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

Categories: Education


Ryan Biddulph · January 16, 2014 at 7:15 pm

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!

    David Sherlock · January 16, 2014 at 8:06 pm

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

Rosie the Hamster · January 17, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Pile of Rubbish. My site is well better

New learning analytics community, digital pedagogies, reasons to keep blogging: what sheila’s seen this week | howsheilaseesIT · January 17, 2014 at 10:19 am

[…] old Cetis buddy David Sherlock sums up some of the practical “challenges” of blogging here  including the importance of fun – which sadly is sometimes lacking in educational […]

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