When I started blogging again (you know, about a week and a half ago), I promised myself I would make every effort to post once a week. That really doesn’t seem like that big of a commitment, right? I used to blog every day! Yet here I am, looking at a calendar and discovering it has in fact been seven days since my last post. Time sure flies when you’re in grad school and working full time, even when having fun is not always involved. So you’ll have to excuse me if this post is even more stream of consciousness than usual.
This afternoon I finished a project for one of my classes looking at how my perspective on writing was (and continues to be) formed compared to how a particular teenager’s perspective on writing was (and continues to be) formed. One of the questions that we were to consider was what we believed the purposes of writing to be. In thinking over my answer, I gained a ton of new insight and self-reflections on why I write and what I’m trying to accomplish when I write. Here’s the list I came up with of my main purposes:
- To force myself to think through my ideas
- To communicate my thoughts and emotions in a deliberate way
- To sway other people’s interests or opinions
- To create art and beauty
As I mentioned in the presentation, the very best blog posts I’ve written accomplished all four of these things at once. Right this second as I type, I’m realizing that there’s another big purpose I forgot: to entertain. I want people to enjoy reading my blog so I spend time (the amount varying from a fair amount to a crapton) trying to make my posts entertaining. Well great. Now I’ve gone and thought of something cool to add and I’ve already turned it in! As my new favorite professor says, projects are due but never done.
This whole thought process coincides with the reasons why I decided to start blogging again. I want to be a great high school English teacher and a big part of that is helping my students to build their writing identities. Each one will be unique, but I want them all to in some way be creative, thoughtful, organized, confident, personal, flexible, and resilient. I want students to leave my classes knowing and being proud of who they are as writers.
That is no small task, but I think it starts with me knowing and being proud of who I am as a writer. How else can I do that but by writing myself on a regular basis?
So that’s the deep, profound answer to why I started blogging again. Also, I just really love it. For me, blogging is one of those things that you somehow get out of the habit of doing and then when you do it again you are like MAN! THIS IS AMAZING! Why don’t I do this every day?!? It’s right up there with soccer in being the best natural high I know. And blogging doesn’t even leave me out of breath or bathed in my own sweat (usually). So there’s another reason why I write – to bring myself joy (I really should have written this post before I submitted my project).
This is why I’m determined to somehow carve out an hour or two per week to do this blogging thing. That will bring the number of activities I do outside of work and school up to three. In the time it took me to write the last sentence I had automatically categorized each of those three activities into different type of outlets: blogging is creative, soccer is physical, having dinner with Cecily is social. Folks, this is what reading adolescent development and psychology textbooks will do to your brain.
Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go write an entire mock lesson plan and read five freakishly long chapters…