Something I’ve recently been experimenting with is not publishing all of my posts (like this one) right away. Initially, the idea hit me when I wanted to write a Voki post but was having trouble getting Voki to load properly (more of a computer issue than a site issue). In the meantime, I had a couple of ideas for posts and wanted to write them, but for some reason I felt weird about posting more than once in a day.
After writing a couple of posts and saving without publishing, I realized a couple of things. First, the pragmatic side of me realized that if I do this when I have time, I can just save posts and then publish them when I don’t have time to write something that day. This way, I keep my blog updated and receiving hits (insert maniacal laugh here).
However, the teacher side of me also realized (thankfully) that this is kind of like what I’ve been reading about in Penny Kittle’s Write Beside Them. I’m still early in the book, but I really liked her idea of having students free write daily to get them writing more frequently and, conveniently, to enjoy it a little more. I did several free writes last year, and I like to write with my students when we do, but doing it every day seemed a little extreme at first.
The way I’m coming to see it, however, is that these blog posts are no different than other writing pieces. When I write something down here, I can save it for later, but I don’t have to share it with somebody right away. Maybe I publish it for others to read a little later, or maybe I just keep it tucked away forever. In any case, it’s an opportunity for me to write down something that I’m interested and engaged in at that particular moment – exactly what Kittle wants her students to do in free writing each day.
Like I said, I’m not all that far into the book (chapter 3 in my note-taking reading and chapter 6 in my straight-through reading), but it is a “teaching writing” book par excellence thus far. If you want to know a little more about it, I recommend checking out huffenglish and JustRead!, both of whom recommend the book highly (plus they’re just great bloggers, too).
Interestingly, one of my drafts (that Voki one, coincidentally) just didn’t seem ready to be published. Go figure.