Blogging tends to be informal… that’s what we love about it, don’t we? We don’t want to read someone’s blog and have it sound perfect and starchy. We want something we can connect to and interact with on a personal level.
The flow of words, formally known as syntax, that bloggers use tends to be informal as well — relaxed and grammar-Nazi free. Well, almost.
Informal is great. Sloppy is not.
I know you’ve probably heard this infamous quote by Stephen King before: “To write is human…. to edit is divine.” It’s so true! No words ever sounded so fine to a word nerd.
Here is my writing tip of the week…
Take a brief pause: Have you ever read an old post and suddenly feel like you’re in the worst Star Trek episode ever? Did I really publish that?!
Passion vs Reality: There’s a cruel trick our brains play when we can’t always see our writing mistakes in real time. Sure, you’re passionate and fired-up about a subject, but, especially if it’s a lengthy post, it’s always a good idea to let it sit for at least a few hours or better yet a day or two. After that time, read through it and see if you need to make edits.
I do this myself, unless it’s an extremely short post. I also occasionally read through previously published posts and make edits. I catch old typos I’ve made all the time. Sometimes I can’t believe some of the stupid things I’ve written so I just hit delete.
Master Writer: The great thing about having a personal blog is that you are the master. You can edit and change things whenever you want. You can’t do that once a book, magazine or newspaper is published. Also, you can break the rules whenever you feel like it. Your seventh grade English teacher isn’t here to grade you. At least I hope not.
Breaking the Rules: I break the rules a lot actually. It feels kinda good. Look back up at the punctuation following Did I really publish that. An English teacher would freak out, but I like the affect of having a sentence be interrogatory and exclamatory at the same time.
That being said, you still want to have something that is readable and effective in the right way. Knowing the rules is the key to being able to break them effectively.
Use you’re power wisely, Dr. Spock.