I love Christine Hunewell’s lead up to this blog posting (A Blogger as a Writer), that she’s had it in draft form since last fall. She hauls it out periodically and works on it some more, and then slides it back away for more reflection. Christine goes on to write…
Usually I post late in the evening, just before the end of my day. Throughout the day, I think about an idea, a notion, the content of the dayâ€™s post. I find myself composing phrases at odd times. If I come up with something I really like, I often make a note to myself. I even started a running list of ideas about which to post – old stories and memories, things that are on my mind, that sort of thing. When I finally do sit down to blog, I have my dictionary application open so I can check spelling and reference the thesaurus. I compose the dayâ€™s post, then I reread and revise. Mull over my choices of words. Vary my sentence structure. Make sure the paragraph flows. Try to be concise but clear. I work hard on the ending trying for a big finish. When I think Iâ€™ve got it right, I publish – and then shut down for the night. But in the morning with coffee, after Iâ€™ve caught up on the news, after Iâ€™ve checked email and the weather, I read the post again. If it needs tweaking, I do it then. I find it helps in the revision process to have that little bit of distance from the original writing session.
As I read this, I got the sense that she really isn’t writing to an outside audience as much as she is to herself. It’s bread crumbs, dropped to mark the place where she is and how she got there. She (we) are laying a trail to ourselves. When I write in my blog, I’m trying to describe myself, where I am, who I am, and, perhaps even more, how I got here, why I think and believe what I do. I’m laying a trail to myself, as much so that I can find my way back, as much as for others.
Hunewell continues with a question…
So hereâ€™s my question: Could the same thing happen for kids who blog? Does it? Does their sense of audience drive them to work harder at writing than they ever thought they would? Might they find they actually like to write? I wonder.
I think that the answer is, yes, that audience does drive them to work harder. But perhaps the real value of blogging is in the laying of trails for ourselves. Blogging, or any kind of reflective writing, serves to connect us to our world, to take our perceptions, and try to make meaning of them in relation to the real world that they reflect. Sometimes we find that our perceptions are wrong, and sometimes that comes from the writing, and certainly from the conversations that insue. But sometimes, it’s in getting it wrong that real wisdom comes.
OK, that was deep! Back to e-mail…
Marie, Gina. “Writing Down Today (day 162).” Sortsyithurts’ Photostream. 25 Jan 2007. 28 Mar 2007 <http://flickr.com/photos/soartsyithurts/369455180/>.