Should I blog about a topic, keep my thoughts bottled up inside, or write about it for a totally different purpose? As I confront a daily deluge of information, related ideas, and feelings, I find myself constantly grappling with this question – as I suspect many others do as well.
I must write. It's part of who I am. It's also a necessity for different roles I fill - administrator in a university, doctoral student, teacher, aspiring scholar, and consultant. I find myself constantly setting boundaries regarding what I write in conjunction with each role, partly out of a sensitivity to the potential ramifications of what I share in a very public forum, the intersection of my different roles (I work, teach, and study at the same university), and also out of a need to focus on the most important matter at hand and not have it bleed over into other areas (for example, when I'm a student, I'm a student. . .and NOT an instructor).
This internal debate has led me to be far more conservative in my blogging than I am in conversation both with others and myself. I've tended to think that such circumspection has served me well given the strength of my opinions, the emotion with which I often express them, and the potential impact(s) given my diverse responsibilities.
Perhaps most important, writing enables me to process my thoughts and feelings in a very private way. I maintain a regular morning writing practice in addition to an ongoing effort during my workday, both of which offer me a place to get out of my head and onto the screen what's on my mind so in turn I can do what needs to be done. While occasionally such effort yields the kernel of an article or blog post, the primary intent is to process without concern for these writings ever moving from printed page (or screen) to a public forum.
In other words, I see blogging as the perfect venue to share ideas important to me that I believe might resonate with others - yet which aren't too personal, inappropriately revealing, or that risk coming back to bite me in terms of unnecessarily tweaking anyone with whom I may come into contact in the future. Not that I haven’t (and won’t) hesitate to express my opinions within these parameters. At the same time, I plan to keep writing for myself in private spaces and for my other roles in appropriate forums.