Tuesday, July 25, 2006

On Writing

I don't know how many bloggers blog because writing is one of their hobbies. I'm certainly one and have found a way to make it pay slightly, too. While I'd love to write full time professionally, I have not been able to find a way to do it yet. Whether this because I do not write well enough, haven't put enough effort into it, or my range of interests is too limited in scope is a matter I have to decide for myself.

But the truth is most blogs I come across bore me. Sometimes this is because I'm simply not interested in the topic, or other times they are written so poorly even allowing for the lower level of writing quality you see on blogs in general that they do not hold my interest. I will not name any such blogs. The blogs I link to are almost always well-written. For this reason it annoys me when I see an error that could have easily been corrected by me if I had taken a little time to proofread. (For example I used “conversed” instead of “converted” in a recent entry.) Hopefully, typing my entries up in OpenOffice before hand and editing them a few hours later will help cut down on this sort of thing. (Good grief, will Blogger ever introduce a program that will let me post my OpenOffice files directly? It exists for Word.)

I'm sure anyone who has even a casual interest in writing will tell you that there are times when they just know something that they've written is good. Rarely do they cry out, “Here, look at this brilliant peace of literature I've written you uneducated morons.” It's enough for them to know what they have produced is good.

Part of this has to do with what I like to think of as the metaphysics of writing. Even non-fiction tends to be a subconscious process at times where the words just flow from your mind to your fingertips and out through the pen or keyboard. As a side effect of this, particularly if you are writing about yourself you will often express emotions you're feeling but may not have intended to in this relatively free form style.
If you let your own likes, dislikes, feelings come out, your writing will be better. Even if you're an angry ranter, at least it will be a good rant. What you don't want to do is say before hand, “I'm going to put these emotions into this piece.” It simply doesn't work like that, although your frame of mind before sitting down may contribute greatly.

And if you blog, don't just do it because you think it's cool or feel you should. Your readers want to see you be passionate about something. They want to know that you believe what you say. They may not always agree with you and you may get angry letters or comments from them, but strangely enough, they'll probably continue coming back to see what you have to say even if this is the case.


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