I guess I am kind of stuck.
There has been a lot of anxiety floating around the Blog-O-Sphere in the past two weeks as well. It began with the Dr. Whooss details. Then Pinterest issues were added to the mix. And then the news that Blogger was dropping the "Friends Connect" for non-Blogger sites. (I keep wondering if I will be left with eight tiny heads in the follower box--and one of those will say Joy in 6th!) All of this has made me feel quite uneasy.
BlogLand has been such a warm and friendly place. It's like a summer picnic. Or like cocoa after snow. Or like quilts and coffee on a Saturday afternoon. Wait! That last one really IS part of my blogging life!
As many times as I have taught the lesson in my classroom, it suddenly seems necessary to examine my "author's purpose" for blogging in the first place.
Actually, I really just enjoyed the reading part. I loved seeing what everyone was doing. It was summer, and so many teachers had "Back to School" units, ideas, and pictures. Ahhh. The pictures. That was my favorite part.
And then I left a comment and celebrated someone's success. Or complimented her creativity. Or shared a low moment and said, "It will get better." After three decades of teaching, I had some inkling that it really would get better. And that made blogging even more fun!
And I made friends. Sweet friends who learned I loved Starbucks, hated flying, and wanted with all my heart to do good things for kids. And I l learned about them too--their kids, their college kids, their classrooms, their students, their struggles, their joys, their hair, and their love of books, birds, bags, circular labels, giraffe scarves, running and reality shows. It's been fun meeting new bloggers and waiting-to-be teachers too!
You know you are a faithful blogger when you can describe someone's present AND former blog template--and their button(s)!
But I am not, by nature, a writer. I have always regretted not being good at writing.
What is MY role in blogging? How can I do my part? What can I share? How can I give back?
I don't do cute. I don't have a shop. My materials have straight lines and normal fonts, not pumpkins and elves and little animals. My lessons look like most everyone else's at my school... sort of nondescript and well, ordinary. With classes of 32+ and counting, so often we are just trying to survive!
I'm not good at funny commentary (Unless I am scared to pieces on an airplane--and the beverage cart is nearby) and many of the things my kids say are mean, rude, or not-suitable-for print.
I'm not very good with my camera either. My kids have been known to say: "Can you get my whole face in the next one?" or "Why did you take a picture of just my ear?" To me, they're moving targets. Or I'm moving. I used to blame it on my camera. But ALL of my cameras have taken lousy pictures.
It usually takes me three hours to complete a post. I am a slow (and inaccurate) typist--and that's AFTER I have decided what to say. And Blogger has a nasty habit of whisking what I type right off of the screen and into cyberspace!
I'm worried about adding another thing that I cannot do well to an ever-growing list. That acknowledgement threatens to further defeat my confidence, and it feels a little like holding push pins near a floating balloon.
And then I read comments by KristIn and KristEn and several other sweet BlogFriends in which they worried that they couldn't read and comment as often as they would like. And there was guilt. The last thing I want to do is add the potential for guilt or anxiety to anyone's life! Well, truth be told, I was hoping that a few of my sixth graders would experience one of those emotions and turn in some homework!
I love reading about all of the wonderful lessons and ideas and strategies shared in blogs. And I've tried more than a few things. Sometimes I worry you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Sometimes this old dog can't even remember the old tricks! (Or where I left the tricks, for that matter!)
I worry that I might not have anything to say--or that no one will want to read what I do say.
So, as I do with my kids, I've tried to come up with some options...
Here are the possibilities I am currently considering:
1) Give up the blog site, but continue to tour BlogLand, adding hello-comments and sending warm wishes.
2) Try hard to be a more consistent blogger, and simply talk about my school day (which may not be blog-worthy, but will move me away from the need to find something monumental to discuss)
3) Decide on a once-a-week publishing schedule and hope that something noteworthy occurs.
4) Post only when something exciting and/or unusual happens.
I think that covers the range. My biggest fear is having someone say "Why would she write THAT? Or that a reader/follower will take her little face out of the box. Or that I will write 63 posts and get two comments--and one of those will be from my sympathetic teacher friend who really does teach nearby.
I am terribly worried about disappointing someone. I still have an unfinished post that covers some awards, a giveaway, and a linky party (or five). At some point, I wasn't able to keep up. And I was worried it would be easier to give up.
Well, there you have it. I feel like I might need to send a check to anyone who reads this with the memo indicating "counseling services."
PHEW! That's a lot of self-reflection. I wonder if it's okay to have blogged about not knowing whether to blog. I read the first 37 pages of the Blogger's Handbook, but found no answers about what to do in such a state of confusion. Couldn't find out why my comments had two numbers either, but that may be in another chapter. I also can't find the name of my default font--or a reason why Blogger would choose that look for this template. (Well it certainly seems like there SHOULD be a book with all of the answers I need!)
With that--and the heart-clenching fact that it's time to go to school and I haven't finished the materials for today's lessons--I wish you a joy-filled day!