Curiosity

Curiosity

Recently, I have become curious about my audience of  blog readers. I have been bloging daily since March 1st and only have missed a handful of days. This is an awesome accomplishment, one which I am proud of making. My posts seem to yield a consistent and slowly growing contingent of regular readers. Some readers are regular commentators, as well. Just like anything public, it is nice to get feedback on what you are writing and how you are connecting with people.  I know when I have hit upon a nerve, when readers agree with me, receive different perspectives, and more, when I am able to have a few lines of feedback from my readers.

However, my curiosity is more about those who do not comment. I know linking to  my Facebook page brings my posts to more readers. My son, who is soon to be a new graduate student and my sister-in-law, both loyal readers, brought this to my attention. Previous to their observations, I did not realize that my slowly growing of followers number on WordPress is actually larger due to the Facebook links to my blog.  Like a lot of things in life, more is better.

But, who are these readers? Are they people I know that are reading my blog surreptitiously? Are they able to find a connection while reading my posts? When they like a photo that is featured with the post, are they liking just the photograph or something I said in the post? Without comments, I do not know.

Occasionally, I write about things that might irritate my readers. I can be critical, hopeful, biased, and forgiving all in the same post. I know my blog is not funny, nor is it meant to be. I am not a funny person. I have a good sense of humor, but writing humorously is not my forte.  From my experience working as a classroom volunteer,  I know that authors write for different reasons. My reason for writing is not to entertain, but to inform.  I think there are local issues and observations that need to be discussed because if no one discusses them, the problems continue to exist. I want to stimulate your critical thinking skills, your problem solving skills, and maybe start a conversation about things that might be important to you – to all of us. I tend to express myself better using the written word. And, since I have tried more traditional ways of communicating concerns, of which some have worked and some have not, I thought blogging might still allow me to address issues I am passionate about – namely, education and the environment – without becoming overly frustrated that my audience is hearing me but not listening.

But, I ask this: are you reading my blog off my Facebook page? If so, I would really like to know. If you do not want others to know, why not send me a private message? What topics have I written about that have resonated with you?  What makes you curious enough to read my posts but not leave a comment?  I am curious about you, my readers – especially readers I know, readers that have personal experience with the topics of which I am writing. Am I reaching you? I am curious.

In any case, thank you for reading. Please feel free to comment, especially if you never have before.

Writing to Connect

Writing to Connect

The blog writing experience has been very positive for me. I started this past March with the writing challenge posed by TwoWritingTeachers blog challenge called Slice of Life. It was a good fit for me since it is filled with teachers and most of the blog pieces are about teaching, students, and education. The educational community is one to which I have chosen to belong.

In the last twenty-four hours, it has become evident that my writing is enabling me to use my voice to connect with people. A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece that called for action from parents who were questioning any  of the assessment policies our school district was using. I asked for help, as I spoke out, and it seemed others were not. Now, I know that there is at least one other parent who today is speaking out.  Thank you.

Previously, I also wrote about the end to a long time club that I led for our local elementary school. I do not plan to write much more about what brought about the end of that activity. Suffice it to say, the word has gotten out and I am hearing many different reactions.  I know life is busy.  I know teachers have an extraordinary amount of tasks and responsibilities to complete on a daily basis. This, I also shared when I met with the principal last week. I am definitely not a teacher basher! I want to be one, for goodness sake! However, I do not think that part of the message was received. I was seen as a complainer, a complainer about how others’ actions affected me without regard to the other things going on at the school.

You see, one of my problems, let us call it an intensity, is that I notice everything! I truly wish I didn’t, but I do. It’s been a tough year. My mother in law died this spring. My sister was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Those things, along with the rest of life, were on my plate, similar to things that were on the plate of those who made me feel my efforts with garden club had become disregarded. Intentional or not, I felt the staff did not value what I was doing. And, yes, something important is now lost.  Yes, it was about me.  It was about me because it was my time, my loyalty, my effort, and my dedication that was not valued.

Writing to connect was one of my objectives for starting a blog. I seem to have a voice, things to say, stands to take, and experiences to share. One of the risks of writing is that you will not be able to connect to an audience. This has happened to me as well. I wish I knew my parents were reading this blog everyday. I wish I would receive a comment from them. I was hoping the blog would serve to fill in a divide that has somehow occurred after years of living in a different state. It did for a short time. But, that time is gone. It’s been month since I struck a connection with my parents due to something I wrote. I was hoping my writing would let them get to know the woman I have become, the experiences I have had, and my plans for the future.

Writing is powerful. It has the ability to draw people closer or push them away.  Writing has the ability to connect human feelings, thoughts, and  ideas with those around us and those who read our words. It also has the ability to make one misunderstood, need clarification, or anger those who disagree with what has been put on the page.

Writing is connecting, for better or worse.  It seems I have written long enough to have experienced both.

 

 

Gratitude

Gratitude

Well, I did it! I have written 31 days (actually 32 days) in a row to complete the Slice of Live Blog Challenge! I am grateful for Two Writing Teachers for sponsoring this event and writing community! And, what a community it is!  I have found a voice and the generous support of gracious people in the community to support that voice! Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! The feedback received has been enlightening and welcomed! I have not only honed my writing skill but also learned from others how to give positive feedback as well as several formats for blog posting.  I cannot say enough about this experience! What luck I must have had to have chosen such a wonderful, supportive community of writers. Thank you, all!

If you’ve followed my blog,  there are updates that will be coming. My orchid is blooming! My Meyer Lemon tree has new buds! It is almost time to visit the garden supply stores for plants.   And, my writer’s circle students are in the process of finishing their color poems. I know many of you wanted to read some of the results.  School will end.  There is only one more term here, a mere eight weeks of student learning and the rollercoaster ride that comes with it. Soon, I will have a college graduate in the field of mathematics! My pride is beyond telling!  Where that time has gone is beyond me!  There are tennis matches to play, track meets to watch, art to be made, and a new driver to train.  Yes, the writing challenge ends today, but life goes on.

Finding myself hooked on the daily writing process, I plan to continue. I hope you do, too. Or that you start! Find your voice, find what you have to say, and say it. There will be listeners, of that I am sure!