As usual, Will Richardson got me thinking again about the long term usefulness of blogging in his post My Blogging Legacy. I have had a lot of false starts at returning to blogging this year and Will’s post reminded me that there’s a piece of a person that gets left in every post.
I’m so hung up on audience now that I think I’m forgetting that this whole process was about more than worrying about who was reading the message. When I write for the school newsletter or website, I think about the people in our community who will read, their learning needs, and how I can best communicate what’s happening in our school.
When I was blogging, I didn’t get so hung up on the audience and I was able to concentrate on the ideas.
Will writes about the loss of his own mother and he speaks to how his ideas will live on through the work he creates on-line, through his writing,
I think that dream brought to light another aspect of why I blog. Not just to reflect. Not just to learn. But in some small way to leave a trail for those who come after me. I certainly can’t predict to what extent those people might find any of this relevant or compelling or useful, but I know I would love to have the chance to dig through the work of my own mother, to learn about her more deeply, to understand who she was and what she stood for. If nothing else, my kids will have that opportunity.
I really get that. About a year ago, I asked my mom to fill a blank journal that I gave to her. I want her to put anything she thinks of in there. Recipes, memories of my grandparents and her own childhood, thoughts of my brother and me, my children and his. I want her words to read when I no longer have her. Her words have guided my life, they’ve shaped me and helped in every decision I’ve ever made. It’s her voice I seek when troubled or undecided. I never want to be without that voice. Her writing, even all of her stupid rules she’s always reciting to us, will help me hang on to her.
I remember thinking about this “legacy” when I was posting regularly. I pictured my own kids looking back at my work some day and it influenced my writing. What did I want to say that might have meaning to my own family if I were gone? What was important? I imagined my daughter, possibly as an educator of some sort, reading my words and finding something that I wrote long ago resonating. I imagined my husband missing me some day and being able to “hear” my voice through my posts. And I imagined my son as a parent, really hearing me through my writing, in ways that now at fifteen just sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher to him. You know, “WA, WA, WA, WA, WA”. 🙂
I would hate to think they reached the end of my posts and were left to wonder what I thought next. Maybe if I can remember that blogging is about ideas and voice first, and audience second, I won’t disappoint them.
You continue to inspire me Will, thank you.