Thursday, January 24, 2008

Blogging - The Self Editor in All of Us

Of late, I've been struggling to learn how to write effectively the first time through.  I fail miserably, so I need to go through what I've done at least one more time, and methodically not quickly, so I can catch some typo's, grammar-o's and just uh oh's.  Unlike newspaper writers who eliminate themselves from their writing, the rest of us write in a style that is who we are, or elements of style.

I've scoured the web looking for sage advice, and they seem to all pretty much say the same thing, just in different wrappers.  (Much like what I'm doing now.)

Here's what I've come across:

Ideas:  Write about what you care about.  This adds to your natural style and you can be genuine in what you say.

Don't go on and on:  Make your point then move on, keeping it as simple as possible.  It's been said that Shakespeare used childlike sentences for his most profound issues.

Don't be afraid to delete:  If a sentence does not shed more light on an issue, delete it.  Much like this statement about the cloudy weather out.  <- I'd delete this last sentence if I weren't trying to make a point.  I tend to use a lot of commas and have to delete most of them on my reread.

Write like you sound, or like you talk:  It's the most natural way to write, and is the most frustrating because your editor is now changing who you are.  (This is the hardest thing for me to deal with, but I keep in mind how much I learn when someone tells me where I've veered off the beaten path.)

It's one thing to be unique and creative, it's another to say what you mean:  Readers want familiarity.  Then they can scan our work looking for key words in familiar places.  Readers want print to look like pages they have seen before.  This almost sounds like we're capping our creative side, but we have to pity the readers to some extent but remember that the most meaningful aspect of our styles,
which is what we choose to write about, is utterly unlimited.


With that, I must be off to try and create a critical article on an argument some columnists had amongst themselves on a public bulletin board.  No pressure there.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi - sorry for the confirmation but I need to weed out the noise from the well intended comments. Thanks for leaving a note... - Bruce