Thursday, 16 April 2015

Writing in order to write

After a hiatus of over a month due to moving house, school holidays, visitors etc. I'm having to pick up on writing again.  I've done a lot of reading in the interim - for my course and around my course and for an article I'm co-authoring for the IASL conference. I'm finding if I don't put my thoughts down I tend to dream about them way too much. And believe me, dreaming about virtual networks, new literacies and various multi-player online games that I don't play myself and only read about is no fun.

I did encounter an interesting blog post on the value of blogging as an academic (Not that I'd pretend to be an academic - even as the conceptualisation of what an academic is shifts). It is a really good article and I'd recommend you have a look at it. I agree completely with the points. When I write, I'm forced to think more deeply about what I've read. I have to link it to other things, I need to bring things together that were bouncing around at the edge of my consciousness into focus.  I do miss the days when blogging was more social and posts would get many comments and communities would spring up around them. There is a bit of that going on, but not nearly as much as before. I think discourse has moved onto other social media platforms and I think that blogging as a pseudo academic tool may have flogged itself to death - if everyone is blogging, who is reading the blogs?

My son, the reluctant reader and even more reluctant writer has started reading Zoe Sugg's Girl Online and is thinking about starting a blog. He already has an avid Instagram following from the days that he was passionate about photography, and I'm sure would blog in an equally competitive way (is this type of competition a social media thing or a boy thing or just a thing?). I said I'd support him and that it was probably a good idea, given that blogs were more traditionally a "girl" thing, and he'd probably find an audience in kids like him.

Writing, longer writing, beyond 140 characters or passing on liked posts on social media is something valuable, as it is transformational and productive, not just consumptive, which is the easy part of our digital world.  And now my focus needs to shift to my assignment.