Blogging – It Really Is A Lifestyle

Hi everyone,

Well, to start off, I have to say that my life has changed because of this class. Instead of finding the internet only useful for projects, it is amazing in so many different ways beyond facebook and wikipedia. I honestly could not fathom the amount of uses we’ve explored so far, and we are only barely past half way through the semester.

Now, to get to the point of my post. Blogging isn’t something that you can just do on occasion – it is something you must keep up with, almost like a diary or even like reading the paper. You need to do it regularly to ever get good at it. Here’s my problem: I am an 18 year old kid who is freakishly busy with school, homework, baton, dance, coaching, and much more. Where do I fit all this in? I know it only takes a moment to type out a post, but when it comes to checking email or blogging, email always seems to win. I guess I don’t need to be as OCD about checking email, but its a habit I’m working on. I find it really hard to find good topics to just write about. I love to write, but only when things become a part of my life. Sure, I can write about how school was today or how my coach made me cry last night, but truly, that is stuff that doesn’t need to be said. I want to captivate an audience with unique, origonal, and engaging thoughts. That’s where I seem to be struggling a lot. I have great ideas, but they never seem to be with me when I want to blog. Arg! So, I’ll throw this question out to anyone who wants to answer. “How do I adjust my lifestyle to include a regular blog?” I am one of those people who needs a structured time with finite deadlines, or else I procrastinate a ridiculous amount. Just writing this blog, I am pushing back the essay I have due in less than a week. So, what do you think? I need blogging to be part of my life.

24 thoughts on “Blogging – It Really Is A Lifestyle

  1. I totally agree with you about blogging. It seems to be a really important aspect of many peoples lives, but I myself am not able to find a lot of time to do it. I wish I was also able to find interesting things to write a post about, but really my life isn’t anything to spectacular and one of the things I hate the most is writing, and now I find myself trying to write about stupid things just to get marks. I love this class and everything we have learned so far, I just wish there were more hours in the day and I would have enough time to respond to everyone’s blogs because they deserve to be responded to.

  2. Hey, I’m having the same problem. The best I can think of is set aside an hour each day (or even less) to look at stuff on the internet that is not your email. Checking your google reader, looking up something you’d like to talk about or blogging. Then you have a structure and a deadline. Good luck!

  3. Blogging as a teacher is self reflection. Self reflecting is what teachers need to do more of to see personal growth. The problem is to find the time. It is important to remember that when the urge to write strikes….. make sure that you find time to write. Some ideas are just need to be put down in print. When you develop a PLN and they read how you are doing and add suggestions and other comments the power of public reflection will kick in. Keep on blogging and thanks for the comments at my student blog sites.

  4. Maybe you don’t actually need a structured time for blogging. It could be that, since you mentioned that you think of stuff to blog whenever you’re not at your computer, you might blog with your cellphone. Blogger (Google’s blogging tool) allows you to post via cellphone texting, and of course so does Twitter. I’m sure there are others with that feature. But Amber makes sense too – turning blogging into a “habit” at a set time (maybe 10 min.) each day. It also gets easier when it becomes fun – a creative outlet – instead of a “job.” Have fun!

  5. This might be obvious but…

    Don’t bother to continue with blogging unless you enjoy doing so. As well, don’t write a post simply because you haven’t written one in a while. Just write when it feels right. Don’t try to manufacture a reason to post. Reasons will come and when they don’t, there is nothing wrong with silence.

  6. I agree with you, that you need to make time if you are serious about blogging.

    Why are you not including “the stuff” that you should be doing anyway into your blogging.

    Take the paper that is due next week for example and blog about your thoughts that will make up your paper. Blog about the research you are doing for that paper. it is another great way to keep track of your quotes and citations too.

    See your blog as a documentation on the process of getting your paper written. Don’t see it as an “additional” thing you need to do.

    In the end you just have to summarize your blog post and voila you have your paper already written.

    Soooo, I don’t think that you need to adjust your life style to include a blog. Just blog about your current life and include what is going on and what occupies your time at that moment in your life.

    Good luck. I am looking forward to reading more from you.
    Silvia

  7. You make it sound like you are the stereo-typical over-scheduled over-achiever. (I think I used up my quotient of hyphens) If so put blogging as an activity on your schedule.

    I can see why you wouldn’t want to write about how your coach made you cry, but you could use that as a primer for effective coaching techniques or pressure on student athletes.
    Instead of telling me how school went today you could write about different teaching methods you experience and which seem more or less effective. You could write about student life in general, pressures, expectations, fashion, relationships, etc…

    Blogging is just writing it requires a lot of thought and preparation a bit of writing and even more editing. It may only take a moment to type out a post, but quality writing should take a bit longer. Write everyday, but only post a couple of times a week.

    Enjoy the adventure

  8. I don’t think adjusting your lifestyle is the right approach… That’s kind of like dieting. It works for a while, but then one tends to slip back into old habits that are more comfortable.
    If you really want to blog, then you will make room for it. Give it time, though. It has to “grow” on you. At first, it can seem quite mechanical or a chore. But, like anything else, if you really find value and personal/professional satisfaction in it, you will commit to it. It will become a priority and then a lifelong habit. One of the best bits of advice I came across was that if you find you have nothing to write about, it may just be because you yourself are not reading.
    I just blogged about this Web2.0 idea here http://snurl.com/4ugu1 and shared the following native american proverb:

    “HE WHO LEARNS FROM ONE WHO IS LEARNING,
    DRINKS FROM A FLOWING RIVER.”

    Once you begin to experience the connectedness and learning implications blogging and other social technologies brings, it becomes quite addicting…. Learning, that is.

    So, give it time. Read. Connect. Learn. Find what you are passionate about… and write. It’ll come.

  9. I take notes when an idea comes to me. Ideas have this funny way of popping up at times when you can’t really deal with them and that includes blog post ideas. So I take a note. Maybe in a file if I am online or maybe on a piece of paper. And when I have a break I look at the notes and they remind me of the idea and I can write it down. I try to set aside some time in my schedule as blogging time when I can. Then I revisit my notes and write. Usually the idea has had time to work itself out in my mind and the writing comes quickly.

  10. I feel your pain. I try to keep up with both a personal blog and a blog for the TN Discovery Educator Network. Many times they both go days without a post (like now).

    I find that setting aside some time first thing in the morning is my best time to catch up on my RSS feeds and email. After that is finished, I have a few minutes to reflect. Maybe one post from someone else put my brain into motion and I can comment on what they said (either on their blog, as my own post, or both).

    Good luck!

  11. This is a thought provoking post. I suspect that most bloggers face the same challenges that you do. I think it is important not to be overly ambitious when it comes to blogging. When I first started my blog, I wanted to put up a new post every day. Then I became frustrated when I couldn’t achieve that goal. My life is just so full of other commitments, that I can’t write a worthwhile post every day. So, I’ve settled into a routine where I aim to write two or three posts a week. This is more realistic, and I am more successful because it is more doable. I agree that blogging is something that needs to be done regularly if we are to get better at it. Each of us just needs to figure out what “regular” means within the context of our own lives.

  12. I think this is something we all face; we are all so busy. I think, first, go easy on yourself, and integrate it slowly. Subcribe to blogs that are about things that interest you, and then you have some jumping off points for topics you may want to explore, and you can link back to those blogs in your discussion. Be patient and set small goals– maybe first blogging 2-3 times a week and then when you are impassioned about something, it will be something you want to do, rather than just another item on your to-do list. Good luck!

  13. Dear Sara,

    You’re already have the clue. You need first to make it part of your routine. As you keep blogging, more inspired you’ll be and more you’ll write. In the past, I used to blog only because of my project with my students, now I blog because it’s part of me. One thing that has helped me is mobile blogging. I use my cell phone to take photos and send them straight to my blog. Also, you could try adding a few lines on your blog before you open your mailbox. Remember that blogging can take many different forms, so sometimes I explore more my topic, sometimes just very short simple reflections, an image that called my attention. The only thing I always try to pay attention to is if my posts are according to my blogging purposes.

    Oh, a strategy that helped was the following: I publicized to my former students that I’d be blogging once a week on a blog a created for english learning. This helped me, for I feel responsible for a group and accountable for my blogging action!

    Let us know what your strategies are once you get some feedback. It might help you keep on track.

  14. Sara,
    I would suggest that when you have those thoughts you’d LIKE to blog about that you quickly text or email yourself or leave a message on your answering machine or something like that so that you will have them when you get to the blogging process. If you even have a phrase or keyword, that may very well trigger those thoughts you wanted to share.

    I come home to 3 or 4 messages a day sometimes–all from ME! Good luck!

    Paula (teacher from VA, during lunch in my classroom catching up on MY stuff)

  15. I notice that many of the blogs I read are done on a regular basis. Some have a weekly day that their blog comes out. Maybe pick a special day. Or ask your teacher of this awesome class for some time during class to write your blog. A friend of mine also keeps a running list of topics. So when she thinks of something she may want to blog about later she writes it on her list. That way when she goes to write her blog she has her list to work from.

    Bonne chance from a French teacher in VA!

  16. First, I disagree that blogging necessarily needs to be regular. There are seasons of life and blogging comes and goes as my seasons change. Sometimes, I can blog daily for months, then I drop off the face of the blogosphere for weeks or months.

    I am a type A personality, which means I tend to feel like something has to be done perfectly or I stop doing it altogether. I am using blogging to help me realize that I can stop and start – and that it’s ok! Just remember – you CAN have and do it all, but not at the same time! So give yourself a break and don’t put so much pressure on yourself over blogging.

    As for finding topics about which to blog, do you use Delicious? If not, go google it (or ask Mr. Shareski!) When I read something online that sparks my blogging bug, I tag it with a “toblog” link so I can come back to it later. Sometimes, I never get back to those topics, but when I am ready to blog but unsure of what to write, that list is the first place I go.

  17. I agree completely with Amber. The thing to realize is that blogging is conversation, not oratory. And what you are conversing with are other blogs.

    So don’t block off an hour to write a blog post. Block off an hour to read blog posts you care about, and make a commitment to write a response to those things every couple of days. You’ll find it much easier, and through the magic of “trackbacks” you’ll get readers to your blog from the blogs you’re remarking on.

    You know how it can be so painful to start a conversation, but once it gets going words just come easy? It’s like that. Responding to blogs is jumping into the middle of the conversation, you’re going to find it so much easier — and more meaningful. Heck, you may even change the world with your blog — I ended up doing that with a particular blog of mine, and no one was more shocked than I.

  18. Hey Sara! I got here from a “tweet” from your teacher. To be honest – I have been using Twitter and the links that I get from folks as well as what is happening in my life to help with my blog. What questions did I have that day? What interesting thing happened that I want to put out there for others to think about? As a teacher – it might seem easy but it isn’t always so!! So – rather than publish on the blog, I just keep my thoughts in a journal until they are “bloggable.” The trick is to write every day – and post when they are ready!

  19. Sara, we all get 24 hours in a day, and we all have to prioritize our time. If you are one of those amazing people who sleeps just 4 hours a day and never turns on the TV, and has a real gift for writing (and I’m definitely NOT), then blogging comes very easy.

    I tend to blog in spurts. Some days I have time and/or a topic and the words fly off my fingers. Right now my priorities are elsewhere and I probably have not blogged in a couple of weeks. But I don’t stress over it, I just accept it. But in my case, blogging isn’t an assignment I HAVE to do, it’s something I WANT to do.

    As Chris pointed out, the most important aspect of blogging is self-reflection. Although many of my blog posts are about sharing a cool website or software I discovered, my most meaningful posts (for me, not necessarily my readers) are the ones that took a lot of time for me to compose and reflect.

    I guess what I’m saying is, you don’t always have to be “captivating” for your audience. Place your emphasis on captivating yourself– write about what you know, and what is meaningful for you. Chances are, your readers will identify with your unique “voice” and that in turn will make it meaningful for them too.

    Keep at it! I’m impressed with your insight (not to mention your many activities) at such a young age!

    And if your blog software has a “save as draft” option, USE IT! Get your thoughts down while they’re fresh in your mind, and worry about the final draft when you have more time.

    Good luck!

  20. Interesting ideas, Sara, because I’ve never really thought of blogging as a lifestyle. Sure, I knew bloggers were weird, but that was before I became one myself. 🙂

    To me, blogging is whatever you want it to be. Some people post frequently, some do not – and success should really be measured by the person doing the blogging.

    Or am I wrong?

  21. The time thing will never change. No matter where you are in your life there will be a time issue. It’s prioritizing that’s important. And if you find that blogging is important to you then you will find the time to do it. Personally, in the last year since I’ve been struggling with my own blogging, I have learned so much by reading others’ blogs. And if one of my blogs gives one person one bit of learning, then I say it’s worth it.

  22. Sara
    First you are not alone! I think we all wish for more time to do the things we are passionate about. My advise to you is to concentrate on quality not quantity.
    I’d also suggest taking a look at Twitter. Short posts and lots of them. Lots of ideas being put forward and maybe some of those will interest you. You may find yourself in a network of like minded people with similar interests. Here’s where you find real things to write about.

  23. Pingback: Responce to Posts « Sara’s Weblog

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