Sunday, 3 February 2008

Reflections on blogging

We encourage our students to reflect on what they do. We ask them to write reflective accounts of things that have gone well, or things that have gone badly and hope that somehow this in-depth refelction will make them better therapists. I don't know whether there is much evidence to suggest that this is the case. Some students can think reflectively with ease whereas others don't really get it and I don't know whether practising helps! Of course reflective practice was unheard of when I trained and apart from a few occasions when I was appyling for various courses and jobs, I have never done it myself. So..as I have been blogging for a year I thought I would reflect on what it has been like. Maybe it will make me a better blogger!

I started not really knowing what I would write but I had been inspired to start by reading the book Blood, Sweat and Tea, based on the blog Random acts of Reality http://randomreality.blogware.com/ and by the thought that one day our collective blogs may be used by social historians to find out what life was really like in the 2000s. I also remembered that at school I used to like writing but now never get the time to write anything other than comments on students' work, dull papers, even duller lectures, quality reports and course documents (I can feel the tension mounting when I just start thinking about them!). So, practice makes perfect and a year ago I thought it would be a good time to start writing for myself! At first I felt very self-concious about writing something that other people might read....although of course I write all the time for other people to read, but this is much more personal and felt strange and a bit exposing for myself but also for other people that I might mention. I also soon realised that writing is quite hard. Although I do and did write many things quite quickly I still had to give some thought to how much sense it all makes, whether I have really expressed what I wanted to say with the sentiment that I intended, whether the grammar and spelling are okay (spell checker seems to be out of action today so no doubt this will be full of errors). I soon learnt writing a blog is not like writing a story as you need to ensure that each entry makes sense in its own right and can sustain interest using the minimal number of words.

So harder than I thought but actually much more enjoyable. During my mothers illness and the clearing out of the family home I found writing the blot positively therapeutic and I think those entries are some of the better ones although I would hate to think that in order to write well I have to be that stressed all the time! I have loved the fact that it has been an alternative way to communicate with friends, especially friends that I don't see very often, and I love the way that you can develop a community of likeminded bloggers. As the year has progressed I have become more brave with the addition of pictures and links and I think I now feel that it doesn't matter if not every entry is interesting or well written as the important thing is to communicate something, intially between me and the blot, and maybe other people will read it or maybe not but either way it doesn't matter. So my plan for next year of the blot is to keep doing it, but to be more adventurous with it.

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