So I had a story to tell tonight about our family cross country skiing adventure this weekend. It was a doozy. And for a relatively simple sport, I’m returning to work tomorrow with a worse injury than my snowboarding experience from a couple weeks ago. I’m going to have to rename this blog to “Stupid Sh*t I Find Myself Doing” but then mom would quit reading because I used profanity. So I won’t.
But tonight as I was surfing Twitter and procrastinating, I mean, contemplating my blog post, I ran across this great visual on blogging. “10 Blogging ‘Rules’ You Don’t Have To Follow” by Aaron Hogan.
Oh, you know I had to read that.
It’s getting close to the one-year beginning of my blog. I hadn’t counted entries for a while. It’s #31 tonight. 26,399 words. A lot of Sunday nights spent thinking and reflecting and contemplating life and education and learning…and I’m so glad I started.
The other day we were working on a ‘BIG’ writing assignment in ELA. It was 500 words, and you know there were kids making groaning noises when I mentioned that part. I rarely ever put a word count on things. As a writer, you know when your story is done, or not done…who am I to dictate otherwise? But because the curriculum sets the metaphorical high jump bar at 500-700 words for grade 7, we were doing one writing piece with that goal in mind.
Students picked their writing style, and to model being a writer, I pulled up my blog. It was the first time we’ve talked about it. I’m not sure why, and I think that’s a whole other conversation. But I scrolled through the posts and said that I usually write 600-1000 words every Sunday night.
“That’s because you’re old.”
Ha ha ha. It’s a valid point.
But we had a good discussion about practice, and how I find it easier to write each week because I do it more often. So I found Aaron’s blog post a refreshing (and validating) read about my own writing. Using Aaron's ten points you don't need to follow when blogging, here are my thoughts! The first point was about word count.
“Blogs are always about 500 words.” I haven’t had a blog post under 500 words, and if the average reader only gets that far….well…most of you never get to the end of my stories. Which is where I try to make a point.
TRY being the operative word.
“Blogs require storytelling expertise.” I think that blogs require stories. Period. I had anticipated writing a lot more stories about my cats in these entries.
“Blogs look a certain way. Blogs sound a certain way.” I’m never convinced that anything SHOULD look or sound a certain way. In Health this week, we were discussing family structures. It was interesting that almost half of the students had non-nuclear family structures, yet they would catch themselves talking about a ‘normal’ family. What does that look like? What is normal anyway??
This blog looks like my life. It sounds like my life.
“Blogs are filled with answers.” Most of mine are filled with connections. If you have read any of my entries, you’ll know I love analogies. I see connections to education and learning everywhere BECAUSE LEARNING IS EVERYWHERE.
“Blogs make you a bragger.” Lol. Blogs make you almost debilitated with self-consciousness. Have I mentioned I’m a very private person? Next question.
“Blogs are ready to share when self-doubt has been overcome.” See above.
“Blogs must be perfected before sharing.” I re-read these blogs before posting. Once. Twice. More than I should admit. And not just for the spelling, although I would be greatly aggrieved if I missed a typo in here. No, it’s the self-doubt and questioning questioning questioning. Should I write that? Does it sound the way I mean it? I even spent quite a few minutes debating whether to put the swear in the fourth sentence, just in case mom does read this!
“Blogs are entirely original.” I’m pretty sure that almost every one of my blog ideas has been ripped off from a conversation I’ve had with colleagues, or ideas I’ve read on the internet. But despite the absolute evil that does exist in the comment sections of Twitter, I still believe that the best way for us to grow as individuals, is to share ideas as a collective.
And to the people who I am always ripping good ideas from…you know who you are. And you know I appreciate it.
“Blogs are always for a wide audience.” When we write in class, we talk about our audience. Who are we writing for? It’s important. So when we were looking at my blog, I joked that I only had six people who read it each week and that one of them was my mom. A student asked me if I ever looked at the tweet activity. I told him that honestly I haven’t. And I don’t. As I put in my very first blog post, “This is for me. You can come along for the journey if you want to.”
@aaron_hogan, thanks for the inspiration for this week.
Anyone who wants to hear my cross country adventure, well, that’ll wait for next time.
Tawâw. Tervetuloa. Everyone is welcome.
p.s. 875 words, not even a record lol.
Perpetual amateur. Lifelong learner. Vice-Principal. Teacher. Musician. Mom. Annnnd if you're reading this, then I'm still a blogger.