Thirty days ago, I accepted Con’s challenge to blog every day in June. I knew it would be a struggle to meet the daily quota, but from the outset, I had a ‘bigger’ reason for participating. The point of the exercise was, for me, to reach a decision on what to do with this blog. Given how inactive a blogger I’ve been, I was at the point where I was pondering whether I should just shut this blog down. Con’s challenge came at a perfect time, and I thought that trying to blog every day for a month was a pretty good way to test whether I actually have the energy and drive to continue blogging at all.
I started this blog, as I’ve mentioned before, because I wanted a space to reflect on professional issues – a soapbox, perhaps. Life has gotten in the way of blogging over the years, but my lack of posting has not been for want of things to post about. I have an opinion on everything! When I made the move to academia early this year, my intention was always to start blogging more actively and with some regularity. Unfortunately, I started my new job just before semester began, and my time was so quickly taken up by teaching and other commitments that I didn’t really have an opportunity to create a blogging habit.
Over the years, my blogging mojo has waxed and waned… But on the whole, it’s been missing in action quite a lot of the time.
During the last 30 days, I started to think that I was getting my blogging mojo back. This was confirmed for me yesterday when I inadvertently uninstalled WordPress and deleted my database, thereby taking out my entire blog. I felt sick when I realised what I’d done – over three years of posts and comments down the drain. I know I’m not the most prolific blogger, but some of the content I have posted here – and more importantly, the comments – is important to me. I also have a lot of content sitting in draft, where ideas are germinating. The thought of losing all of that content was pretty scary.
The #blogeverydayofjune challenge has made me reflect on a few questions:
- What do I want this blog to be, if anything?
- If I discontinued this blog, would I miss the opportunity to espouse my opinion on professional issues in an informal, conversational forum?
- What role might this blog play for me as I start work on my PhD?
- How do I want to shape my online profiles – both personal and professional?
In essence, I’ve come to the realisation that, in addition to this being a space in which I can grandstand on professional issues, (because I know you *all* want to hear my opinions!), this blog has a lot of other potential for me in the coming months, and maybe even years. It could be a space to
- talk about my research, and hopefully capitalise on serendipity as a result
- reflect on my practice as a researcher and an educator
- chronicle my experiences as I work through my PhD
- test out ideas and seek others’ input
- share a little bit about myself, on a more personal level, from time-to-time
So in the last 24 hours, I’ve decided that virtually a librarian will continue to exist, although its shape may change a little. Because I’ve introduced more of the personal element here, I’ve decided to set up a second website to act as more of a portfolio (www.katedavis.info coming soon!). The new website will be the space I use for more formal documentation – publications lists, project summaries and so forth – while this site will still be the space I use to discuss and reflect in a more informal way.
What you won’t be seeing here is a post every day. But you will be seeing a post every now and then – hopefully with less gaps in between than I’ve been known to have in the past!
This challenge has been lots of things: at various times, it’s been fun, painful, a journey of enlightenment (!), educational, amusing, a bane, conversational, inspirational, and more… So thanks to Con for laying down the challenge, and to all the other #blogeverydayofjune-ers with whom I’ve shared the journey. You helped me get my mojo back!