Thursday, August 18, 2011

Blogs are all very well, but …

By Rick James

I thought I’d wanna try to say something here that maybe all you peeps would wanna listen to but if you don’t then I don’t care and you don’t have to read it so I don’t care if you like my writing or even if you read it or are reading now, and if you are maybe – just maybe – you do … your choice.

Eh? What? No, me neither.

And you think I’m kidding. I wish I was – I really do. However, regrettably, the above is an example of one of the less improbable run-on sentences I’ve seen in some blogs.

In response to various articles on the writers groups at Linkedin and other book marketing forums about the relevance of writer’s blogs as a tool, I think it’s pretty much a no-brainer. Yes, blogs are a brilliant idea, a great sample of your writing and a useful calling card to allow those beyond your current personal and professional sphere of friends and colleagues to sample your work.

Moreover, they give an author a sort of digital shop window onto the world for his books, poems short stories and associated musings, with the unique attraction being the “soft sell” nature of the enterprise. How so? Unlike a web site, the dissemination of free and hopefully fun and useful information is the motivation to subscribe.

So why mcuk ti up wth speling like ths?

Again, I’m not kidding. I’m pretty certain spell checker programs are free with word processing programs these days, so unless an author is transcribing something he has hand written from a roll of toilet paper by using his big toes to type it onto his keyboard, no excuse guys! None at all.

And the knock-on effect of poor grammar isn’t great either. Web users in particular and avid readers in general are pretty intuitive these days; in short, don’t think your readership needs a degree in English literature to spot bad writing!

And by association, if you can’t write a blog why should anyone suspect you can write a book?

Am I being too pedantic? I don’t think so. Yes, I understand a blog can also be a space for a writer to be experimental, and “to be himself” without the more formalized editing requirements of a novel, for example, but too many obvious and basic grammatical errors are strikes against one’s professional goals. Anyone calling himself a writer must surely see that?

So, grammatically-speaking, don’t shoot yourself and your blog in the foot.

You can break all the rules and be a literary rebel, no problem. You can dismiss popular opinion! Go ahead!

Sod the industry!

Write whatever you want to write!

But the fact remains: you owe it to your work and to your readers to whip your blog into as good a shape as can be; you owe it to your creative goals and ideas. After all, what other tools does a writer have to convey them?

You owe it to yourself.

Rick James is an author, speaker, blogger and teacher living in London, England. He can frequently be found people watching on the streets of East London to get inspiration for his weird and wonderful fictional creatures and monsters and ranting, fantasy-tinged tweets.
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