Having blogged sporadically over the last 10 years, I decided during my degree to start up a semi-regular blog about the things I was learning: from my studies, my experiences, and my job. Writing helps me piece different information together, to clarify my view, and to express ideas as I'm forming them, so while it is a useful academic and professional tool, it's also something that helps me learn.
Frequently, writers’ reputations are judged by their online profile - people expect a certain volume of good writing and in return writers are expected to receive a certain amount of attention. For me, success isn’t in terms of numbers: how much I write or how many people read it. Perhaps somewhat naïvely, my only hope is that I can help people to learn something or consider someone else's viewpoint. That's not to say that writing for a living, or for any other reason, isn't as valid - but for me that's not my primary goal.
It just happens that a lot of my life experience lies with people whose voices aren't always heard. They are not the politicians and celebrities to whom the mainstream media often hands airtime; they are refugees, children living in slums, disabled people, and the other ordinary people that our world is made up of.
I don't pretend to speak for other people, because our experiences are different, but I can speak as someone who is trying to navigate some of these trickier issues in our world today. Often my blogs will have an underlying moral theme as I try to square what I see in the world around me with the values of my Christian faith. I hope that it will enable people to view these issues from a new perspective, challenge their preconceptions, or teach something new.
Another purpose of my blog is to use my own experience as a way of sharing advice with others or just helping them feel better understood. As a graduate, I can share my wisdom with new generations of students. As a carer, I can talk about the issues carers face and reach out to others facing them. If my blog can be a source of help and encouragement, that to me makes it a success.
I believe it's important to be engaged with the reality of the world we live in. Not everyone has had the opportunity to be involved in the areas I have, just as I haven't experienced other parts of our world. Therefore, it is important to be listening to each other, sharing our own experiences, and being open to a change of opinion. Personally, I find blogging is a really good way to contribute to the many discussions that take place every day.
Written by Natasha Bunney, a graduate from De Montford University. Read more of Natasha’s thoughts on her blog.