I Blog, Therefore I Am

Blog is the Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year for 2004, based on online lookups.

In the one year since my first blog entry in January 2003, I’ve gained several observations about blogging:

  • The fear of writing must not grip you.
  • Procrastination must not delay you.
  • The potential that your conclusion may stimulate controversy must not hinder you.
  • The anticipation of opposition must not quiet you.

If you follow a process, writing all comes together quickly. Here’s just one process I follow.

PRE-WRITE – Use your analytical skills to:

  • Think it out.
  • Do your research.
  • Understand who your audience is.
  • Organize your thoughts.

FREE-WRITE – Turn off your analytical, critical, rule-driven brain. Turn on your creative, emotional, free-wheeling brain.

  • DO Get your ideas down, no matter how untamed.
  • DO write extemporaneously (er, too big of a word)…”freely.”
  • DO have fun. Do it with passion. Write from your heart.
  • Stop. Give your writing a rest. Go away. Do something else. Sleep on it.

RE-WRITE – Turn on that analytical, critical, rule-driven brain one last time.

  • Come back and check the organization, spelling, grammar, style, usage.

Remember your ABCs:

  • Proofread for accuracy.
  • Edit for brevity.
  • Test for clarity.

How does it “look?” How does it “sound?”

  • View its layouton the “page.” Some mis-informed people think this step is about “making it pretty,” but that’s not the purpose. It’s making sure visual obstacles don’t distract or impede your reader.
  • Read it aloud. Listen to its sound. Words not only have a visual heft, they have an audible soul.

Now PUBLISH.

So, what are you waiting for? I’m waiting to read your blog.

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