The summer I wrote my dissertation, I posted here about a productivity strategy called Don’t Break the Chain. Click the link for the backstory, but the gist of it is that it’s easier to maintain a habit if you keep at it – even for a little bit – every day, and monitor your progress visually (e.g., Xing off days on a calendar).
The good news is that it worked for me to help me get the last two chapters of that dissertation drafted and finalized over the months of July and August. The bad news is that is also works in reverse – I’ve now maintained a chain of 143 days uninterrupted by blogging. This is not a trend I’m proud of; in fact, it’s the longest break between blog posts I’ve had since I started blogging in the summer of 2007.
It’s been bothering me that I haven’t found the capacity to sit with my thoughts and write, especially since I’ve spoken time and time again about how therapeutic and valuable I find writing, I guess just not enough to actually force me to sit down and do it.
Enter Christina Torres‘ blog post in my RSS reader earlier today. Who knows how and why circumstances come together the way they do, but she wrote just what I needed to read at the time I needed to read it. Rather than try to sit down, gather my thoughts, and put together a coherent, “like-and-fave-worthy” statement of profound educational import, I’m taking the advice I gave students for however many years (and the message I took from Christina’s post) – just write. And I’m not doing it sat in my office, or in my living room, or some other “writer-friendly” space – I’m banging this out standing in my kitchen, dripping wet after a run, just to get the words on the page.
It’s my hope that by breaking the chain of bloglessness (?), I can kickstart whatever reflective and creative juices have powered my writing for as many years as they have. It’s something I’ve done here before – a quickie post, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, just to get myself back on the horse. It’s worked in the past; let’s see if it takes this time.
Thanks, Christina. Just goes to show you never know the impact your thoughts and ideas – whether they’re blogged, tweeted, podcasted, or simply shared face-to-face between colleagues and friends – can have on another person, and it’s yet another reason why I’m not ready to give up on Twitter for one aspect – albeit an important one – of my professional learning, despite the increasingly unmanageable signal to noise ratio.