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How Blog Posts Can Become Lessons

Blog content can take many forms, all of them relevant: creative writing, photographs, short articles, insightful quotes, self-absorbed diary entries, jokes, etc. Some people blog to share, others blog to show off, and a few people blog to learn new things by exploring their ideas through writing. I fall into the last category; on my blog, I stab at ideas that swim in my head.

When I started this blog, I wasn’t completely sure what it would become. Over the past year and a half, it has definitely evolved and grown into something that has given me room to explore and helped me cultivate relationships with other people who are curious about the same things that I am.

A few days ago, I visited my own archives with the hopes of trying to organize my content and twist it into something new. I’ve received so many wonderful comments from intelligent and insightful people, and I believe I had moments of great clarity in some of my posts. Many times, I have questioned the purpose of writing here, but I’m happy to say that blogging is worth the effort, especially when you realize how much raw material you’ve generated.

Think about it: when you begin anything new (an exercise program, learning a new language, pursuing a degree), you wonder how you’ll ever get through it. But you do it everyday, sometimes begrudgingly, and eventually you end up stronger, bi-lingual, or as the recipient of a new diploma. And you wonder where all the time went.

The writer Samuel Johnson once said, “Excellence in any department can be attained only by the labor of a lifetime; it is not to be purchased at a lesser price.”

When you become obsessed with a subject, when you want to learn more about something for your own sake, chances are that you will one day be knowledgeable enough to tell another person about it. I don’t know anything about finance or deep-sea fishing, but I’m pretty sure I can give someone an introduction to the blogosphere and/or creative writing.

I’ll save someone else the trouble of writing a blog that only I could write, and someone else will save me the trouble of doing lots and lots of research by writing an informative blog about, say, urban planning. And I will be very grateful that this person put so much work into sharing and exploring his or her passion.

If you have a blog, do you think you could make a lesson plan from all the work you’ve done? Could your blog posts become instructive exercises? If you reorganized your posts by category or theme, for example, could they tell an overarching story? Could you possibly organize your blog posts like a textbook? How much of that content would you throw away and how much of it is good enough to keep?

(Photo by AlphaTangoBravo / AdamBaker)


  1. You are right about the educative quality of blogging and blog perusal. From a teacher’s standpoint, I can tell you that a textbook is one of the worst ways to teach: straightforward one-way delivery of material from expert to vessel, little interactivity, student is alone in their learning for much of the experience. However, blogs have greater potential, as their interactivity lends themselves to mirror a better educational process-one that is a give and take, a back and forth, involving everyone from the source to peers and fresh perspectives. In that manner, a blog transcends a textbook in its ability to teach at a level which favors communication to traditional delivery.

  2. This is a terrific way to look at blogging’s utility. I’m still in the ‘getting my feet wet’ stage of blogging, and this is by far my greatest challenge: trying to stay on course and on topic so that the posts are part of an overarching theme or at least just a few themes.
    I really like the lesson plan metaphor you used, I’ll be sure to think of that when I sit down to write future posts.

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