Looking back -#BlogJune wrap-up

Looking_back (2)

Photo from Cole Patrick via Unsplash

So….

#BlogJune 2016 has finished (I know, I should be up with the times, but I’ve been away in Vanuatu, completely off the grid for two weeks, so just settling back into NZ life again :D). It’s my habit to write a bit of a reflection post at the end of the month, so here goes πŸ™‚

In terms of numbers crunched, I published 9 posts – not as many as 2014Β (didn’t do #BlogJune last year; trying to remember why?), but I’m happy with the out-put. I haven’t published many posts this year (apparently only 10!), so glad to get back into the habit of writingΒ Β I really do enjoy blogging; I’m just not always disciplined enough to put in the time to do it.

In terms of quality, I managed to blog relatively practically this year, and explore some thoughts about work which was really fun. It was great to reflect on things that I am learning and doing (particularly in the area of health librarianship), although it was also challenging to blog in an honest way about work while still being professional and positive. I’m sure everyone has issues and challenges in their workplace, but for me, I don’t necessarily feel comfortable discussing those on a public blog. I prefer to blog in a constructive way about what I’m learning/thinking/reflecting on at work, so that’s what I chose to share here.

Turns out my most popular post was about live-tweeting a design thinking workshop; this one certainly garnered quite a lot of attention on Twitter – not sure which aspect (live-tweeting or design thinking?) was most popular πŸ™‚

And a few numbers here (for those interested in stats):

Stats for June 2016.PNG

Stats by postStats by country.PNG

Some of the other highlights for me were just being able to read other people’s blogs, and follow their stories and thoughts and ideas – so much inspiration! I’ll have to go back and catch up on those posts that I missed in the flurry of #BlogJune πŸ™‚

So what was the highlight for you from #BlogJune? What did you enjoy most? What did you learn? Did you surprise yourself? πŸ™‚ I’d love to know…

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What did you say? Working Out Loud

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Photo by Linnea Sandbakk available on Unsplash

I’ve been thinking for a while about blogging about my work, tweeting about what I do at work, and how much I should share or what people would be interested in. I think it’s probably something that a lot of people think/worry about – how much should I share? Is this private/confidential? What if it’s critical about something at work – should I mention the things that I’m not entirely comfortable with or that I think should be changed? But to balance all these (legitimate) concerns, it’s also really valuable to share your work and what you’re doing with folk, to generate other ideas and discuss your thinking with a wider community. I suppose maybe some of my more recent posts (like this one about Design Thinking and live-tweeting – which was for a workshop at work) fall into this category of sharing my work.

And then I came across this tweet:

And was introduced to the concept of Working Out Loud – see more of what it is in this graph here, and read this introductory blog post:

Working out loud

So basically, my understanding of it was that it was similar to what I was doing already, tweeting about what I was doing at work, thoughts about issues, articles, people that inspired me, blogging about those things, but being even more intentional about it – inviting others to contribute their opinions, organizing it in a way that is useful to others and to yourself, and maybe even taking it a bit further and setting up a WOL group of peer support, in your workplace or wider.

So what do you think about the concept? Do you already ‘work out loud’? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Playing with my image – Bitmoji

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So, inspired by a post by Karen Miller, aka @infoliterai, I created an avatar of myself using BitmojiΒ Β – which may look just a little bit like me πŸ™‚ I love the creativity in creating the cartoons, and would love to try my own bitstips. However, I’m feeling a bit technologically inept tonight – I can find the page & the app on Facebook, but it looks as though the Bitstrips app on Facebook is no longer active, but I can use the avatar I created in Bitmoji in other cartoons. Any ideas on other apps or places to use this?

Learning to see like your heroes #BlogJune

You dont want to look like your heroes.png

I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love @AustinKleon’s writing, and this is one of my favourite quotes from his book “Steal like an artist: 10 things no one ever told you about creativity.” The main point of this quote is that it’s fine to begin with imitating our favourite heroes, artists, mentors, but it needs to move beyond that. We need to not be content with imitating them (looking like them); we need to see things the way that they saw them and produce art like they might have (but with out own particular spin on it).

I suppose this also extends to professional practice; I’m sure we all have people that we look up to, or who we think about doing this whole librarian-thing really well. But we can’t be exactly like someone else; we have to put our own spin on it. But we can definitely learn from others before us, and the more influences we have – the better our own work will be!

So (at the risk of sounding like Buzzfeed) – you do you πŸ™‚

I’m going on an adventure! #BlogJune

I'm going on an adventure

And it’s that time of year – Blog June has began again! You can find out more about it in this excellent blog post by Peta. Go and have a read, and sign up if you want – or just blog πŸ™‚

Looking back at this blog, I haven’t blogged regularly over the last year or so – whoops πŸ™‚ Things have changed a bit in my personal life, I got married, moved cities, and changed jobs (from a full-time tertiary librarian to a part-time health librarian), so quite a lot has happened that I could blog about. So I’m looking forward to using a bit of impetus from this #BlogJune movement to hopefully explore some topics that I’ve been pondering on for a while, but haven’t put into words (or blog posts). Things like:

  • Reflections on an Allied Health conference (first non-library conference I’ve attended!)
  • Reflections on the first Librarian Research Symposium (RLL1) – a rather excellent day of sharing research πŸ™‚
  • Thoughts on literature reviews, curating, and filtering, and presenting the results in a digestible way – was quite struck by @sallyheroes post recently on this topic
  • Using Twitter & social media to discuss and promote research – something I’ve been passionate about for a while, but came across this article yesterday that stoked my enthusiasm again
  • And any other random things I come across, creativity, design thinking, interesting quotes or memes or gifs (aren’t gifs great?)

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So go forth and blog for #BlogJune – looking forward to reading everyone’s posts!

Getting back into the habit…

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10 habits by papayatreelimited licensed under CC BY-NY 2.0

Dearie me – I seem to have written a few of these types of posts at one time or another; usually after I have spent all my blogging energy on #BlogJune and then say nothing for several months πŸ™‚

But despite having been to several blogging catchups – I have not published a post since 9 September – just before I went to Melbourne for ALIA Conference 2014! A lot has happened since then – several conferences, one award, presentations, and heaps of work stuff, but I’ve found that my mind has been full of other things and I haven’t had time (or I haven’t made time!) to sit down and assemble it into some kind of blog post.

So I’m hoping to get back into the blogging habit and to get some of these ramblings out of my head onto this blog. I’m looking forward to blogging about open access, the intersection of technology and education, progressing on my professional registration journey, and lauding the virtues of HTML as I move into a custodian role of the library website.

So this is just a small taster of some of the things to come – so watch this space as I get back into the habit! πŸ™‚

A little bit caught up…

Caught Up
“Caught up” by Nanagyei via CC license on Flickr

I was just looking at my blog and realized the last post was titled: “This could be a hard habit to break.” Well, maybe not that hard – seeing as I haven’t posted in over a month!

It was quite unintentional to follow up 30 days of non-stop blogging with (over!) 30 days of not blogging, but I’ve been enjoying some time off and a slightly different pace of life.

In the past month, I have wrapped up my six-month contract role on a cataloguing project, enjoyed a week’s holiday away with the family, and spent a couple of weeks at home catching up on stuff and applying for jobs.

This post isn’t an excuse for not blogging, but rather a realization that I needed some time away from this blog to focus on some other things in my life. I feel that I am coming back more refreshed with more clarity about the priorities in my life.

Sometimes it can be a hard balance to be both disciplined with blogging (because we all know it’s a discipline, right?) and to also allow yourself the freedom to skip a day (or a week!).

I really enjoyed Blog June and the challenge of posting something every day, but feel that is quite a frantic pace of blogging to maintain. Then I completely fell off Comment July – and I don’t even feel bad about it! I’m hoping to continue in the spirit of Comment July with “Blogger Friday” as I still feel it’s important to comment on other people’s posts, but I’m glad not to have the pressure as July was a busy month for me. I’m hoping to make a more realistic return to blogging now with at least one post a week – maybe more. I have a habit of writing or blogging when I feel the urge, but then sometimes find it hard to motivate myself when I am busy and tied up with other stuff.

What are your tips for keeping motivated with blogging?