Well, the good mostly; because I haven’t been doing this long enough to have experienced the whole range of ups and downs.
This post has less to do with my stated aims in writing a blog, and everything to do with the invitation given by Doug to join in a blogging carnival. This month, Doug is asking about archaeological bloggers’ experiences of blogging – the ups and downs. This made me reflect on my start in April this year, how I feel about my attempts at blogging, and what I’ve learnt so far.
I’ve discovered that writing, albeit in a small way, about materials, objects, making things and artefacts is helping me to think about what I’m doing. Not only what I’m doing in the present, but what I might go on to do in the future. I didn’t anticipate this outcome when I first signed up on WordPress. At that time, I expected to write something like a cross between a diary and essays on the archaeological record and archaeological theory. Far more formal, and I’m so pleased it’s not like that.
In fact, it helps me to write down a little about what I’m doing in learning about materials, replicating artefacts, experiencing materiality for myself. Discovering unexpected things about the natural resources that it’s otherwise so easy to take for granted (our museum stores are bursting at the seams with all that stuff, and that’s without all of the objects that once formed essential parts of people’s lives, made in biodegradable material, which we will so very rarely recover).
Just as it’s easy to browse posts in the blogs that I follow, it’s easy to browse my own posts. Flicking through my posts is a convenient way to review progress, to remind myself what’s left undone, or where I might want to go next. I don’t have to have everything swimming round in my head, or photos inaccessibly buried in an external hard-drive.
And it’s proving useful to be able to go back and have a look at what I’ve written. This is a learning process. At work, the audience for my written work is resolutely specialist, academic, technical, corporate. I can find a different voice in my blog. Part of the learning is learning about myself; being more realistic about my expectations of myself in blogging.
Maybe my blog will become something more for me. I can imagine writing more extensive, referenced work; using my blog as an outlet for aspects of my research; and perhaps I will be able to develop an audience interested to follow artefactual. For now, I’m happy with how things are, and pleasantly surprised at how it’s turning out.