Blogging reviews of the year have been written; a new year is already rolling and a new school term beckons. It is a time for an end to excess food, excess drink and stock-piling a few blogs before the the Spring term careers head-long into view. Maybe a blog about blogging is too much, or timely – either way, I’ll make it quick…
Before long, resolutions will be broken and promises quietly shuffled to the back of the shelf. It isn’t an ideal time to start a blog if truth be told. There will be more many one-blog wonders; trying and failing to develop the habit, but this needn’t be the fate of would-be-bloggers.
First, any would be blogger needs to have a reason why. My personal ‘why’ was the aim of becoming a better teacher and reaching beyond a subtle feeling of stagnation. Billowed and buffeted by the day job, I wanted a place to record my ideas, unleash my corked rants and think about how I could get better. It has gone better than I had imagined. You enter into a fruitful dialogue with a real and immediate audience of experts. That alone has proved an inspiring enough why. Still, as I reflect upon my blogging I feel like it has improved what I do in the classroom: my original intention.
I recently came across this research paper, by Harvard Business School, on how the 15 minute activity of writing and reflecting at the end of the working day may make you more successful – read it here. It confirmed my feelings about blogging. How, although it was perceived as an extra ‘job’ by many, it made me feel more effective, more efficient – more confident in what I do. It was counterintuitive – surely it was more work – but it didn’t feel like it. That made all the difference. It also gave me the spark I needed to get the rest of my work done, and, importantly, the act of reflection made me feel better too.
Paradoxically, the act of regular blogging felt like a time-saver.
Admittedly, it took time to establish my writing in the early days, but the habit grew – luckily, and to my surprise, an audience grew also. It became a virtuous circle. I now advocate blogging, public or more private, to anyone who will listen. If you fancy it, and you have a sound reason why, then give it a try. It may even make you feel better about teaching and about being a teacher; if Harvard are right, it may make you more successful.
Just offer up 15 minutes a day and see how far you get.
This isn’t my first meta-blog about blogging. I am still proud of this effort from 2013: ‘Why Write A Blog?‘
I also wrote these tips for new bloggers – ‘Irreverent Tips for New Bloggers‘ (I liked it so much I have reused the image!)
I am obsessed by habits. Here is my best effort on developing them based on the book, ‘The Power of Habit’: see here.