Darn it. It’s my blog, and I’ll write if I want to!

It’s happened again. An acquaintance of mine told me that I was writing too much on my blog. She said that I was annoying her with how much I post. If you have been a regular reader of It’s About Learning, you may remember that I have written about this before. In fact, similar feedback from another friend played a part in me starting the “CHANGEd: What if…60-60-60” series.

Such feedback – that I write too much – puts me in an interesting space. I try to be a poster child for practices of empathy. I often fail, but I constantly and continuously try to grow as an empathic thinker and doer. I can appreciate what someone is saying when they tell me that I annoy them with how much I post some days. Often I struggle to keep up with my own reading. However, there is something much deeper and richer happening within me.

I think back to my most influential and supportive and encouraging teachers. They ALL encouraged me to write more. Now, on particular pieces of writing, they all provided me with periodic feedback about taking away and reducing my writing on a particular piece. But in total, they ALL encouraged me to write more. They said that writing is thinking. They taught me that those who write regularly develop a better sense of what they think and understand. They provided me with insight that daily writing is like daily exercise – we grow stronger from the regular routine of writing and thinking daily.

I cannot imagine telling a student of mine that they are writing too much as a total practice. I cannot imagine getting to peek into the journaling and sketching of a writer – of a thinker – and telling her that she is writing and sketching and thinking too much.

My most influential teachers wanted me to be a lifelong learner and thinker. Mrs. Webb, Mrs. Fuller, Mr. Brewbaker, Dr. Butters, Dr. Cook, and Dr. Pajares – they all encouraged me to draw, write, sketch, journal, try, fail, try again, reiterate, prototype, and construct meaning.

So, I’m going to keep writing and sharing at the pace that I feel is appropriate for my thinking. I hope that doesn’t make me stubborn or obnoxious. I pray it does not make me seem non-empathetic. But I have a lot to learn in my second half of life. I have a lot of thinking to do. I have a lot of doing to think. I have to keep writing. I desperately want to be one of the solutions finders. To contribute to that team. I’m going to keep pushing.

If you are experiencing a filter issue, then I am happy to help in other ways. I have some experience and learning to share about how to manage a vigorous reading stream. But, I’m not going to slow down my writing and thinking. I’m mostly writing for my own thinking and learning. But I do it “out loud” so that my nodes of thinking might connect with those of others. Even when I receive no comments, I find the writing incredibly helpful to my thinking and understanding. But…when I receive even one comment on my blog, something magic happens. I get stretched, encouraged, challenged, and supported. I get feedback, pushback, and reciprocal questioning.

And I grow.

I’m gonna keep growing. I’m gonna keep writing. I’m gonna keep thinking and trying to understand. And I’m here to help if I can about how people filter and control the flow at their end of the faucet. But I’m gonna keep water in the pipes for those who want to open the flow.

8 thoughts on “Darn it. It’s my blog, and I’ll write if I want to!

  1. The comment alone reveals how approachable so many of us find you, Bo. By all means, DON’T stop or slow down your writing, but I can empathize with the commenters struggle to keep up. I mark many posts as read without ever opening them, but I cannot with a few blogs–yours among them. You’re empathy and approachability make your thinking and writing contagious, Bo. So keep it up, but please understand if some of us remain a few days (currently, 5 days for me) behind you. Warm regards, my friend. I hope you had a great birthday this week!

    • Philip,

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment – thoughtful both to me and to the anonymous stimulator of the post. In my post, I tried to hint at how I could empathize with the original commenter. And I can! Nevertheless, I think we should all be mindful of what we say to those who are clearly trying to think and learn by writing to public space that can be monitored with email subscriptions, RSS readers, good-ole-fashioned choice, etc.

      I follow about 100 blogs. I NEVER read everything from all of them. Here’s my philosophy – I miss 100% of what I don’t even follow. For those I do follow, I can choose when to dip my cup into the waterfall for a drink. My choice. But I am eternally grateful that others are supplying water to the flow of the waterfall. If I want to clear my RSS reader in certain categories without reading, then I can choose to do so…like you suggest. I can control the flow of the tap from my end, but I don’t want the Water Works to shut off the flow. I can control the tap as a reader in this “pull” oriented world. I have no qualms about clearing my reader, except that I know I am missing good and great stuff. But I would miss it ALL if I didn’t follow and read when I can.

      I am not bothered a bit by people reading Friday something I posted on a Monday – or whatever their schedules are. I am truly grateful for the readers and co-thinkers. And I intend to keep thinking out loud and writing. I know that’s what my teachers wanted – a lifelong thinker and writer.

      Thanks again for your wonderful encouragement and thoughtfulness.

  2. YES! Write, write write. That is right. I totally hear ya on this one. I have an email update that I send out regularly to those who are praying for my horse. Long story. Critically injured horse is healed. Faith grows. Folks see the power of prayer and the healing in writing. I didn’t choose to make mine a blog, having privacy fears, but I am essentially doing the same thing in my emails that you are expressing here.

    P.S. I noticed some missing names in your list of profs. Just sayin’.

    • Caroline,

      What a treat to find a comment from you. Thanks for reading and taking the time to respond. I am overjoyed to read that your horse is healed – I know what a strong presence your horses are in the lives of your family. I am glad that you are moving through that scary time.

      Yes, I did not mention all of my most influential teachers. I particularly mentioned a few that really encouraged me to write, write, write. Those that I mentioned by name in the post literally sat at my side for countless hours as I wrote. Coach Bethea and Madame Weismann encourage me and support me, to this day, in countless other ways. They continue to contribute to who I am and what I do with my life.

  3. Bo, it surprises me that such a comment from someone would prompt such introspection. Just tell them to unsubscribe or change their filter. Really, how can anyone tell anyone else to write less (think less)? Absurd. Keep up the good work.

    • Craig,

      Every mirror, to me, is an opportunity for reflection and introspection. Some mirrors provide clearer images and some distort more. But I learn something from each and every mirror. I’m not sure that I would ever recommend to a reader that he or she should unsubscribe, but I will engage in conversation about how their mirror made me feel and think. It is up to them whether they want to continue to read and think with me. My invitation continues to extend to those who think like me, and also to those who think completely differently than I think.

      Something is going on with that reader that I don’t know. I try not to commit the “fundamental attribution error,” and I hope that I stay engaged with this particular reader. It would be my loss, primarily, if they decided to quit reading and responding. Each conversation is an opportunity.

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