Tuesday, August 14, 2007

So, I decided to write.

Well, my work blog was up but now it seems to be back down again. I didn’t post a note about it because I knew that the tech was working on it. There were only three people who had active blogs on that server, so, being short staffed from vacations, this is rightfully falling to the periphery of the radar. Once it comes back up for good, it will probably be just long enough to get the data and transfer it over to the new service and new server. The program we are currently using is Mac based and the new one will be PC based.

Before sitting down to write this I struggled with a topic for today. I thought to myself that I shouldn’t just sit down and write something for the sake of making an entry. But then I thought, I need to keep to my own advice, and that is to be a part of the communication and part of the process – add to the network.

Who knows if something I write here hits somebody just the right way, that it was just the right thing they needed to see at just the right time. So, I decided to write.

How about exemplifying the need to write on a regular basis. I always talk to my students about the need to write, to practice writing, and that is how we get good and stay good at it. So, I decided to write.

An athlete doesn’t just do warms-ups and practice when they feel particularly inspired. In fact, the few professional athletes (and an assorted trainer or two) tell me that the most important time to practice is when we do NOT feel inspired. So, I decided to write.

Today, I did not feel inspired to write. So I decide to write. Is this just fluff taking up 1’s and 0’s? Maybe. Were the few minutes you spent reading this blog better spent elsewhere? Maybe. Why am I posting this? Because I wrote it. And also because if one person reads it and decides to write every day, to practice, and to get better at writing, it was worth the 10 minutes it took me to write it.

Do you write on any regular basis? What about a journal or diary just for yourself? When we had to do it by hand, we had excuses – no time, bad handwriting, etc.. – but now, with the computer, it only takes a couple of minutes to jot down a few short notes about what is going on in your day. So, why not write for 5 minutes a day – about whatever comes to your mind when you are sitting there in front of the keyboard. Nobody else is going to see it – so what’s stopping you? If you don’t want to write a journal or diary, how about take a minute to post a note in a friend’s blog – I’m sure you read a few of them each day.

1 comment:

Laura Nicosia said...

AJ, you bring up a salient point. For someone like me, an English professor who reads and talks about that reading for a living—-posting to a blog is a curiosity. When writing for public consumption, my task is to be ultimately aware of my audience, to appeal to its sensibilities and to seek its affirmation through peer review and critique.

I suppose that I'm always aware of that element of evaluation and critical judgment. Additionally, my target audience is usually a small niche (or sub-niche) of literary studies [genre studies, cognitive narrative, American women writers, fans of X or Y or Z].

But posting to a blog, in many ways, does not permit the sense of audience that usually informs my writings. My questions as a writer, "What can I offer this audience that will be new and informative?" or "Who is reading this?" or "Will this writing be referenced in another piece?" or "Will this writing validate my work among my peers?" are difficult to answer with a blog.

Consequently, I find myself somewhat the victim of writer's block (not thinker's block) and actually write things--without always posting them. I can't tell you how many times I write responses to other blogs or write entries myself and then delete them before posting or sending them...

Do I write every day? I answer with a resounding, "Yes!" But those writings are usually articles and essays that go out to print journals. What I can affirm is that I've actually started a blog and do post to it. Not as much as I'd like or want to--but, the regularity of postings will come when I decide to sit down and DO it as a regular practice....

Thanks for asking this provocative question in your posting, AJ.