To Blog or Not To Blog

This blog was a joint effort between Doug Timm and Justin Schleider. We came up with the ideas after #satchat on Saturday on the topic blogging.  As you read below, keep in mind these are thoughts written to promote thinking and not necessarily how either of us feel about blogging in general.  We think you can relate, connect, and see yourself in many of our questions and arguments back and forth.  The whole conversation is an internal dialogue where Doug took one side and Justin took the other.  We tried to separate these by using different colors.  

I am ready to start writing.  Why am I blogging? Is it because I have a great thoughts that need to be hashed out in more than 140 characters?  Do I want everyone to see me? Read me? ReTweet me? Tell me how great my writing is?  Maybe I am needing to blog to push other people’s thinking. There are a ton of people that could benefit from me pushing their thoughts. Or is it metacognition? Metacognition is defined as the, “Awareness or analysis of one’s own learning or thinking processes”. Am I writing so that I can shape my thoughts about something? Maybe it is a combination of all the above. All I know is that I need to write. The keys on my keyboard have been silent for so long here goes nothing.  

Ok just finished. Wow that was quicker than expected. Time to send.  Here I am, ready to send my words out to the world, I do this all the time, but for some reason this time is different, I have voices in my head!  I pause before I hit PUBLISH and then it happens, thoughts and voices overwhelm me from 2 very different perspectives.  Here is my internal conversation.

I am scared, what if my message is not what I am really trying to say?  I have read it 5 times and still am unsure if what I wrote is worth blogging about.  Just because I have thoughts, does not necessarily mean that someone else wants to read them.  I flash back to a childhood story when my grandmother yelled at me for barely being able to read, and she said that I would never be able to write. She was a honors high school English teacher, she should know these things.  

Forget the haters. I have a voice that needs to be heard. Have you read some of the stuff that is out there? I have a real voice that needs to be heard. People need to hear me. Maybe someone else is going through the same things I am! If I can reach one person and help them through their journey it is worth it. I want to be heard! Isn’t that what blogging is all about, being heard?

It is about being heard, but I am unsure of my message constantly.  What if  people perceive me in a way that is negative?  My biggest fear is feedback and the thought that someone is at home on their couch laughing at me or thinking I am stupid.  I never liked school growing up and hated writing.  My handwriting is still barely legible and when I write I am constantly erasing and writing over again.  My ideas seem boring or retreads of things I already have read.  Why do I not feel original.  Why do I feel like another grain of sand in an ever increasing beach of mediocrity?  Why do I question myself so much?

Some may think I am stupid. Maybe I am. I was stupid enough to get my bachelor’s degree. I am stupid enough to be a leader in my school. Maybe I am stupid enough to break through the flow of noise and bring a new perspective with this blog.  So why I am not a “writer”. I mean after all what is a writer? Someone who writes. Didn’t I just write a blog? That makes me a writer.

I am not a writer, I don’t use fancy words or imagery, I don’t push anyone, I see what I write and I think “not that interesting.”  I have these thoughts all the time.  Why would someone else want to read my verbal diarrhea.

I don’t use fancy words because the message is what resonates with people. My vocabulary isn’t extensive.  If this wasn’t published for the world it would have much shorter (4 letter) words in it!! People want to hear my message, not use a dictionary to figure out what I am saying.  Why use big words when everyday words do the job just fine?

I really want to push people’s thinking. Let’s be real, no one really likes to be told their views are wrong. I talk about growth mindset and think I am living it.  People ask to have their thinking pushed, but do they really want that?  Every other answer in every Twitter chat from now until the end of time is growth mindset. I have the ability to push their thinking. This blog will push people in a way they have never been pushed. It is real. Authentic. Different. It is me. No one else has my perspective. People want that. People Need That.

Because I want to inspire, not just push a message.  Is that so hard to understand?  I want my other voice to stop fighting with me, I want to be the best I can be, and my writing should be proof of that.  I just don’t feel worthy…   

I am not better than anyone else, but I am something special. My ego understands this. My ideas may not be new or revolutionary, but they belong to me. They are my ideas that I need to put on a page. That is all I can ever ask of myself.

I have done this before… I have tagged a lot of people and threw this up on multiple hashtags as well as Facebook, Google+ and other social media outlets.  I felt shame each time as I know I am not worthy.  Each of those previous times I kept my mouth shut to my other voice!  I did not speak up! I allowed my other side to overwhelm me!  I don’t know that I want what my other side wants.  Do I need the pats on the back through favorites, comments, retweets, +1, you get the idea.  Do I need those as motivation, because without them, what am I?  It wasn’t always that way…   It used to be about a “thought” and trying to put “thoughts” to paper to work out the kinks.  Is my reason for blogging now becoming diluted and shallow.  It is not about me, or I should say, it is about me, but not my thoughts, but my name.  It is about my name and I need that high?  This is why I am speaking up to my other voice.  Am I starting to feel shameful?

Stop. For real! You are way overthinking this!  Who are these “edu rockstars” that people swoon over. Why are they so popular? They are people. People who have a message. People who put their pants on one leg at a time.  My message is just as important as theirs. People need to hear my message. The more people that hear my message and read this the better. The more retweets and conversations that this can start the better. It doesn’t matter that I don’t participate in the Twitter or Voxer chats that I drop the link to my blogs in.  Those people get me and they want my words!  All that matters is that people will read it. I can start conversations they never would have had before.  My message is important because it is me!  I am going to tag everyone and any hashtag that is out there.  I am not going to feel guilty about it. My message needs to get out.  

Do I want people to know who I am? Yes. Yes I do. I want people to know who I am and what I do. Does that make my blog any less worthy? No. The bottom line is that my blog is me. If people don’t like it that’s ok. I still need to get my voice out there. It will help more people than it will hurt.  That was my original question at the beginning.  Why am I doing this?

I know I like to write, but who is it for? I still have not totally answered that question.  What do I want?  Who do I want to read this?  Here I go again with endless questions!  I can’t stop thinking that my other side has a really good point.  Does sharing to a larger audience dilute my message?  Especially if I send out “words” all the time.  Does this just become noise like a car with a really loud sound system that drives by?  You look, maybe just for a second, but once the noise is gone, so are any thoughts.  If I could just figure out my motivation in blogging and is it covering something up?  How has my evolution led me to this moment?  If I knew that I probably would not have spoken up.   

I want people to read this. As many as possible. This may help them or it may help me. Either way it will help someone. Maybe it will cement someone’s position. Maybe someone will realize they disagree with me. Doesn’t matter. We are thinking, reflecting, metacognating (made that up). The number doesn’t matter it could be one person or thousands. The important part is that this blog will push me and possibly others. Isn’t that what we want?

I make sense, I really do, but why did I speak up?  Why am I here?  What is my purpose?  I am important too and I will not stay silent any longer.  My back and forth with myself is not a competition although at times it feels that way.  It is a struggle, a battle, with no winner or right or wrong.  Those situations are the most difficult, but I guess that is life in general, why can’t I accept that?

My finger slowly goes to the touch pad to PUBLISH… Should I?  Why all of a sudden did I question my motives? who is my audience? why do I write?  Now I question myself, is that a sign?  The tension in my head is overwhelming me to the point of sweating.  Who am I? The confident blogger that self-promotes with really no discourse, or the one that is thoughtful about topic, audience, form, and ideas?  Or am I both? Maybe I fall somewhere in the middle. Should I PUBLISH this one? The top is spinning…...Click to see if I posted
Q1: Who do you identify more with the blue or the green voice? Why? #slowchatpe

Q2: What excuse do you give for not blogging? #slowchatpe

Q3: Do you blog for you, others, or both? How do you know? #slowchatpe

Q4: What makes you read someone’s blog? #slowchatpe

Q5: Is blogging is overrated? #slowchatpe


2 thoughts on “To Blog or Not To Blog

  1. Pingback: To Blog or Not To Blog | Mr. Kirsch's WordPress Blog

  2. Doug Timm

    Thanks for writing this with me. It was more than just our thoughts, the brainstorming, collaboration, and healthy debate over our ideas is what pushed me to think further about this specific topic. Process more meaningful to me than finished product in many ways! We should do it again sometime.




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