Things have been a little quiet here of late. I have started jotting down a few thoughts, but never quite finished anything. This feels a bit strange having written nearly 400+ pieces since starting this blog in 2013. I have been wondering if this is simply about time and energy, as work and home have been a little hectic lately. Although, this has never stopped me before. I have been wondering if maybe this is a part of the development of the blog, with a move to collecting and curating, rather than longer pieces of reflection. However, a recent post from Austin Kleon had me rethinking my reason for blogging.
Discussing the work of Tom Waits and Nick Cave, Austin Kleon argues that songs are best understood as coming from the outside, rather than from within. The challenge we have is being open to receive the inspiration when it comes. Thinking about ideas in general, this had me wondering about blogging as an exercise of being open to the outside. For example, Clive Thompson’s book Smarter Than You Think, he talks about the way the same ideas have occurred to different people at the same time:
The things we think about are deeply influenced by the state of the art around us: the conversations taking place among educated folk, the shared information, tools, and technologies at hand.
These opportunities are there if we are willing to accept them.
Activities, such as #28daysofwriting, #Blimage, DS106 Daily Create, Ontario Daily Extend, Microcasts and #LookDown can be helpful in providing structured opportunities to let ideas in. However, it is also about being a flaneur. As Ian Guest explains:
The flâneur is more of a serendipitous explorer, receptive to whatever comes along. They are a combination of curious explorer (having no goal other than to experience city life), critical spectator (balanced analyst, seeing beauty, but aware of social inequities), and creative mind (an interpreter who renders the urban landscape legible).
Rather than worrying about letting blog posts out, I wonder if my issue lately has been a confusion about what to actually let in. As Kin Lane touches upon,
[Blogging] is an essential part of making sense of the world as it moves by me so fast, putting it somewhere that I can continue to reference and learn from in the future.
Moving forward, I think my challenge is not reading, viewing, listening and walking, but being open to ideas on offer. As I write this, I am reminded of Bjork’s song All is Full of Love:
Maybe not from the sources
You have poured yours
Maybe not from the directions
You are staring atTwist your head around
It’s all around you
All is full of love
All around you
If you enjoy what you read here, feel free to sign up for my monthly newsletter to catch up on all things learning, edtech and storytelling.