The way we share our thinking and reflections nowadays has burgeoned with so many different creative platforms. Blogging is one of the original social networks and has been a cornerstone in my professional life for many years now. Take a look through these reasons for reflective posts on your blog and commit to the future of your writing space.
1 – Make Room for Yourself
A blog or publishing platform serves as a wonderful personal space for you to retreat to, the digital version of a shaded tree, the tranquil spot for us to ponder and work through our thoughts and ideas. Preening this space is a common behaviour, with widgets and sidebars tweaked and themes tested. A blog becomes a personal / professional thinking space.
2 – Catharsis
One of the major reasons for writing regularly that I hear is that it is a deep thinking process that is becalming. When you have to communicate your ideas to others, to an audience, whether real or projected, it forces you to tie off the loose ends and to work towards greater clarity. Personally this is a hugely important process for my own thinking. The scattered threads of ideas and concepts come together through the act of writing and the satisfying synthesis of my thoughts is often cleansing.
3 – Model a Growth Mindset
Pretty much everyday in the workplace or in places of learning we ask others to reflect and share what they are thinking. This is especially true in schools and places where learning happens. The last few years has seen a huge shift towards reflective portfolios and gathering personal evidence of thinking and learning. But we need to model this too. We will be better placed when we deeply understand what it takes to regularly reflect and make written records of that thinking. We need to model this behaviour and we need to better understand what we are asking of others – writing your own blog helps with this.
4 – A Space to Reflect
As reflective practices go the writing process is a unique one in that the output is so tangible. It is nothing like just thinking through your coffee break about what occurred in that last lesson or making mental notes about how a project went. When we reflect and write that reflection we are being deliberately meta-cognitive as the process forces us to make language choices in how we are going to record our thinking. Such a deep meta-cognitive task means that writing is a strong reflective activity.
5 – Ship Your Ideas
Get them out there. Use your blog to craft them over time or post them up quickly in their raw, nascent glory. But get them out there, share your ideas. Ship. When we take the disposition that we are going to share our ideas and thinking we begin to open up to how others can help us. When you begin blog posts with: “So I have had this idea…” you extend an invitation for people to come along with you and to perhaps build something together.
6 – Gain Perspective
When we are open to comments and thinking from others we are much more likely to gain a richer perspective on the issues we may have originally shared. Writing and sharing a blog post on an issue or idea we are working on allows us to see it from the reaction and perspective of those who read it. From those connections and comments we gain valuable insight – “I am not the only one”, “There is a different solution I have not thought about”, “I want to find out how they worked through this.” Gaining perspective on our own issues and challenges is huge benefit from sharing our own blog posts.
7 – Build a Community
Without question one of the core motivations for my own writing is to participate and engage with a community and to gather like minded others (and those who think differently) around the blog posts I share. The discussions that spring up and unfold underneath our blog posts often offer rich ideas and resources. It is a social platform after all and it is about making connections with others – I remember the days of the Blogroll (lists of other blogs you read) and the Pingback (adding a link to someone’s blog post) being currency in an exchange that strengthened the ties amidst bloggers. Don’t forget the community of other writers too, read and comment on their blogs, message them via Twitter, learn about them. After all the connections I made through blogging changed my career.
8 – Build a Professional Thinking Archive
As somebody once said to me “Nobody else is going to tell your story” – your blog becomes a powerful archive of your thinking, ideas, projects, successes and professional reflections. When consistently added to over years it forms a strong part of your professional existence and clear way to communicate what you are about. Reminiscing on old post, especially during periods of your life that were rewarding or deeply challenging is a privilege – it offers you a way to peer back into the mind of your former self. Not simply to look at the old photos and groan about the haircuts, but to be able to reflect on the way your thinking has changed, grown and adapted over the years. Blogging gives us this privileged chance to speak to our future self.