So today is the first day of Blogfest and the first set of questions are about why we blog, and what makes for good blogs. I signed up to participate because I thought maybe doing posts consistently for a week would get me back on track with keeping up the nice shiny new blog I started for the new year. After all, they say repetition is the key to making something a habit, so who knows?
I got started blogging because it seemed like everyone was doing it! They seemed to enjoy it, and I enjoyed reading what they wrote, the tips they shared, the basic stories that shared bits of who they are. So I started a blog sometime over a year ago – before Google+ started, did last year’s blogfest, and then ….fell off the wagon (Okay, maybe writing a dissertation makes it hard to stay on track, but still, I could have kept up once a month, right?). Anyway, when I decided to get back on track around the holiday….#oneword you know!….my blog was “gone”! It said I had one, but no matter what I did I couldn’t get into it – google apparently owns the tool I was using and did some funky things because I didn’t link it properly. So in the end, I gave up and started over on WordPress – harder to use, and still not a pretty site, but I can into it and post and remember my passwords! Not bad. I did a few posts early on….but it’s been over a month.
Enter blogfest, so maybe once again I will get back on track.
So, why do I want to blog…maybe I should have a better answer to that question than “because everyone is doing it” if I want to really be consistent! I think that blogging provides an opportunity to reflect, to think about things more intentionally than day to day life would normally allow and then put those thoughts into words. Depending on the topic, that might mean providing the impetus to commit to something more fully because you make it public, which is a good thing. It also allows you to get feedback from people who can help you think through whatever is on your mind. And sometimes, if you are really thoughtful, you might provide inspiration for others, which is a pretty neat idea. These seem like pretty good reasons to blog, and it doesn’t really take too much time. So why can’t I figure out how to be more consistent?
As part of my #oneword, thrive, I have been considering this over the last month when I crash for the day thinking that maybe I will get to it tomorrow…(my futuristic?). I am at #acui12 right now (a shoutout to @edcabellon and @bbgoad for the great job they are doing!) and yesterday’s opening keynoter challenged us to “the 5 day strengths challenge” – to pick a strength and focus on it every day for a week so that we can build on it. I am going to try, and I think that I will start with strategic, which is also one of my top 5, and for this post will strategize how to be more consistent about keeping up my blog – my intentions were good in January, but not my follow through. I think maybe one of my strengths may also be what makes it hard for me to just write about what is on my mind – I am a pretty private person for an extravert, and what I spend time thinking about most isn’t generally things I want to share with “everyone” (assuming anyone actually reads my blog or not!). Relator is also one of my top 5, which means that I enjoy finding a connection with someone and building on that connection, and in a blog that other person isn’t really there, so it’s harder for me to imagine that what I am sharing is really helping to create or forge that unique relationship I am seeking to find with each person I get to know. And yet I love to read other people’s blogs, and most of the time, find interesting new ideas and thing to think about (My learner perhaps?) I don’t usually wonder why they bothered, like I do when I read my own stuff. I often wonder what I could possibly share that anyone would WANT to bother reading, so I don’t …bother….hmm…something to ponder. I think my achiever expects that all my posts will be “brilliant”, which really isn’t the point, and truthfully, as an achiever and perfectionist, most things are never quite good enough!
So I guess I have figured out how my top five strengths feed into why I want to blog and why I can’t quite keep it going. It feels a bit too impersonal for someone who prefers one on one communication, even though I enjoy reading others’ blog posts and in many respects too public for many of things I tend to reflect on. I also feel as if what I have to say isn’t worthy of a blog post, again, despite the fact that I generally find what others say worth the read and likely to make me think. I guess my task today for the Strengths 5 day challenge is to figure out an effective strategy to establish a regular blogging pattern, a way to post once a week after blogfest is over. This is certainly something to ponder, and maybe that will be my post next week – a strategy for weekly blogs from a “blogger want-to-be” who can’t quite keep it going!
In case you are not familiar with the Strengths model, here is a link to the 34 strengths: , http://www.capcsd.org/proceedings/2009/talks/Strength-based%20Advising,%20Teaching%20and%20Learning%20-%20K%20Coufal%20-%20Reference%20Card%20handout.pdf. Each of us has a “top 5” – I referenced mine throughout, but they are Learner, Futuristic, Achiever, Strategic, and Relator.