A #CurrentEventFriday that makes me look back on what I’ve learned from blogging.
Happy Friday everyone, I am back with another #CurrentEventFriday. This one is more localized and personal, but hey I’m the one who decides what I’m writing—it’s for sure an event and it’s relatively current. I think it qualifies.
So last Friday while I was up at O’ Dark-Thirty preparing to return to Winter I saw this badge in my WordPress notifications center. A year ago, I signed up for a WordPress domain and registered my blog and decided to share my thoughts with whoever might listen. I expected much of my family and several close friends to follow but have been happy to encounter other WP bloggers who follow my posts and I’ve returned the favor. I mentioned in my first blog post ever that I started this as a way of catharsis and to help my writing by getting my thoughts written down. Since taking this journey just over a year ago I have observed the following about myself and my writing.
1) I still struggle with self-image, self-doubt, and resentment.
2) Blogging challenges me to be a better writer.
3) I have new interests, and old ones are able to find an outlet.
With these three observations in mind, I want to explain them more in order to get my thoughts done and open myself up for feedback and critique.
1) Struggling with self-image, self-doubt, and resentment. My first blog post detailed why I decided to name the blog On the Radar and its particular backstory. In that post I mentioned that over the course of my adolescence and adulthood, I have been particularly targeted for my small stature and the consequences thereby of that stature. If you notice much of my Poetry Wednesday selections, that theme still runs deep. Much of other early blog posts lamented my singleness, my seemingly adrift notions of the future, and being caught between mid-life and early adulthood. I know that many times I’ve been accused of having a negative or pessimistic outlook. I receive that warning and work to balance my perceptions and my written or oral communications should reflect that balance.
2) Challenged to be a better writer. One of my continuing education professors encouraged me several times in class that I should write more than just for academics. Honestly, I’m used to getting decent grades and my writing usually isn’t dinged too hard by graders. My dad has often praised my writing ability but I to some degree brush it off because of who he is—our parents always gush about our abilities, it’s their job. I have never struggled to write my papers for class. I have however struggled to want to write them. But with blogging, I actually want to write, but many times I find myself challenged that I have come face to face with the dreaded phenomenon known as writer’s block. Written assignments for class have specific instructions and deadlines and I can type just about anything close to what others in class have typed and we all receive passing grades or higher. Yet there are times when I’m determined that I should write something worthwhile on the blog and hardly anything comes. I’ve learned that’s okay though. Forcing it likely leads to a sloppy product and not necessarily anything that I’ll be proud of. I want to take pride in what I choose to write about. I want to get passing grades and move on in the things that are chosen for me to write about and therein lies the biggest difference.
3) Discovering new interests, rediscovering old interests, and directing the old interests. Partly connected to the second observation is how I meet those challenges of writing. My workspaces have never been accused of being orderly and clean. Sure, they might be for a day or two, but it’s short-lived. The hemispheres of my mind are in nearly constant turmoil—the hemisphere that desires order and control is usually overcome by the creative and imaginative hemisphere. I have my topics listed and scheduled for the blog and that helps. It’s that organized calendar that has helped though to tap into my creativity. By dedicating 3 out of the 5 days to a particular theme, I can focus the creative efforts. Ny focusing those efforts, I have learned something about myself I never thought I could say, “I like poetry.” As a kid, I liked Dr. Seuss & Shel Silverstein because they had funny nonsensical stories and poems that rhymed. As you get older, more of the poems you read are in antiquated English and worse they don’t even rhyme. But as I started writing one poem and then another and another still, I discovered I liked poetry—well at least the poetry I wrote. I’m still not exactly sold on the free verse and modern poetry that has a stilted kind of rhythm and obscure viewpoints, but that’s true of a lot of modern art. I have also enjoyed that both the beginning and the end of each week are dedicated to my interest from school when I was younger—social studies. I have always been a student of history and been keenly connected to current events. I find immense joy in using Mondays as a means of being what I would want to be If I were teaching history. Fridays allow me the opportunity to engage everyone about a particular current event going on locally, nationally, or globally. Again, this is my attempt at being that social studies teacher that encourages and facilitates discussion with their students about the sundry events that happen to be unfolding that particular season. All of this to say, most of this third observations shows that teaching in some form or other is still part of the driving force in me.
What have you learned about me from my blogging?