The problem of finding inspiration in playful blogging

By | January 16, 2014

I’m really struggling to write this week. I don’t know why. Today I’ve spent a big chunk of the day writing a report for work on a subject that really interests me and I was able to spend a good hour having a really good coffee bar chat with a friend. I should have lots of to write about this week, there are some really interesting developments in the VR space, I’ve rediscovered Tim Armstong, I’ve picked up a lot of useful stuff about SEO and I’m trying to gear up to write a few blog posts on play. I haven’t got a shortage of things to write about but I’m finding it very hard to put finger to keyboard.

I’ve discovered at times like this are the most critical to me. I feel like just skipping blogging this week, but my previous attempt to start writing regularly have taught me an important lesson. If I stop now I won’t start again. The only solution is to sit and write anything, just whatever comes to mind. Which is what I’m doing now and probably why my blog is such a mishmash of stuff. Is mishmash a word?

I wonder how often other people find inspiration to carry on writing about a single subject. I find it hard enough when I enjoy the subject and I wonder how students manage. Even if we choose to study a subject we love there is always dry material to go through.

I did some teaching last year and I encouraged my students to blog. I tried to convince them that writing would become their most valuable skill and that their online presence would be vital when they were looking for a job. I told them to start by writing about anything that interests them. We had a few students who started really good blogs and then stopped as soon as the module stopped. I think they only did it for the class credit.

Most of my blog posts are about playing in some regard. I like to play with modelling techniques; particularly techniques where I can ‘lose’ in some respect. I like to destroy the Earth in climate change agent based models and enjoy topic models that return utter garbage; perhaps I like being the bad guy in a safe environment?

Today I broke my blogging block, angered by a BBC article on Gideon’s latest shanigans I started a blog post where I pretended to agree with  his stance. I had a lot of fun putting myself in a scenario I couldn’t (and wouldn’t want to) agree with in the real world. By the end of my blog post I was pretending to swimming in cash like Scrooge McDuck, taking advice on fracking from BP and praising the work of Gideon. I didn’t post it because my blog is an extension of myself and I didn’t want people to take me seriously. Instead I took to twitter, targeted ska bands and tried to see how many would tweet lyrics to Bad Manners ‘Lip Up Fatty’ . Quite a few joined the game, but I deleted my tweets because my twitter account is an extension of myself and I didn’t want people to take the tweets seriously.

The Greeks were on to somethings with the masks and plays.

Sometimes a duck, sometimes a rabbit

4 thoughts on “The problem of finding inspiration in playful blogging

  1. Ryan Biddulph

    Hi David,

    Pushing yourself really is the best way to find inspiration. It is not easy at times. It will feel uncomfortable.

    But finding your inspired, prolific nature changes your life….for good! I publish 5 posts daily by pushing myself, fighting through writer’s block and allowing my excuses to dissolve.

    All the best!

    Reply
    1. David Sherlock

      Thanks for the encouragement. Feeling uncomfortable can be a good thing sometimes. The most creative posts often come from a uncomfortable place

      Reply
  2. Pingback: New learning analytics community, digital pedagogies, reasons to keep blogging: what sheila’s seen this week | howsheilaseesIT

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