In the past two days, I’ve learned three important lessons as a blogger. The first, is that what I write, and more so, what I publish, must be authentic to who I am and what I want to say. Fortunately, or maybe ironically, I’ve known this with other writing for years.
Secondly, editing matters. One of the things I tell my students over and over is that the delete button is their friend, and if not their friend, definitely mine. Used more often, it would help decrease the duration of some of the painful things I have to read.
Sometimes the sentence, or idea, you like the best is the one you have to delete. I’ve told my students, “if you like it that much, write it on your wall, it’ll be there forever, and you can get on with it.” Truth is, even though I’ve deleted great sentences, I don’t actually remember any of them, and I’ve never needed them since.
Consequently, what might be the inspiration for a post, may not actually make the final cut. If you need to give credit to the inspiration, use an addendum.
The last post I wrote, originated as a mash-up of a Nickelback song, and my own thoughts. However, it didn’t say everything I wanted, and not enough of it was my own. Consequently, I had to go back and rewrite it, even though I’d already published it. With traditional media, that would be costly. Now re-written, only one small quote remains.
Sometimes it’s best to let it sit in draft for awhile. The desire to publish it, doesn’t always mean you should.
The thing is, I know all this. I’ve been writing longer than my students have been alive. I know how to write; I know how to persuade. This is the reason I view my English classroom as an apprenticeship in writing and thinking.
Thirdly, my digital foot print matters to me. The copyright issues with that piece bothered me. It was the one thing that I had an issue with when I thought of it, when I was writing it, and after I published it. And I’m perfectionist, so I had to change it.
If anyone was to argue that blogging is not an authentic writing form, I would have to strongly disagree. In fact, it likely requires traditional writing skills to be sharper and more succinct.