Forget Searching for Time. Where are the ideas?

Back in October, as part of Connected Educator Month, I set a goal to focus on being a better blogger. This involved focusing on the technical aspects of learning the WordPress platform, reading and then reading more, and doing more writing.

I may not be a better blogger but I sure I have pressed the publish button more this year than in my entire seven year history as an educational blogger.

I am honored that friends and colleagues now seek me out for advice. The biggest questions other writers have usually revolve around two elements. Where do I find the time? Where do I find the ideas?

Time

CC 2.0 Time is Running Out. Anrea Zamboni. Flickr. https://flic.kr/p/g3Xt6

I find the time by integrating blogging into my instruction, scholarship, and service. I want to model for my students the power of open learning and reflective practice. I want to push my thinking by writing in public. I focus on content that teachers and researchers in the field need. I do not need to find time. I am doing my job (please note like all teachers I am often crushed under the weight of my to do list).

Ideas

CC 2.0. Idea Bulb. CC 2.0. Ramanus Geciauskas. Flickr. https://flic.kr/p/7Cv2gu
CC 2.0. Idea Bulb. CC 2.0. Ramanus Geciauskas. Flickr. https://flic.kr/p/7Cv2gu

The ideas do not come as easily. You have to find inspiration in strange places. I look to my kids, my students, recent twitter chats, my rss feed, Google+. I try to rein-vision thinking from other fields into educational settings.

If you approach blogging with a flexible and open mindset the ideas will edventually follow.

This post and the video above came almost verbatim from an email exchange with Dr. Kristy Pytash. She helps to moderate the #walkmyworld project and wants to up her blogging game. The script for the movie, except for the line about carving time for manuscripts, is verbatim from our email exchange.  If you allow it ideas can come from anywhere.

Conclusion

Blogging like all writing does not come easily but we do not suffer from writerss block. We just have not developed strategies to generate ideas and formulate our thoughts. Look across your digital landscape and you will find yourself swimming in inspiration. Connect writing to your practice and you will come to see blogging not as something extra to squeeze in but part of the routine that improves your life and the lives of your students.


 

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3 responses on “Forget Searching for Time. Where are the ideas?”

  1. Thanks for the tips and suggestions, Greg. I like to think one way in is trying a mix of brief, quick posts. I’ve always maintained that the basic steps of blogging are no different from email (open software, write a subject, type a few paragraphs, maybe add link, attachment, and click a button). We spend a lot of time doing email. Writing a blog post is just one message… to the world.

    The key is, you are going to put time into something who’s value wont show up right away. It becomes a bit of a leap of faith, which is way I stress so much the reading, commenting, and sharing forward of new bloggers work (which you do so well, I keep looking at new DMLCommons posts and am happy to see yours already there).

    And why not make it fun? When I hear “Where do I find the time for it?” the answer seems to be “pry time from something else” — TV, games, facebook, sleep, eating, combing your cat, doing taxes (ok do not skip that. Time is always there.

    1. Thanks. I was also playing with your idea of fooling around with publishing dates. Realized just by swtiching categories I can share my archives.

      Lindy asked me where I was finding the time to write. I was cheating. I just resurfaced old posts by renaming them with the #dmlcommons category.

      Wanted to say you and Jim (and whoever is helping) are getting better and better at building the rss hub. This iteration is the best to date.

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