If someone had told me a year ago that in the space of a week that I would have written half a dozen or more blog posts and posted them publicly for all to see, I would have looked at them in disbelief. But as my commitment to BYOD4L this is just what I have done.
Writing is good for you
I've kept another blog for some time now sharing information about social media. Social Media 4 Us focuses on the social media tools and apps. I refer to my use but it is not from a reflective perspective. I created the blog originally when introducing social media to students. It was simply an exemplar of how to create a blog, add pages, images, video etc. However I then felt that I really should write some posts to be a good role model and found that over the course of time I developed a style of writing that felt right. I started to receive comments and RTs which helped to build my own confidence. Why should this matter? It matters because we value the opinion of others. Blogs come with the option of allowing comments (which you can screen) and this is a good way to get feedback. The more posts I wrote the better I felt about this type of writing. It did get easier.
Learning by example
Getting started with blogging should begin with 'listening' - reading other people's blogs and the comments they receive is such a valuable part of the learning process. I discovered there is no set style or required number of words like an essay. Sometimes a short paragraph is enough to capture a moment. Some people write in bullet points, use images, include video diaries.
Through Twitter I have learnt the value of open sharing of information, thought shrapnels, questioning, debate. Taking this a step further is simply writing a paragraph in the form of a blog post. Isn't it?
Reflecting upon our thinking and in the context of BYOD4L my scholarly activity and involvement in the course is a different kind of writing. I haven't found this easy. Reflecting on what I have experienced is so much harder when you think there may be an audience. Taking my own advice however and reading blog posts of my peers, I began to question what was I in fear of? The people likely to read my posts were part of the very learning community I had been exchanging numerous conversations with. This wasn't a pass/fail piece of writing but a space I could 'think out loud' and record those thoughts as they happened.
I feel that the very act of regular writing has helped the flow of words. It is going to require practice. Getting those thoughts down whilst they are fresh in my mind I think is the best approach. Rather than scribbling these down on a scrap of paper, I need to take these raw thoughts and capture them. I need to make more of my mobile device and even if saved as a draft, get these thoughts on to my blog in preparation for a new post. The Blogger and WordPress app are easy to use and this is something I can do on the go.
BYOD4L has been a wonderful learning experience and the catalyst for helping me to 'grasp the nettle' of reflective writing. Nettles are too very good for you taken as soup. Who would have thought it?
Image source: Wikipedia
You are so right about trying to write everyday, a very important activity that can help with getting into a good 'writing habit' so that the blank page when you are writing for publication etc does not appear as scary and in fact you have work in progress that you can draw on. But it is a bit scary to blog abut half finished ideas and thoughts that perhaps need to be contextualised or underpinned in some ways at a later stage. And perhaps you might even *gasp* change your mind about something along the way which has the power to perhaps make you feel uncomfortable but is it not important to be able to see such developments and connections? As long as you are clear on about what you are posting I think blogging in public is a really great practice.
Thanks for your thoughts