"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."

~Neale Donald Walsch~

Sunday, 29 July 2012

The heart of writing

In the last few weeks I have felt a little intimidated to write. Over the holidays I spent some time reading some really inspiring blogs from some great teachers and educators and I guess my little blog seemed somewhat insignificant to so many other wonderful blogs. However I have come to the conclusion that like any book the writing reflects the unique character of the author and I can only be the unique person that I am and the process of blogging is good for my soul. The fact that I can share that is just a bonus. 

When writing to an unknown audience, unlike writing a letter to someone you know, there is a certain amount of vulnerability by the author as they reveal aspects of their imagination or displays characteristics of themselves that remains in the public sphere for comment and rebuke. You open yourself up to a range of criticism that can be good, bad or indifferent. The writing becomes and extension of who you are and raw honesty with your audience shows the authentic side to who you are. I find the idea of peer criticism freaks me out. My fear of failure is as real for me as a writer as it is for my students. When I first started blogging I didn't tell anyone for two months. I had no intention of telling anyone however I have found that since I have shared my blog I have found it to be a very helpful exercise and have now passed the baton onto my students. Sharing their writing and their work with their peers is one of the most difficult things for some students and who am I to lecture if I don't model this myself.

When I finished uni 13 years ago I was so sick of writing and assignments that I had no desire to write for pleasure. I have found in more recent times that my writing has improved as has my confidence in editing my own work. Having never spent much time writing anything much prior to the blog I have to say it has been as much part of my journey as the many things I have learnt with technology and in my new job. It has also given me a fresh perspective on the sort of problems that students face as they write and edit their work. 

I have also found that the criticism that I bring to a text is richer for my experience in writing and reading a wider variety of texts both for work and pleasure. I enjoy extending my knowledge in the variety of texts I read and write and enjoy engaging with others at work, in book club and online with different types of texts. It seems the more you read the more you seem to learn, relearn and become aware that the small amount of knowledge you know and understand is a mere drop in the ocean. 

The human desire to share, engage and connect with others pulses through my veins and I share my knowledge and heart to those who would share with me. I am looking forward to the many great stories that will come from the Olympic Games over the next few weeks and I hope I will not become too absorbed by them and forget to blog. One such story I heard was that of the Timor-Leste  weightlifter who had his weights stolen a few weeks prior to the games has been training with a pole and paint cans. Sheer pain, endurance and perseverance are timely reminders at this time to carry on when overwhelmed or faced with life's challenges to carry on and succeed. 

I pray this will be a wonderful term for all my colleagues and friends. 

Until next week,

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