Disjointed, fractured and somewhat pointless

3 months.

I’ve gone through long dry spells on my blog in the past, but this one feels especially long.

I’m struggling a bit to figure out why this writing stuff has suddenly become so difficult. It wasn’t that long ago when I was in the habit of writing weekly post of what I was working on. But lately I can’t seem to pull all the disjointed and fractured thoughts together to even accomplish that each week.

It’s not like there are not interesting conversations happening that I want to participate in or respond to. I feel like I owe both Audrey and Martin some considered and thoughtful words about EdTech as academic discipline as I think I was the one who likely spurred the subject after posting a piece on Facebook that they both responded to…and then took one step further and wrote great posts on (here’s Audrey’s and Martin’s). My take doesn’t go much beyond the annoyance I felt when I read the original article and thought here are elite institutions “discovering” something that many of us thought already existed. Like MOOC’s, suddenly discovered when the, ahem, right institutions started doing them. It’s not echolalia, it’s moocolalia.

There is also Martin’s excellent take (and ensuing comments) on a societal shift to a dark place where expertise is dismissed and the facts don’t matter. How does education fight a culture that is increasingly anti-learning?

I feel like I should comment with something, especially since I was quick to jump into the great Twitter maple syrup debate, which prompted an observation from Martin.

But maple syrup is easy. The role of education in the helping to solve the decline of western civilization? Not so much. I feel inadequate to respond, especially in light of the incredibly thoughtful responses by a lot of very smart people each weighing in with their views.

And here is where I get to everytime. What is it I am trying to say? It has to be more than just….this.

I feel like I’m wasting time. Mine, because here I have sat for 45 minutes trying to figure out what it is I want to say, or whether I even have anything else to say.  And yours because, well, I haven’t really said all that much.

Maybe I am just going thru a drought, but it feels like something has changed. Writing used to be the way that I would connect the thoughts and make meaning out of this stuff. But lately…not so much. It feels like an awful lot of work with little reward. And work that is dissatisfying because I keep going, and feel I get nowhere. Get stuck. Have a thousand strands in my head that I can’t quite pull together, elusively out of reach to make a coherent narrative.

Hell, never mind coherent narrative. At this stage, I’d be happy with a point.

So I am just going to keep on writing. I am hoping I can write my way out of this and get back to where I feel like I actually have something meaningful to contribute to the conversation. It’ll likely mean a few go nowhere posts, but I’m going to publish them anyway so please bear with me. I feel like I need to get this blogging thing under control again.

Photo: Temporary Pointless Sign by Cory Doctrow, CC-BY -SA


Clint Lalonde

Just a guy writing some stuff, mostly for me these days on this particular blog. For my EdTech/OpenEd stuff, check out https://edtechfactotum.com/.


7 thoughts on “Disjointed, fractured and somewhat pointless

  1. This didn’t waste my time at all. There’s a reason it’s hard at the moment but I can’t figure it out either. I am really grateful to read this.

    1. Thanks Kate. Appreciate the comment. Hopefully, the answer will work itself out with just some writing. And taking some time for thinking. I actually think that may be part of it, too. I’ve been feeling slightly more swamped than usual with a number of small projects. Maybe I need to set aside some time to digest instead of just react.

  2. Keep doing this Clint, if it makes you feel good.
    Posts that ask questions are more Valuable than those that answer them. This one is. Beautiful look inside your head and raises questions (for me anyway) of:
    Why do we blog? What’s the value of blogging? Is there inherent value to recording our lives? For whom? What do we lose when we don’t do this? Are we thinking coherently and Connecting ideas well even when we aren’t blogging? Are we writing elsewhere and maybe that’s satisfying our writing muscles? Do we need to be writing at all now? Is something making us self-censor that we aren’t aware of? Who cares?

    I care because I care about you and your thoughts and want to khow them. But blogging isn’t the only way.

    And as I was saying on Facebook in response to Bon – don’t let illusions of quality standards stop you. Except I know they will. Just make sure they’re your terms for yourself. They may be different today than they were a year ago. Or yesterday. That’s fine. If you think it’s fine 😉

    1. Thanks Maha. It does make me feel good when I do it, and connected to the wider community.

      You know, I’ve been doing this blogging thing for well over a decade now. You’d think I would have some kind of routine down by now. Over that time, I have asked myself similar questions as to why blog, and the reasons seem to be fluid depending on the day. Sometimes for me, sometimes for others, sometimes to add something I discovered to the great Google-bot in hopes that I can help someone else who might have the same kind of problem.

      I do find myself self-censoring more than I used to. My inner voice often tells me not to write this or that, or rework. For example, this post originally went down a pretty dark path that veered wildly off into the deep end of US politics, Donald Trump, Ronald Reagan, nuclear destruction and the fears of a 12 year old me. I took that bit out. Then it shifted into a diatribe about opinions, and how everyone has one and opinions are likely what got us into this mess of disavowing the truth. Again. Pretty dark and deeply rant-y and even more tangential.

      At any rate, I think the way out is just to write. I have always admired the blogging style of Dave Winer and how he just tosses off everyday stuff, short or long, personal, professional, all mixed into one virtual stream of conscious thought. It feels like something like that could be a more liberating approach than trying to build up these big cohesive connect-all-the-dots kind of thought pieces.

  3. Just imagine if some of the, er, keynote class had the guts to say that they didn’t know what to write…. 😉 well said Clint.

    I think a few people in our community are in a similar space right now… it feels like ideas are shifting right now and everything is going in a million directions.

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