It seems like every time I find a new blog, I also find another author dispensing advice on how to write. It makes me feel like I’ve really let you guys down by not sharing my own bits of writing wisdom. Yet, I applaud you all for continuing to persevere without my keen insights. Still, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share my very own list that you could learn from and use to grow into better writers. As the self-proclaimed Queen of run-on-sentences and comma splice errors, I feel like I’m clearly the authority on this subject. I’m also the Queen of Sarcasm, I feel I need to spell that out since sarcasm isn’t always easy to express in writing and I don’t want you to have read the first few sentences and thought, “wow, she’s really pompous”. I mean, I am actually pompous, but in this case I’m just being sarcastic since I can’t offer you any actual wisdom on this subject. I will make this promise to you, though – I won’t tell you about the proper use of “their, they’re, and there” or “your, you’re”, because I figure if you flub that, you typo-ed and everyone makes typos – in my case, blame Jay for failing at his editing duties.
- Write with your audience in mind. Your audience may be your Aunt Gladys. Write to please her. In my case, my audience is anyone who knew me before and during college. This includes a large chunk of family and friends. It’s where I tell anecdotes (sometimes theirs), since this is what they like to hear in person. I’m an exaggerator. I add meaning to insignificant events for the sake of a better story. Anyone else who chooses to read my blog is just a happy bonus. I tend to avoid politics and religion, because that’s not the purpose of this blog and my mother taught me that there were certain conversational taboos. I’m also quite rabid in my beliefs (especially politics) and you don’t really want to read some crazy rant that would be high on vitriol and low on humor. The only time I will venture there is if I bump into a politician or something interesting happens in a church. Like the time at Anna’s wedding where Anna (or maybe her husband Jonathan) said, “I do” and Anna’s priest responded with something along the lines of, “if you say so.” That response made those vows memorable and caused a ripple of snickers throughout the church. See, a church anecdote is born!
- If your goal is to be a writer, then practice writing at least 30 minutes every day at the same time of day whether you publish it or not. I cheat, since my blogs are written in the same style that I would write a letter so I spend 30 minutes a day writing letters. I need to follow my own advice, though.
- If you want your audience to be chubby middle-aged women who knows way too much about geek culture, just leave a comment and I’m sure I can think of more specific advice on how to draw-in more readers like me – God help you.
I’m assuming that most bloggers are hoping to get a small amount of popularity, because we all get a thrill when someone aside from Aunt Gladys finds us and are willing to follow us along our written journeys. We write for our own purpose and hope for some connection as proof that we’re not alone in our thoughts. I guess, for me, I don’t want some homogenized blog reading experience and I sometimes feel that I’m alone when I read “Do’s & Don’ts of Writing Your Blog”; it seems like others want a more uniform experience. I enjoy the blogs I read because they’re different – each person telling their own story in their own specific way. If everyone told their story in the same way, what a boring place the blogosphere would be. So, that’s why my advice is basically: write for the people you want to attract to your blog and write every day – don’t worry about everyone else unless you really do want to be the next Dooce or 1000 Awesome Things or The Blogess and in that case read every Do and Don’t you can get your hands on and get fired from your job for writing satirical pieces about your co-workers and have the national media cover it (seems extreme, but I have faith in you if you’re truly committed to your dream).
Aside: I now get to mark this off as my writing task for the day. Woo hoo! Yes, I used you all for my own personal growth. You’re welcome. Errr I mean, I dispensed wisdom. That’s it.