The World Doesn’t Care about Me

I was beginning to feel quite pleased with myself. Six months of, what appeared successful blogging; lots of positive feedback; renewed enthusiasm for writing. I even transferred to this new fancy Word press Blog last week without too much fuss. I thought I’d discussed some important issues, things which intrigued me, changed me, and affected me in my daily grind as an English teacher. Brimming with confidence, I began my holidays with renewed confidence and bold intentions. Then I read a couple of things and it made me stand back a little.

I came across ‘Dear Jon letter (a.k.a. The world doesn’t care about you)’  a few months ago when I was just getting underway with this Blogging thing and didn’t really think much about it. No-one really read my blog anyway so why should I care? But now I consider myself a semi-serious Blogger with hopes, I reread it last night. Sobering. The lovely people who’ve commented on my Blog and those who have tweeted some nice things have helped but you are only really as good as your last post, aren’t you? There are too many things to readout there  without providing anything new or interesting. Unless I do that, will these readers hang around?

‘Maybe. And, if you’re adding value, they might stick around. Maybe. Or they might not. If you’re really lucky, they might tell a few friends about you. And some of those people might actually stop by and/or stay. But they probably won’t.’

Added to this I also read ‘Reality Hunger’ by David Shields. This is a thought-provoking book which questions established perceptions of Narrative, Art and many other things. He claims, at least I think, that the blurring of publishing lines allows everyone to tell their story, making it more and more difficult to sustain quality.

‘Suddenly everyone’s tale is tellable, which seems to me a good thing, even if not everyone’s story turns out to be fascinating or well told.’

David Shields

I linked these two pieces of work quite comfortably as I reread my first six months of Blog posts. My writing is not bad, quite enjoyable in places, and I do try to make some goods points. I don’t think they really go beyond a mild chin scratching though. Very rarely do they encourage discussion. That needs to change.

Now I’ve moved over to this new Blog, I vow to make my Blog better. In doing that I will try and be more weighty in the points I cover. I will try to open up discussions which perhaps are not being discussed elsewhere, perhaps shake a few cages and indeed open myself up to closer scrutiny. I’d hate for my Blog to be merely a vanity project. My Blog needs to better, much better than yesterday.

‘Say the things you’re most ashamed of, things you don’t want to remember, things you don’t want anybody to know. Maybe that way there’ll be some truth.’

David Shields.



6 thoughts on “The World Doesn’t Care about Me

  1. I haven’t seen that Dear John letter post before, very good!

    I know where you’re coming from. When I first started I was just dabbling and didn’t mind the lack of readers or comments, but after a while it started to bug me. So I started trying to write more controversial posts and get a bit of a reaction. It didn’t work. It still never fails to surprise me which of my posts generate comments and which don’t.

    I now no longer really care how many folk read or comment to be honest. I’ve realised that I don’t write it for others – I write it for myself. The audience just encourages me to make the effort to write something, but that audience could well be theoretical. If a few folk get something out of reading my thoughts, great, but the real benefit is the clarity writing a post brings to my own thoughts.

  2. I think you underestimate the silent lurkers. I’m a 7th grade (12-13 year olds) English teacher in a small town in the middle of the US. I found your blog from 101 English Blogs. Immediately there was something about your voice that sounded – familiar.

    So I did the unthinkable. I went back to the beginning and read your whole blog.

    I can’t tell you how many posts started me writing a mental letter to you – the one about Waiting for Superman, Nancie Atwell and reading dialogue journals, mentions of CfE and Learning Intentions (I think I know the US equivalent, but I’m not positive), turning curriculum upside down and even Inanimate Alice (is anyone in the US doing that? I’ve never heard of it). Every one of them prompted more imaginary writing from me than would be appropriate in a comment box.

    Which begs another question: Do you want comments or dialogue?

    Anyway, thanks for writing.

  3. Hi Ruth,
    Many thanks for your comment. It always surprises me when anyone comments on my Blog – it’s merely a forum for thinking out loud- although I’m intrigued to hear people’s opinions, positive or negative. I’d love to hear your thoughts and would be happy to respond to any points or questions.

  4. Kenny,

    OK, but remember, you asked for it. I’ll go back and see which one I want to address first.

    And thanks for following me on Twitter, but I’m afraid I’ll disappoint you. I opened that account to enter a contest, and I’ve ignored it for about 18 months. I have not yet had your epiphany on its professional uses. But your blog wants me logged in somewhere to comment; I’m not on WordPress and Facebook is a zoo. If you want to see what I’m currently up to, I’m following your lead (and a summer workshop) and blogging.

    Have a great weekend.

    Ruth Anne

  5. Hi Ruth,
    Blogging is all about, or should be all about, dialogue. I’d hate to think that people couldn’t question my rambling. So please, by all means, go for it. You should persist with Twitter though as it has been the greatest ‘connector’ in my teaching career. Great links, great advice.
    The weather has been wonderful here in Glasgow -somewhat surprisingly – so I will have a great weekend. Hope you do too,

  6. Oh, go ahead, rub it in!

    We are on our 26th consecutive day of 100+ degree weather (sounds so much nicer in Celsius – 38+). I’m getting so much blogging done because it’s miserable to be outside. 😦

    And August is *usually* our hottest month. Oh boy.

    But truly, enjoy your weather.


    P.S. Give me a few months to explore blogging and my other new web options with students, then maybe I’ll ask you again about the Twitter.

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