Recently, I had a few moments to go over the nearly 600 posts that I have written in this Blog!
There were many on my main life’s preoccupation, education. There were a few on more general political and social matters, the odd book review, a fair number on websites and technology and an obvious interest in Sir Ken Robinson and Ted Talks.
I found one post that was very different from the rest, a personal reflection on the things that pets add to our lives. It was really about the ownership and privilege of living with two wonderful Shetland Sheepdogs, Toby and Skye.
At the time of writing the original post, Skye, our younger dog, was still alive but he grew old and ill and we had him “put to sleep” ( to use a much better phrase than the ‘put down’ one that I mentioned in a negative and disparaging way in the post) a few. months ago.
I was very taken by the last paragraph where I stated something that I believe is so important:
Looking back I am so glad that I have had the privilege of looking after my dogs. I have learned so much from them and they have enriched my life in a way that I would never have felt possible. We learn so much from our pets and they are really important in our lives. This is my lifelong learning blog and I have enjoyed writing this piece more than practically anything that I have ever written about education… because it is real and because it related directly to my experience. Teachers need to be aware of this when they give children boring things to write about…. let them express what they are passionate about and the words will flow.
The last sentence is the key one. I know how hard it is to write when you have little or no interest in your subject, I had to endure years of writing reports to parents that contained stock phrases that really meant nothing to them or me!
My blog has been different, I have written what I like and have rarely found it hard. The dog post was particularly easy. I have recently been reading Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s famous psychology study “Flow“. Flow is the state of being where we are totally immersed in what we are doing. The task is not hard it literally ” flows” and time seems to rush by. We are often unaware of happenings around us.
This post has been easy for me to write, it has flowed because I know what I want to say and have a real interest and engagement in saying it.
Blogs are good for developing writers because they give them the freedom to express what matters to them. When writing matters, it flows.
For those interested in reading my original post on the dogs it can be found here.
P.S. My persistent wife has managed to convince me to get another dog! We are getting a Bichon Frise puppy in June and no doubt there will be some posts on him in the future!