I read the blog , New Kid on the Hallway which focuses on her leaving the history profession and going to law school. Of course this reminds me of my own professional journey. When I decided to give up trying to get an academic position and went back to school to be a nurse I did that on my own. I had no community of historians, academics or nurses to support me. Fifteen years later blogs exist to connect people with similar interests. I think this is one of the most positive aspects of the “new media”; people can be connected even if they do not have an institutional or professional affiliation. An independent scholar, a freelancer writer, a self-employed entrepreneur can all find a community and do not have to pursue their goals in social isolation. Blogging does not replace face to face communication and interaction but it can give someone who has no workplace to go to a greater sense of identity.
The immediacy of blogging is both a blessing and a curse. The pressure to respond immediately to a news item or story prompts writing and diminishes procrastination. That’s the good part. The bad is when you miss the boat and don’t write something in a timely manner. The consequences are that someone else often posts about the very thing you were sure you would convey so elegantly.
You quickly forget the lost opportunity as the next topic emerges out of the ether of the world. The cycle begins again. There is also the option of ignoring the pressures of immediacy; choosing instead to post about topics that may have a longer shelf life than a day.
Ironically I wrote the above words last week. My plan was to post this, then begin posting about stories and ideas I had been ruminating on for the last month or so. My hope was that the longer period of reflection would yield better insight.
Before I could put this plan in motion, the immediate side of blogging reemerged. I guess that ultimately my approach to blogging is to be both the tortoise and the hare.