What did you say? Working Out Loud

Cat_hearing

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!

10 things that energize me at work

blog post energize.jpg

Image by Aleks Dorohovich available from Unsplash

As a few others on #BlogJune have done, I’m going to blog today about the top 10 things that energize me at work. Thank you to Ruth Baxter & Katie Davis for your inspiration 🙂 So here’s 10 things that energize me at work (in no particular order):

  1. Coffee breaks with friends – there’s something about the combination of a warm moccachino (yes, I know they’re not real coffees, but they are still my drink of choice :D) and chatting with friends at work (either about work stuff or other stuff entirely) that just helps reenergize me and get some other ideas flowing
  2. Using pen on paper to write lists or to get my thoughts together. I find that working on a computer all day does not always help me to think creatively (and my eyes get sore – worn glasses since I was 4 :D). So having a wee break from the computer and going to pen and paper helps stoke the fires of creativity and envisage things in a new way.
    mindmap
  3. Closely related to number 2 – use pens, colour and paper to mind map (and not just write things in a list format). You can see one of my mind maps below:
    Mind map of professional development ideas rotated
  4. A change in routine – attending a workshop or talk, going to see a poster display, just mixing up my computer work with talking to people and getting fresh ideas. One thing that is really great about working in Ko Awatea is that we have many professional development opportunities or can sit in on workshops or seminars (like the design thinking workshop I attended the other week).
  5. Deadlines or being under pressure. Much like Katie noted, I am motivated by deadlines – I love starting new projects and rotating between things, but I’m not always the best (or motivated at) following through on things, so deadlines help me focus and be productive and complete things.
  6. Interacting with people – I really enjoy one-on-one tutorials or helping folk, and being able to interact with their problem/challenge and help solve it together. Helping other people does make me feel good, and I enjoy the challenge of working on something together and both learning more out of it. Often I have an ah-ha moment as I understand something about the topic together, or I have to figure out how to answer a question that I might not have thought about before.
  7. Sharing things & reading things on Twitter. Just having a wee break in my day to see what’s happening on Twitter, to exchange a thought or interesting article, and be inspired by what other people are thinking about and working on.
  8. Taking a short walk – I have been trying to build more exercise into my routine this year (particularly as my position is rather sedentary). I find taking a brief walk outside in the fresh air really helps to reenergize me (as sitting down for hours tends to make me feel a little sluggish).
  9. Music. As Katie said, often she’ll have a concert party in her car on the way to work. I find listening to music can help me focus on getting routine tasks done, and can sometimes calm down the ‘imposter thoughts’ that others have mentioned – “Am I really doing this right? Is this the best possible work I could be doing?”
  10. Talking with colleagues about ideas – often we’ll come up with some interesting ideas/problems/challenges at our weekly staff meetings which can help start some interesting ideas & collaborations.

So that’s what energizes me at work! What energizes you at work?

Playing with my image – Bitmoji

bitmoji-964080699

So, inspired by a post by Karen Miller, aka @infoliterai, I created an avatar of myself using Bitmoji  – which may look just a little bit like me 🙂 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 🙂

Are you my mentor? Mentoring in the Twittersphere

CreativityCreativity” by Mark van Laere licensed under CC BY 2.0 

After around a year – gulp (and considering my last post was about getting back in the habit of writing – whoops) – I am returning to my neglected blog. There are a couple of reasons:

1). I do really enjoy writing a blog, reflecting on my learning, and sharing my thoughts with others

2). I need some help from my community – and need a solid place to put that information 😀

The good news is that I have been accepted to write a chapter in an upcoming book – Beyond mentoring: A guide for librarians and information professionals. Yay!

The bad news (not that it’s terribly bad) is that it is due the day after my wedding in early January 2016 – so I am setting myself a deadline of Christmas 2015.

But here’s where you come in…

Around two years, I conducted my BA research on how librarians use Twitter to form and cultivate informal mentoring relationships – you can read more on it in my post here, my research questions and answers here on the New Professionals NZ blog, and you can read the published results in the New Zealand Library and Information Management Journal [NZLIMJ].

So I am revisiting my research from 2013, updating the literature to reflect the current environment today, and adding in some more information/angles/topics – as my chapter has to be 5000-7000 words compared with the measly 3000 words I’ve already written on the subject.

Some of the areas I’m thinking about/questions I’m asking are below:

  • Current/up-to-date stats or estimates on the number of librarians with personal Twitter accounts in NZ, and also compare that with the international results – thanks heaps, Sarah Gallagher @sarahlibrarina and Sally Pewhairangi @sallyheroes for your helpful ideas
  • Peer mentoring/reverse mentoring/informal mentoring/community of learners/PLN versus the traditional hierarchical model of mentoring
  • Formal and informal programmes that involve either mentoring or Twitter or both
  • Use of Twitter chats as professional development, support, mentoring, etc…
  • Conference hashtags/virtual attendance of online PD events
  • Examples in pop culture/movies/TV shows of peer mentoring – found some interesting examples of the typical hierarchical mentoring (Anakin & Yoda type thing), but looking for examples to contrast
  • Future of mentoring in the age we live in

So these are some of the things that are floating around my head at the moment – I’d love to chat about them and hear your opinions & ideas. For convenience sake, I am trying to use the hashtag #TwitMentoring in each tweet I do that relates to it, so I can go back and index it or save those conversations.

Really looking forward to the conversations this will generate, getting my first draft done and polished, writing the final one, and submitting it all before my wedding! Thanks for all your help, encouragement, support and #thinkythoughts so far everyone – where would I be without my Twitter family? 🙂

 

 

Emergence – How #BlogJune has helped me discover my voice

Emergence by ALice Popkorn
Emergence” by Alice Popkorn licensed under CC BY 2.0

I usually always look for a Creative Commons image to use with my blog posts; typically, I start out with an idea in my head and then find an image to match my theme. In this case, I was looking for images about “creativity” and this one really stood out to me. It’s slightly different from the theme I’d planned to write about, but it has set in motion a whole other line of thinking for this post – which I love! Serendipity – isn’t it a wonderful thing?

Anyway, this image is lovely because it perfectly captures the feeling of the new things I blogged about for #BlogJune – creativity, inspiration, things that make me laugh or smile, and creative writing 😀 Last time, I blogged more about work and library profession issues, but this time around, I really enjoyed exploring my creative side. I’ve found some fantastic books to read over the last month, and some interesting videos (like TED talks, Columbo, and more Monty Python clips – always good).

It also is a metaphor for the emergence or growth of my blogging ‘voice’ – I didn’t realize that creativity was a theme that resonated so strongly with me, but I discovered some great resources and writers this month which have really helped feed my interest in this area. I love the use of light and colour in this image and the vitality and hope it emotes – I hope my blogging voice continues to grow in the coming month and that this #BlogJune won’t be the shot in the dark for a largely dormant blog…

Out of interest, here are several other images I toyed with for this post (but ultimately decided it didn’t quite match the theme of this post – I may use them later on) 😀

Creativity is intelligence having fun
Creativity is intelligence having fun” by BK licensed under CC BY 2.0

I thought this was a really clever use of light and creativity, plus it’s coupled with an excellent quote by Albert Einstein – very hard to pass up!

Creativity vs art
Creativity vs art” by Conor Thaxter licensed under CC BY 2.0

Another excellent quote about the importance of creativity, but also a reminder that you need to be selective after you have been creative.

Creativity
Creativity” by Mark van Laere licensed under CC BY 2.0

This image also elaborates on the theme established in the last one; creativity is important, but you may toss out many ideas to find one that’s a keeper. Loved the use of light, the physicality of the paper, and the shadow of the broom – very nice composition!

In closing, I hope everyone enjoyed the process of #BlogJune! I’m looking forward to catching up on more of the posts over the next month – see you on Twitter and in the blogosphere!

The creative process in 10 steps #BlogJune

Think I’m on a bit of a roll with this whole creativity thing (see my previous post), so here’s another one I came across today courtesy of Brain Pickings.

You can read the full Brain Pickings post here.

The thing I like the most about this model is that it emphasizes the creative process – which is filled with ups and downs, confusion, premature breakthroughs, and finally the completion. It’s important to be able to enjoy & appreciate the journey that you take while being creative – not merely the finished product!