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My answer


The question is: Why are you not blogging?

I read, I agree with some points:
-blogging is part of my thinking process.
-sometimes ideas make you feel so full you need them out.

I disagree with other points and wonder lots about the rest.

I wouldn't say my blog is a diary and yet, it is not a conversation. Not always. To begin with, I think there are few readers of this blog. At least when I am writing, I cannot always picture a wide audience. Maybe a few friends. I don't think I write to say aloud what I am thinking and probably start a conversation. I write because I may choke if I don't. I may feel overwhelmed by a well written post. I cannot just nod. I need to make contact with my own perspective.

I do lots of revisions of what I write. Prior to that, I allow myself to write as fast as I can. I leave grammar in stand-by. I even invent words or dig them up from a long-time-I-haven't-seen-it landscape, so I need to check whether they exist in English or Spanish or neither. Most of the time I am pleasantly surprised to find they do exist and they are even more precise and apropriate to the situation than I had thought. This is intriguing. I believe it's part of the thinking process. A linking from the present to whatever you may have learnt before.

Writing here on the blog is miles away from writing an email -in my experience. My emails, I mean my work emails, tend to be three lines, maybe four. Maybe less if they are to arrange a Skype call or meeting. I am far more talkative here and, no doubt, wordier. Emails are more like talking fast; blogging is more like slow-motion thinking. It's about going down and further down into deep waters, challenging my diving skills. Success is not guaranteed: I may not get anywhere with my ideas. I many times feel as if I were drowning. Writing is a half-pleasurable sensation. I struggle to discover how I truly think about an issue as well as how to say what I mean. Stopping writing means not thinking it through. Not to dare think it through. That's not an option.

I cannot think my post over before on the bus, or while preparing breakfast and then sit down and write it out. That would be too late. A good wording, a sensible ordering of ideas may be lost forever in those precious minutes. If right now my browser crashed and this had not been saved, two things would most certainly happen:
a) I would never be able to write this again. It would sound rehearsed in the re-rewrite, perhaps, lose effectiveness.
b) I may have clarified it in my mind already half-way down my writing and then it would not make any sense to write it again. I would lose motivation to do so.

You say, what about sharing?

You see, I am selfish, I blog for myself. I do not desperately need you to agree. I will not be any happier or sadder if you don't. Feel free because I am. I may be ashamed at my grammar mistakes or spelling mistakes and that's as far as I will give room to those limiting feelings. I have more important things to do.

While I write, I have to dedicate my undivided attention to learning to swim in a new tide. After I review this and publish it, you may even be misguided into believing it a fully planned paper. Far from it. The truth is I know where I start the post; I have no idea where or how it will end.

I do know how I feel when I start: I get a sense that the idea is important and a certainty that someone out there will also find it important. I know how the post ends: with a feeling I have surficed something that would not otherwise have come to the surface from my dark sea of thoughts. It's hard to describe. It probably feels like a hunch or an pang of intuition. It just feels that it is well said, well expressed. Not that I have arrived to the absolute truth. I have simply arrived to a peace of mind I get from being more accurate and honest about how I think. It kind of feels safe to read other people's blogs again.

Then, the job. Review, polish, decorate with photo or not and press publish. All of this should be done at a sitting for me. Reviewing on a next day is something I would do if I feel that the issue is sensitive and I fear I may hurt someone. I know that when I feel it is my truth, I may sound too final and not leave much room for conversation. Not my nicest side, you see.

In all honesty, I can hardly say I feel I contribute to the world. If I do, it's so much less than what I have learnt surfing the Internet. Anyway, here's my drop in the ocean.

I have no control over you and what you'll do with these words. Quote them, ignore them, learn a line by heart. Comment, no comments: it's none of my concern while I write. It would interrupt me to imagine your reaction. As much as you will be welcome if you show some form of published reaction to these thoughts, the value of this post for me does not depend on you.

The question of time to blog.
I can relate to the idea that we make time for the things that are important to us. Because this kind of writing is important, I like doing it with time -free from the deadline imposed by the next commitment. Because , in my experience, blogging doesn't have any planned result as an email does; because it is the process of thinking I am sharing and not some final result I discovered to retell ten minutes later, I need to make sure I will have time to end it or risk it to drown under a pile of drafts. Blogging takes quality time.

Should everybody, i.e. teachers, do this?
Probably not.

Should everybody try to experiment to discover what writing and publishing does to their minds?
Most certainly.

What's next? What if they like my blogging voice? I imagine a newbie asking.

It doesn't mean you need to marry the outcome. You may shift to photography, drawing, telling stories of your own to your children and podcast them...

You may hear people would like you to continue blogging, you may hear others who do not blog tell you their projections of what they would do with that literacy.

So sorry. My blog is simply about my thoughts in the making. It is not about taking over the world or apologising. Least of all pleasing people. I'll write it as long as it makes sense writing it. This is the only diary-like aspect I find in it.

However, if you discover in your blogging experiment that you grow by writing, getting tired of it will be hard. A hiatus may be necessary. Abandoning a learning path for good will feel awful.

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Just dropped by because I had not heard of ELT notes for a while and I found it here ready to answer my unuttered question. ;-)

As usual, looking forward to more...

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