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On Blogging

First of all, I would like to thank Sirja and Zenya for their inspiring posts on blogging. After reading them I couldn’t but take up the challenge, too. In fact, I wanted to write about blogging a long while ago but kept on postponing for the reasons I’m going to discuss in this post. But now with renewed energy and motivation and all doubts set aside, here I am with the story of my blogging.

I should admit, and you can actually see it from the number of the posts on my blog, that I don’t write much. So you may ask me, Why I blog? What blogging means to me? Why I keep writing every time and then? And what stops me from writing more?

I started my blog about two years ago and, at first, I thought it was just cool to have a blog of my own. But once I started writing I immediately realized that a blog is a great opportunity to make my voice heard. Through my blog, I can share my teaching experience with other teachers and I can tell them what actually I’m doing and what is happening in my classroom.

But in a while, when the first euphoria dispersed, I started writing less and less, and, finally, I found myself in the grip of doubts. I was plagued with questions like these:

1. Who do I write my posts for?
2. Aren’t my posts just nothing but stating the obvious?
3. Where can I take the material that would be informative, useful and fresh for my readers?
4. Isn’t blogging just self-admiration and boasting?
5. Why does it feel so embarrassing to tell others about my new blog post? Isn’t it some sort of self-advertising?
6. Why are there so few people who like or comment on my blog posts?
7. Am I doing it wrong? If yes, what should I change? The content? The style?
8. Why do I actually feel reluctant about writing a new blog post? Why does it feel so overwhelming and frustrating?

To blog or not to blog?Well, I still don’t have answers to most of these questions, but recently I found out what was actually blocking me from writing. I started noticing that nagging feeling I got whenever I thought of writing a new blog post. The task seemed to me arduous and offputting. It was clear: it wasn’t the lack of ideas that was stopping me. (In fact, I’ve got a bag fully packed with notes with ideas for blogposts.) It was something else that averted me from writing.

After some reflection, I came to realize that it was the amount of time and energy I spent on writing a single post. Indeed, it took me no less then five hours to complete a post, and it always felt as if I was laboriously cutting it in stone like a sculptor chipping off bits of granite. Not surprising, that the whole task looked monstrous, and the sheer thought of it drained all energy and motivation out of me.

So I decided I needed to do something with the way I write posts. I needed to optimize the process. I usually write posts this way: I think the ideas through, I write and rewrite a draft on paper and then I type it on computer and copy it onto the blog. I like writing down my ideas on paper. This old-fashioned way stimulates my creativity and thinking abilities best of all. A blank page inspires me to reflect and create while I feel totally blank in front of a blank computer screen. (Talk of different types of blank! 🙂 ) So this part of writing is no problem to me. But it all changes when it comes to typing the draft on the computer. What a tediuos, mind-numbing and time-consuming task it is! And this is the real huge granite stumbling block on my way to writing more! Gosh! How much I hate it!

Eureka!

So it became clear to me: I needed to do something about typing drafts on the computer. And all of the sudden, the solution came to me like a flash of lightning!

Speech-to-text apps!!!

I can just dictate my drafts to the computer instead of painstakingly typing them! And then copy-paste the text onto my blog, proof-read it, edit it and – voilà! – the post is ready! 🙂

So this is exactly what I did when I was writing the previous blog post! It was all fun reading my text aloud and practicing English pronunciation on the way.

I used the Dragon Dictation app for iPhone. I dictated bits of text to it, edited them in the app and then copy-pasted them into Google Doc app where I did proof-reading and some additional editing. After that, I copy-pasted the ready-made draft into the WordPress app and hit the publish button! So simple and easy!

However, I have to admit that the WordPress app isn’t very convenient for editing texts. So it’s still better to insert media and edit the layout of the post on the webpage.

But nevertheless, the process of actual writing of a blog post has become much easier and more pleasant to me. So I hope that this optimization will result in more post on my blog this year!

And look, January hasn’t finished yet, and I’ve already got two posts on my blog which amounts to two thirds of last year’s total number of posts. That’s an achievement for me! Whooohooo!!! 🙂

To blog! - That is the answer.

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2015 in ELT Reflections

 

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