Posts Tagged ‘reflections’

Reflections on #blogeverydayinjune

June 30, 2010

And now we will return you to you regularly scheduled program. Or irregularly unscheduled program.

It has been an interesting challenge and I am a couple of posts shy of actually making it. It did teach me some things about myself and blogging and so I am glad I tried it. I won’t be trying to keep it up. On the other hand I will be trying to keep up the connections that we made.

These are some of the things that I learnt (there aren’t 30):

  1. Posting every day is hard work and time consuming for me. It wasn’t so much that finding the time that was difficult as finding “a” regular time. Mornings are as busy here as in any other house and I like to spend the free morning time catching up on other people’s posts tweets etc. Night times are OK but I am not a night person and tend go to bed early. I am also not as clear thinking after a hard day’s work. I posted a couple of times at lunch but a lunch 1/2 hour wasn’t long enough for a well constructed post.
  2. Inspiration can strike at any time which can make me late for work or late to come home when I stop to post. Or make hubby express frustration that I am blogging AGAIN. I can’t schedule that so I won’t be promising to make a certain number of posts per week.
  3. My first rule of blogging was “have something to say”. Some days I just didn’t.
  4. I read some time ago that the worst thing was a blog full of posts apologizing about a lack of posts. It stops now.
  5. Questions can be interpreted as challenges
  6. Writing knowing that I have an audience changes my perspective.
  7. Coming to know and connect with that audience via their personal blogs, comments and tweets REALLY changes my perspective. I found that I was writing much more like I was telling a story or having a conversation.
  8. We are all complete people and posting everyday can mean having to blur the professional and the personal lines and letting go of self imposed rules.
  9. Following from that it was difficult to start posting personal subjects, which I had to in order to have something to say some days. It felt wrong on this “professional” blog. I somehow reserve that for twitter or facebook in my mind. A big thing that will be occupying my mind in the months coming up will be my kitchen renovation. Do my readers really want to hear the gritty details?? I also wondered all the time whether I was “oversharing”. Strange- it’s not something that I worry about in 140 characters, just long form posts.
  10. Stranger- I didn’t apply that judgment to others and I really valued learning about them via this challenge and felt I knew them better via their “personal” posts.
  11. I kept forgetting the hashtag.
  12. I started with a theme in order to have something to post about. I have posts on that theme still sitting in drafts. But after I did a couple I felt they were much too snarky and negative. It has been a hard month at work and any negativity was bringing me down further. I felt my negativity coming through those posts making them even more snarky in my eyes. So I left most of them in the drafts.
  13. Having a life gives me something to post about. It also give me less time to post.
  14. My post about hubby’s gig was as much an experiment in mobile citizen journalism/life stream recording from my iPhone as a post about our lives.
  15. My current theme (White as Milk) is not good for posts with lots of pictures. I should try another.
  16. I am not a natural writer. Writing for me takes some time to edit and grammar check (thank god for browser spell checkers). Practice hasn’t changed that.
  17. Some topics I thought I may have been repeating from old posts and I had to search to make sure.
  18. Memes make posting easy except when they are topics too revealing. But don’t bring comments.
  19. I also observed and tried a couple of alternative post styles- as though I was seeing if they fitted. But it was like I was using someone else’s voice.
  20. Minor observation. My trained tendency, even after 25 years of knowing differently, is to write in the third person passive. I hope (but I know that they do) that they are not still teaching Science undergrads that. I just had to go over and edit all of this post.
  21. My assumption that I should not do link posts because my audience would have already seen the information that I was linking to was wrong. I shall try more of those.
  22. My most viewed and commented post over the 30 days was the one that got everyone crossposting – about blogging itself. But it started as the sort of post I would have ordinarily have made and a homage to Dorothea. It was just serendipitous that the timing made it relevant to 30+ other people.
  23. Numbers viewing does not correlate to numbers of comments. Except when they do.
  24. There is a hierarchy of validation of blogging for me:
    1. viewers
    2. comments about my ideas- not necessarily on the blog post
    3. my ideas being discussed in another blog
    4. then the highest compliment. When someone takes an idea in one of my posts and it solves a problem for them. And they let me know.
  25. However, validation is nice (OK- it’s lovely) but not why I post. I post to get an idea out of my head and into a form where I can see it and judge it. The act of writing it out make me structure it better.
  26. I was too busy writing and reading to give good comments. I will try to fix that.
  27. I apparently only have mind space for a certain number of posts. My posting on our in-house blog for my colleagues, which is mostly link posts, declined a lot.
  28. From the above – I need to but have yet to find a balance in these things.

Reflections 01/01/10

January 1, 2010

This blog is not usually a place for personal reflections. However there is a meme on twitter this morning  #10yearsago. Looking at many other’s microposts of where they were 10 years ago naturally led me to reflect on whether I should post my own and what I would/should say. I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t compress it into 140 characters. Also I turned 50 last month – it is time for a bit of reflection on where I was, where I am, and perhaps, where I might be going.

Firstly a lot of people that I follow seem to have had a LOT of change in their professional lives in the last 10 years compared to me.

Ten years ago I had chosen my new profession, had graduated 2 years before and was working in my third job as a librarian. I was to stay in that job for the next 7 years. So in the last 10 years I have changed jobs but not careers. Also I saw my last job change as a progression- building on my experience and getting back to my core subject specialty. Advancement wasn’t a consideration.

The others that I follow have had much more career progression but, on reflection,  I follow them BECAUSE they are high flyers and I can learn from them. Of course high flyers will undergo more rapid change than I.

My periods of rapid change were in the eighties and nineties. My twenties and thirties. We moved house and changed jobs frequently.

However ten years ago I was living in this house, with this same lovely man and I had an eight year old in primary school and a soon to be five year old about to start. Any changes in that time have been from the natural progression of kids growing up. On reflection our lack of change is not because we are old and staid but because we are happy with how and where we are. And we have been lucky. It’s been a decade of consolidation. The kids have grown, we have done some renovations, we have both changed organisations but not careers. We have had a lot of different pets. We haven’t traveled much. We haven’t had very significant health issues. No-one significant has died. [Updated: stupid sentence. Some members of my family did die in last 10 years] The potentially large upheaval that came from my husband being retrenched last year was offset as we had been financially well off for the decade previously. It was scary at the time but, in hindsight, we have mostly done well from it.

I have been thinking about where I might be going lately professionally because for the first time I am in an organisation where the structure might allow for a librarian to do something different, change paths and do interesting things without leaving. With opportunities come choices. I like this organisation and its goals. My clients have similar interests to me, are bright intelligent people and mostly I can speak their language. I hope that in ten years time I will still be working with them. However I can’t forecast exactly what I will be doing. I know and hope that it won’t be exactly what I am doing now. I think our structure, my interests and the current strategic directions of  the internal organisation and the external science research environment, that any future role will be something now regarded as much more IT related than traditional librarianship. To prepare I need to do some skill building. In the short term I need to build my project management skills and extend my IT knowledge and cred. I definitely need to learn to code. In the long term I need to keep current and open to change.

Personally I am also forecasting larger changes for our lives in the coming decade than the preceding one. One kid has all but moved out. The other will also be likely to. Our parents are getting aged. Things are unlikely to stay the same. But that is how it ought to be. We can only be as prepared as possible.

Happy New Year to all. Thanks to my family, clients, colleagues and RL and online friends for making life interesting. Here’s to looking forward.