Sunday, 19 April 2009

Blogger's Guilt or Rediscovering My Reason for Blogging.

Ok so here I am after what appears to be a 6 month break! Life has a habit of getting in the way at times and something just has to give. Since my last post I have changed schools & year levels...what an awesome and daunting learning curve that has been. I know I could have found plenty to blog about... if I could just find the time.

Which brings me to the point of this post, I've discovered an interesting phenomenon which comes with maintaining a blog and developing an audience... 'Blogger's Guilt'. I have seriously spent the last 6 months feeling guilty that I haven't posted on my blog. I have felt terrible because I have abandoned the 2 people who even bother to read my blog in the first place.

Having an 'authentic audience' makes you feel compelled to engage with them. However, sometimes for the sake of sanity you just have to step back... it's an interesting quandary.

During this time I have been busy preparing for my new class, supporting my 6 and 7 year old charges as they take their own tentative steps into the world of blogging, staying in touch with my PLN via Twitter, visiting blogs... predominantly lurking, but occasionally leaving a comment on my own behalf, building an audience for my class blog by leaving multiple comments on behalf of my class, the list goes on and on.

There has also been the issue of what to blog about. Sometimes an idea will come to me or I'll have a play with something new in the world of web 2.0 and I think that maybe I could blog about that. What ends up happening though is that I'll log into my Google Reader and discover that several others have already done/written about the same thing... who wants to be told they're just jumping on the bandwagon - a comment I have seen out there in "Blog Land", put out there by some blogging notables. You start to wonder if your voice is worth sharing if you can't think of anything new to say. For a perfectionist like me this can be the perfect excuse not to try.

After thinking things through for a while and turning them over in my head I had a mini epiphany of sorts... I actually blog for the most important audience of all...Myself!

I originally started blogging as a means of processing through the many thoughts that tumble around in my head. My first blog ( and also sadly neglected at the moment) began as a space to record my daily thoughts and happenings as a form of online journalling. It was a place to post my scrapbooking pages (yes I'm a scrapbooker) and I was really doing it for myself and my family.

Then I discovered the world of the Edublogosphere and realised that I needed a space to process my thinking and learning in relation to my other passion...teaching. I had to start another blog as I really didn't want to bore my grandmother with my musing and pondering about ICT integration and the classroom. The Edublogosphere can be intimidating... you feel like you need to be deep and clever like other blogs you read in order to be relevant. You owe it to your audience to appear to know what you're talking about. You start to blog for the sake of others, instead of for your own sake and some of the original joy of blogging starts to disappear.

Side note - I wonder if there is a risk of this happening to our kids. Already this year I have seen the disappointment on the face of one little cherub in my class because his post on our class blog only received 7 comments when another child had received 17. In both cases I had tweeted several times to invite others to read and leave a comment for my kids. Maybe I just picked a good day for one of them, maybe people were too busy to stop and leave a comment that particular day. I know from my blog counter that both posts received many, many visitors, and yet one missed out on the comments. For one little boy the joy of having an audience was diminished when he saw that his comment tally was less than another's. I'm going to have to think on how to make a 6 year old understand that the number of comments isn't the most important thing... or is it? Hmmmm... I think I have the basis of another post there.

Returning to my mini epiphany, I decided to reclaim the joy, to reclaim my space on the net, to let my voice ring out again... even if I end up talking only to myself. I blog because I want to write, I love to write, I need to write. I blog because I have a lot to think about and process and this is a venue that allows me to do so. I am going to blog for myself. I enjoy having an audience and if you want to take part in my blogging journey, then you are most welcome my friends. However, I've decided I won't allow myself to feel guilty, or to avoid posting because I think my voice is less important then anyone else's.

If you have persevered to the end of this post, then I am most impressed. If you want to share your views I'd be interested to hear them.

Thank you for stopping by.