Friday, April 10, 2020

Why the Blog is Back

An existential reason sent the blog into a coma over the winter: Do I have a point? It’s not like some fledgling writer in Goodland KS is wondering what I think about the Oxford comma. No reader in Pahokee FL waits for my opinion before purchasing a book. Too many of my justifications for continuing sounded like ego gratification, and god knows we don’t need any more people exposing us to masturbatory exhibitions of their self-perceived greatness.

Two things changed my mind. Primary was that I work out ideas better when I apply myself to writing about them. Bullshitting among friends is one thing, but I have internal standards—as all writers should—that demand anything written down needs to be well thought out, especially if others might see it. Continuing on with the blog should be a learning experience for me more than anyone, and I truly believe a day spent without learning something is a day wasted. Given my age and the current world health situation, the time I have available for wasting does not yawn ahead into infinity.

Another reason came to mind as I looked through the archives for a post a few weeks ago. I’ll admit I don’t read as many blogs as I used to, mainly because much of what I read in them are things I already know, or made up my mind about, long ago. Among the reasons I stopped posting was because the world didn’t need another blog not to read.

If I had to pick one vocation I am best suited for, it’s not writing; nor was it music. I’m a teacher. Few things give me more satisfaction than sharing my knowledge. It’s an infinite resource, as the surest way to learn something is to teach it. (Thanks to Dr. Sole Heir™ for reminding me.) There is nothing in the world better than seeing the look on a student’s face when an elusive concept snaps into place. (Laughing babies is close.) Many of my fondest memories of The Sole Heir™ (pre-doctor) are of teaching her things, or, even better, helping her figure something out. I am beyond proud when I see her use concepts and methods we worked on now that she and Lieutenant (j.g.) Sole Son-in-Law™ move through life together.

It also occurred to me that, while the bulk of my author contacts are people of experience who now take many of these thoughts for granted, we didn’t always. There are writers today who might benefit from some of what I’ve discovered for myself, and, as a teacher, that’s where the payoff lies.

Not that I’m a better teacher than anyone else, or even as good. I’m different. I’ve learned that how something is phrased can make all the difference. When is important, too, as students often aren’t ready to assimilate imparted knowledge the first (second, fourth, twentieth) time they’re exposed to it.

So I’m looking at the blog as more of a teaching/learning thing. I’ll reach into the archives at times, but those reaches may be to show my evolution, or even something I changed my mind about altogether. Long-time readers may think, “Meh. I know that already.” That’s cool. Quit reading when it sounds too familiar, but feel free to pass it along to someone it might help.


bre said...

We can all use a good teacher! Thank you. Stay well.

Scott D. Parker said...

Glad to have you back.