who do not yet see the merit in blogging?

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    1. I think what made the difference for me was seeing other benefits to my professional development and image that would be bolstered by the blog. So me blogging was not only a classroom requirement, but it was going to work in my favor to introduce and back up my professional profile that I would be using when applying for jobs. I could clearly see that I was engaging in the real world in a way that would directly contribute to my future in academia through the portfolio. If I already know I need to develop my portfolio which will be displayed on my website, then I might as well fully embrace the website and make it worth continuing to use. Maybe other students have similar trains of thought and would resonate with practical direct benefits of having the website and blog!

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  4. Cherice – Your reflection on why you changed your perspective on blogging really resonates with me. And I love Leslie’s emphasis on benefits of learning / creating / writing that transcend a specific assignment. Oh, and re: how to integrate public conversation into writing classrooms: try changing just one thing and doing the activity with them.

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  5. I am also reluctant to engage with social media, especially putting the private in a public setting. This blogging is the first time I’ve posted information publicly (though still fairly anonymously). It feels strange and uncomfortable, and that is probably why it’s good that the course is forcing us to do it. Because unfortunately, there is an expectation of public presence for many modern professionals, especially in academia.

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    1. Very true. I know I would not step into blogging if it was not a requirement of the course. It can be uncomfortable putting yourself out there publicly, but while it feels risky it can also lead to more engagement, visibility, and communication. Maybe we can find a more comfortable balance that allows us to exist and engage online while still maintaining privacy.

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  6. The best thing you did is to write it publicly to enforce yourself to make this promise. Although I’m not a blogger but I feel it’s the future and we would be behind if we resist not being part of the blogging community. The online learning has been emerging and the discussion becomes “online” instead of face-to-face.

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    1. Exactly. Now that it is public I have a community to hold me accountable to continue to be engaged. I definitely agree that we will get more and more behind by not engaging in online communities, so it will be worth it!

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  7. Blogging can indeed feel tedious at times! However, I always feel as if your attitude about things determine your reality. Since this is the case, I have tried to find some enjoyment in blogging recently when, in the past, I was disgruntled with the idea of having to blog so frequently for class. Consider that this is a great way to get to know one another and get other perspectives when we aren’t really able to do that in class!

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  8. Hi Cherice, that rationale stood out to me, too. Blogging for classes has always made me feel more self-conscious than anything else, but I got the impression from the readings this week that blogging might help us to keep an eye on our ability as researchers to phrase our work and thoughts with the non-academia public in mind and keep us in touch even when we’re not actively doing outreach. Good luck fulfilling your goal this semester.

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