So it seems that I am HUGELY behind in my posting schedule. After being so dutiful with recording my reflections as a student teacher, I must admit that as a I’m finding it hard maintaining enough energy to keep this blog going having missed not one but two weekly posts. And it’s not because I don’t have anything to write about. I have plenty of ideas for posts and a lot of content languishing in draft form but the content isn’t at a standard where I would happy to push publish.
Yet it isn’t Type-A tendencies that are keeping my posts in draft form but rather stage fright. These days I am acutely aware that I have an audience. While I love having a PLN and having awesome co-workers, being an online student afforded me a level of anonymity which enabled me to be a lot more candid in my posts than I am now. I know that there are people from my school, including my principal, that read my blog. It’s good that they do (and I would advise any prospective edublogger to tell your leaders at the outset about your blog at the outset rather than have an uncomfortable conversation later). Nevertheless having an audience does have its drawbacks.
There are times when I find myself second guessing myself on content and on occasion not publishing posts not for fear of wanting to offend my colleagues but more through not wanting anyone at school to worry. I often write on the internet for
free therapy to manage emotions. Indeed it is the confessional nature of blogging makes for riveting reading but also makes the writer vulnerable.
I’ve mentioned before that I often want the earth to swallow me whole when people talk to me about my posts. So when faced with the prospect of having people who I work with day in day out having access to my inner thoughts, I’ve found myself wanting to hide my inner freak. The result of this sudden attack of the blogging jitters has been flat writing and infrequent posting.
Yet we are all freaks and we all have bad days. In my last post as a student teacher I boldly declared that the sharing of stories is perhaps one of the most potent forces education reform. I still do. Because despite being surrounded by people all day, my first few months of teaching has been one of the most isolating experiences of my life. It seems so counter-intuitive that I would lose my blogging mojo right at the point when I should be soaking up advice like a sponge.
I wish I could say that this hiatus will be temporary and that my normal service of 2-3 posts will resume shortly. I hope it will but wonder when I will regain the energy to do so because I have never been so exhausted in all my life.
In part I blame the Wellington winter. Although I’ve lived in climates far colder, New Zealand’s lack of indoor heating and Wellington’s biting southerly winds and constant rain make the capital’s winters particularly nasty. I’m cold pretty much all the time and having to wrap up in several layers of clothes is a major downer. Officially Wellington is only a few degrees colder than Auckland but it feels like so much more than that and I am permanently shivering.
Previous experience tells me that I’m also in dire need of a holiday. I spent last weekend at school trying to get my class’s learning portfolios in order and plan for the next week which wasn’t the smartest move because by Wednesday I was paying the price for not taking time away from school. Over the week my stabbing pains at the base of my neck which I initially thought was due to me being permanently hunched up from the cold but was actually the beginning of a nasty migraine. A seeing spots, puking on the way home, slept for 12 hours straight, migraine. Despite feeling decidedly whoozy the next day I still went to school and when the kids showed up and somehow I was back at my normal energy levels. How does that happen?
I hope that I am able to conjure up some energy to be able to post a lot more frequently than I am right now. Blogging is something I enjoyed doing but over the last few weeks has became a chore. Ever so gradually writing posts and responding to comments has been pushed right down the bottom of my ‘to do list.’
How do you regain your blogging mojo?
Hmmm…. I’m in the same sort of space myself, and it’s mostly because my creative energy has been taken up with preparing the material for the course I’m teaching next semester, including getting it all on-line. It all takes time, but more importantly, it all takes up a huge amount of cognitive and emotional effort, and there’s not much left over for blogging. You’ve been engaged in the huge creative process of (re)becoming a teacher. It’s no wonder that you have little time for anything but your classroom at present.
It will get easier. Maybe not for quite some time yet, but it *will* get easier. And then you will re-find the space for other creative activities.
Thanks for your comment. I never thought of teaching as a creative profession and indeed I think I might write a post on that soon!
I hope you regain your blogging mojo especially for food blogging ;-p
Holidays are just around the corner, I’m sure your mojo will come back with a good sleep, time to relax, and re-charge. Be sure to get school (and blogging) out of your head for a few days (at least) – always easier said then done – But it does do wonders for the soul.
I am a recent follower of your blog, and respect your no nonsense posts, that just say the facts as you are finding them. It is refreshing – and I find myself cheering you on at times.
Teaching is not an easy profession, and you will definitely lose your mojo many more times in your career. Luckily the flip side is usually renewed energy and vigor – along with 50 new ideas to try in your class…
Keep up the great work.
Thanks for your kind comment! You are right that this is the time of term where I think to myself ‘holidays are just around the corner!’ and then come back with new ideas and energy.
It is really strange because just today I was thinking how I hadn’t seen a blog post from you recently. I am in constant awe of so many of my PLN and how they manage to find both the time and the energy to blog and teach.
I am also a migraneur so I really felt for you when you described your migraine. It is so horrible being cold all the time too, that can trigger a migraine in itself, let alone from all the stress of teaching.
Take care of yourself and try and really enjoy your holiday.
Cheers, Louise @qldteacher
That is very strange coincidence. To be honest I’m about at the end of my tether and haven’t really built up my teaching stamina. Thanks for you advice.
Hey Stephanie … I am not particularly surprised that you can’t keep up the pace .. I can’t either. Teaching is not the world’s easiest profession, but hang in there … and try to stay well.
We’re here to help – we’ve been through it, and can understand.
Thanks for your words of encouragement.. You are right this isn’t easy at all.
I’ve been blogging since 09 and looking back I’ve seen my post rate go up and down. I wonder if we have periods of doing and periods of reflecting? There have been times months when I haven’t posted anything and then months when I’ve written two or three a week.
Sometimes it takes seeing something online to inspire you back into it which can happen, too.
I’ve also often been amazed how often people have said in conversation that they have read my blog and look at it from time to time. Even in interview situations, too. It;s a great way for prospective employers to have a closer look at what makes you tick and see the reflective practitioner that they might otherwise not see.
I admire your posts! Keep them coming. Teaching is a hard profession made richer by dialogue like this!
I’m amazed by the support of online teachers and you are right having a good blogging presence helps with job interviews.
Hi Stephanie, I know blogging is a lot about audience but sometimes my inner ‘freak’ wonders if it is more about me. Deborah’s comment resonated for me too. When I have other releases for my thinking and creating, blogging decreases. When I wake up at 2am and find myself writing a blog post in my head I know it’s time 😉
Looking forward to catching up soon for some real-time conversations
Definitely looking forward to catching up and yes you are right being busy doing stuff does make blogging difficult.
You asked, “How do you regain your blogging mojo?” I don’t set a time that I need to blog. It’s not consistent at all – I blog when I need to reflect, when I have a success, or when I have more questions than answers. Blogging should not be an extra chore – it should be helpful, not a hindrance. No worries! Just keep doing what you do, and make sure you enjoy it! Good luck to you, and I’ll try to send you some of our 90 degree F (about 40 degrees C) sun from IL, USA!