Five years ago I wrote a post called ‘25 Honest reasons why I started this blog‘.
I read Sandy Millin’s post earlier this year asking ‘What’s Your Why?’ and inviting to take part in a new Blogging Challenge describing one’s living and working philosophy. While this post is not exactly a response to her challenge, I made a note to write a follow-up post sharing my ‘Blogging Why-es’.
I decided to take a critical look at the 25 reasons I had listed at the early times of this blog, categorize them, and comment on some of them. You are reading what came out of it!
These objectives/action points seem to have been (mostly) achieved:
‘categorize the reasons above and come up with a meaningful order in this list‘: I think I am doing it now by writing this post
‘have a feel for social media‘ (Note: I started Facebook and Twitter at about the same time as this blog): interesting enough, blogging to me is different from using other social media tools. I think I can see a better difference now than before.
‘find my own professional niche‘: this blog gradually turned into my reflective exploration of the experience, mostly professional
‘keep my mind active and alert between my training trips and other projects’: well, I have much less time ‘between’ projects now, and when I do, I love writing and catching up on others’ posts.
‘find new collaborative projects and participate in them (can be as simple as co-writing with someone in my field!)’: not necessarily a writing project, but I had a couple of consulting visits to language centers based on what my colleagues read about in this blog (which can be treated as collaboration, I guess). I started a couple of Blogging Challenges that were interesting to read and follow, for example, on Blogging Habits and Livening up the process.
‘self-promote‘: initially, I had been new in curriculum development and course design, and was often asked to share an example of my writing. This blog seemed to be a good place to share a link to. Now I have many more samples of the actual work I had been doing, that’s why this reason seems to be less relevant.
These reasons are still true and important:
‘get to know more like-minded souls in my professional field‘: I am thankful to the readers who follow, comment, talk about some ideas, offer feedback, contact me, and help me to keep writing. I am, and I will!
‘practice my skills of writing in English‘ goes together with ‘discover my own writing voice, or style‘: both are still in the process, and I must admit I enjoy the process a lot!
‘give myself a new professional challenge‘: at this point I am comfortable to hit ‘publish’ when a post feels ready (not ‘perfect’, as I am learning to let go the idea of making my text spotless)
‘re-connect with amazing people I have already been fortunate to work with (we often lose touch after a project is over, and e-mails do not seem to be a meaningful tool in everyday busy lives)’: I am happy I now have a ‘platform’ to share ideas on, and to send people to if they would like to be in touch. In a way, sharing blog posts can start much deeper discussions or conversations than other social media channels
‘increase the level of depth and width in my reflective skills‘ and ‘bring a variety of new lenses into my own reflective practices‘: this blog helps me in reflecting and ‘thinking ideas through’, and the comments and conversations with the readers contribute to that even more (I think I can add ‘re-examine and re-evaluate my beliefs‘ here)
‘find solutions to the challenges I face both during the projects and between them’: again, a part of my reflective journey
‘help others find new questions‘: more than solutions to find (see that one below), I think this space is about alternatives, possible ideas, and ‘maybe-s’
be/stay connected to the great learning and reflecting teaching community (and hopefully become a part of it) and ‘find new reasons for blogging, redefine it, and continue writing in the future’.
These have (almost) never happened:
‘remember the experience and reflect on it during those intensive courses I run several times a year‘: I realize I tend to be more private in my training/coaching thoughts, and a lot does not go to the blog but stays in my private journals. I wonder why, especially because I find reading about the experiences of other trainers valuable and important.
‘learn how to balance personal and professional in myself’ (or… learn how the others can(not) do that!): no, blogging is not the ‘right’ way to balance those parts of my life. My running, hiking trips, long walks keep me at a good distance from the screen at times, and that results in writing less (often)
‘help others find solutions‘: I don’t think I ever helped anyone with a direct ‘how to’ post. Maybe I should have.
These have (been) transformed:
‘share my own experience in teaching, training and working in academic management‘ and ‘articulate my own beliefs in teaching and learning‘: at this point it is much less about ‘sharing’ and much, much more on ‘reflecting’ and asking ‘why’ (it may show how more selfish I have become, or… more honest about the purpose of this blog?)
‘share my passion for the ELT field‘: it is now more about my passion to reflect than about ELT (well, maybe that’s the result of being reflective about things in the industry? Hm…)
New reason(s) for writing:
At this point Wednesday Seminars is my ‘thinking space’ and ‘reflective lounge’, just as the tagline to the blog suggests. I write about sessions for teachers I plan, or about presentations I prepare or ‘play with’, or our Reflective Group meetings, or sometimes about seemingly unrelated things (to ELT, that is) but important to me for some reason. I am writing to see what I am thinking about. I am writing because I have a need to write, to be read and heard. Or… just want to share an idea with my readers and friends, and watch quietly what can come out of it.
What is your ‘Why’ for blogging? What motivates you to add a new post from time to time? How has your writing and blogging philosophy changed (if at all) compared to the times when you started your blog? If you don’t have your own blog and follow me via e-mail: what would motivate you to start writing?
As always, thank you for reading. Stay warm if you are in the winter country 🙂