One of the odd things about 2015 for me was that I wrote quite a bit but if you look at my various blog stats, it looks like I barely wrote anything. But my podcast episodes are scripted and I spent much of the fall semester writing papers fro graduate school, so that technically can be considered writing. Still, 2015 didn’t feel productive and I’ve resolved in the new year to write more.
When it comes to Pop Culture Affidavit, this is no problem. The reason I fell off on that blog in the last four months was because of work and classes taking up most of my time, so being more proactive there is no problem. This blog, however, is a problem. At the end of 2013, I said I was done with blogging and then took the site down. Then, some time later, I quietly relaunced it, thinking that maybe I still had something insightful to say. But with the exception of maybe one or two posts since 2014, I have rarely, if ever, felt inspired to write in this space and it’s because of the same issues that I was having two years ago.
In short, I have a hard time believing that my voice matters when it comes to the discussion on education. I actually said so much at one point while on Twitter and someone replied with a nice, patronizing “Every voice matters,” which basically confirmed my feelings. I have nothing innovative to offer anyone, and at time when I have been the contrarian voice in a conversation, I have been accused of hating, oppressing, or abusing children; being part of the problem; or trying to “mainsplain” whatever it was we were talking about. Why would I continue to want to try and contribute to a discussion that is essentially an echo chamber of ideals and hyperbolic optimism that is wildly disconnected from reality?
But the other thing I have discovered in recent weeks is that I need to write. More specifically, I need to blog. I think it goes back to when I had a column in college. It wasn’t always the best quality writing, but it was a weekly writing assignment, and I remember feeling accomplished after wrapping it up in the spring of my senior year but then felt adrift afterward. Sure, I wrote–a couple of manuscripts of questionable quality, for instance–but it wasn’t until I started blogging in 2001 and basically gave myself that assignment back that I felt that what I was writing was more tangible. I guess you could say that it was the publishing that did it, but I think it actually was having the assignment. The college journalist/columnist part of me was satisfied in being forced to find something to write about on a regular basis.
Nobody is going to give me an education column. Granted, that’s probably a good thing because all edutwitter does is go out of its way to prove my irrelevance or use points I have for their auto-fellatio. And this blog is never going to win an edublog award or a Bammy or make me a Thought Leader who gives keynote addresses. Which is why I have a hard time wanting to write here. So many times, I have great ideas (okay, what I think are great ideas), but nearly instantly, I find myself setting them aside because when I come up with them I hear every voice of every Connected Educator™ pointing out how that idea or thought is not only bad or wrong but is also the reason why the 19th Century Factory Model Conventional Schools are destroying the dreams, souls, and lives of children. Then, I beat myself up for listening to that bullshit and letting it affect me the way it has.
But instead of staying quiet, I’m forcing myself to do this. I am forcing myself to pick up the pen and have a voice. Maybe my writing will feel like it has life again.