The concept of commitment has been on my mind a lot recently. I shared some of my thoughts in a previous blog about commitment for college student involvement, but I have been talking a lot about commitment with colleagues and students. I have learned to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability and being my authentic self. However, being committed to these in my writing is still an avenue in progress. My final thought during the #sachat for blogging in student affairs was “Be vulnerable, authentic, and committed. The first two will come easier if you commit yourself to writing time.” Although I completed my graduate work this past spring, I was craving a space to articulate and challenge my thoughts about issues in higher education. I found this avenue in #sachat and blogging.
To me blogging is relaxing. Blogging helps me see my thoughts and reconsider my beliefs. Blogging also offers a place to share thoughts in writing – thoughts I may not have been able to articulate in person. Blogging is a space to share my view of the world and my role. However, this may not be the case for everyone.
Vulnerability and authenticity come easy, to me at least, when I am blogging or writing my thoughts. How? I continuously remind myself when I’m writing that this is my space. Putting myself on the line, recognizing there may be critical feedback and/or support, and sharing with the world a piece of my perspective is what writing is about. However, the troublesome piece to blogging seems to be the commitment piece. How can I commit myself to blogging, writing, vulnerability, and being authentic? Where is this time I’m searching for? It looks so different for each of us. Sharing written thoughts with a large group of people may be the least desirable thing to some individuals, but for others it may be invigorating to let others into your mind. Blogging is writing. Writing can be shared or kept private. Sharing allows for others to affirm, challenge, or offer different perspectives that you own; whereas, privacy allows intimate thoughts, experiences, or beliefs to be noted and reflected upon.
Commitment to writing puts a lot on the writer. Maybe you set aside an hour or two each week that you’re going to write. Maybe you sit with a thought throughout the day, or week, and when a solid thought comes to mind you write it down. I wish it was possible to get all my thoughts out in one moment, but I keep my thoughts with me as I go and keep working through them. This is what makes writing so authentic to me – carrying my thoughts with me throughout the day. But it can be difficult to remember these great thoughts. Use what works for you! The Notes app on my iPhone is filled with a few different random thoughts about random concepts I am writing about or want to write about. You can often finds post-it notes on my desk with ideas or connections I’m making. Some people use conversation, Facebook, Twitter, a scratchpad, or their computer. Find what works for you and commit yourself to carrying out your thoughts in a space for you to elaborate.
Another piece which I have found helpful to make connections, share my thoughts, and dig into my beliefs is through conversation. As I shared, blogging or any other form of writing can be private or shared. The feeling of being heard, understood, validated, and even challenged can be so rewarding. Finding the conversational spaces with friends, family, or colleagues to capitalize on the sporadic thoughts can be a tremendous asset to your writing commitment. Letting others in, even if just one person, can help each of us remain committed to our own authentic writing. Remember that writing is your space. I invited you in mine, and I hope you’ll invite others to your space.
> BONUS <
Podcast With Kevin Kruger on Avoiding Burnout in Student Affairs