I hate writing but love to blog….why?

It’s funny how when you spend time like I have the past 3 days to make a point to comment on others that you start reflecting and things start clicking.

I left a couple comments that ended this way.

I hate to write, but love to blog!

The question is why? I’ve never been a good writer, I’ve hated writing for as long as I can remember. With a learning disability writing and reading were like kryptonite to me. Was never a great Language Arts teacher, but I don’t think I was that bad…having struggled with writing and reading my whole life and being up front with my students about it actually, I think, helped those reluctant learners to keep trying and plowing forward.

So why is it that I hate to write and love to blog?

First, I think a lot of it has to do with the computer and word processing. As I type this in my Firefox extension Performancing every misspelled word is underlined in red for me, giving me instant feedback on what I have misspelled. Does it catch all my mistakes, heck no, but you should see a post before it actually goes live. :)

Secondly, I can type faster then I can write…about 75 words/minute and you can actually read what I’ve written when I’m done.

Finally, I don’t see blogging as writing…it’s idea generation, it’s the free flow of ideas between people and it is a conversation. I love to talk (if you have a hard time writing you usually do…coping skill). I would rather stand in front of a group of parents and give a presentation, or have a face to face parent conference than write a letter home. My wife is the exact opposite. She HATES (yes it needs to be all caps) giving presentations, and would rather write a paper than give a presentation.

Because blogging is a conversation, a idea generating machine (the way I use it anyway) it speaks to me. Sure sometimes my ideas are way out there, but that’s how we work through them, how we start conversations, how we move forward and continue to progress as a society. Blogging gives me an audience, just like giving a presentation…I almost feel that way sometimes…like I’m presenting information, my thoughts rather than writing. It could be a podcast, a video, or blogging…it’s about having an audience. I wonder if I would have blogged in school, given the chance? It would have depended, I bet, on how the teacher used it as a tool. Was it a reflective journal to layout your thoughts, or did every period, capital and ‘ie, ei’ combination have to be perfect. If that was the case I’d have hated it.

Blogging is different…it’s not writing in the sense we think about it. People ask me why I blog and I truly can’t give them an answer…I just do, because it’s an outlet for me. I’d bet that I’ve blogged more in the past year then I wrote my whole life leading up to it. It’s been that powerful for me as a tool, and I see it in my students as well. In myspace and youtube…this networking, conversation, sharing atmosphere is contagious!

[tags]blogging, education, writing, conversation[/tags]

Technorati Tags: , , ,

5 Comments

  1. This one too really hit home for me. Since I was a kid I have been typing reports and papers. This was back in the day when no one typed them. I began typing simply because my handwriting was (and still partly is) atrocious. Agreeing with you, I can type much faster than I can write.

    I think you hit on the larger issue, though, is that blogging is much less structured (mostly) than a typical piece of writing. Blogging is much more stream-of-consciousness than writing. As I am writing this, it is a direct connection from idea to publication. I think that is the blogging revolution. I would wonder how different your post would have been, or my comment for that matter, had we outlined it before writing it.

  2. Dear Jeff,
    I am 11 and I have dyslexia I totally know how you feel. I can’t spell a thing. I just sometimes never want to write again. My friends write a page in 20 minutes when it takes me ~3 hours. I think the blog should have spell cheek. I’m writing this now and I have 17 words spelled wrong and 29 spelled right that’s pretty good for me. Do you have any other tricks that help you write that would be helpful? Last year I got glasses to help me read. It helped, I can now read chapter books!
    Sarah

  3. Dear Jeff,
    I am going to try the info that you suggested. Thanks for comments on our blog!
    You can see other blogs what the class mates did at http://www.portablec.com then go to blogs and you’ll see all of the 3rd 4th and 5th grade blogs. We are group C my blog are under S.Do. I’m going to try the new art web site. And did you know our teacher got a grant in tech?
    Sarah

  4. Good writing is really about good editing. Too much time in school is spent on conventions–grammar, spelling–and not on helping people find their voice. Blogging is not writing in the sense that much of blogging comes from a very authentic, unedited perspective. We say what we feel. We mean what we say. We just do not always overprocess it. We have chosen our audience by virtue of the topics and themes we choose. Long before blogging, I lived in Bangkok. I wrote something called Scenes from the Big Weird. It was travel writing. Often I just sat down with Eudora, no spell check, and just started typing. Sometimes the letters came out in the right direction. Sometimes my fingers got their own dyslexia. My musings found a life on their own. I was published in Newspapers and sent to friend of friends. I felt flattered, but I wrote for me. Blogging is for myself. Some people just happen to come by.

    Blogging offers realtime, real world feedback. How many people actually comment on misspellings? Who cares if I end a sentence with a preposition? Perhaps monitors in somepeople’s houses have red circles on them. People comment on the usefulness, the humour, the passion, the ideas.

    Call it what you will, Blogging is writing with an attitude. Yours. And yours alone. Sure someone might flame you, but you can delete their posts. Now I could proof read this. I could let it sit an daim to craft my thoughts better, but I like the rawness of this.

    Happy blogging.

  5. Sarah,

    Are you able to sequence letters better if you switch your monitor display to white-on-black (negative color display)?

    This link is primarily about assistive devices/features for students with “low vision,” although I’m wondering if some of these ideas might help you decrease the effect of your dyslexia?

    If you want to check an example of support software that you can overlay right over the top of Windows, so that it provides you with constant spelling and speech support (and more) no matter what you’re doing, then here’s one:
    Dyslexic.com Read & Write Gold for PC
    BUT it’s rather expensive! What kind of computer do you have?

    Sarah, your persistence is already paying off!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *