I used to call myself the reluctant blogger. When the term blog was coined, I dismissed it as frivolous. I studied journalism in college before Al Gore invented the internet, at a time when stories were called articles and were written on electric typewriters (look it up). When blogs came along, it seemed that everyone and their brother had one, and it sort of ruffled my feathers that anyone could call themselves a writer.
Yes, I was a real snob.
Every now and then, I feel myself gently drawn back to one of my favorite stories, Pride and Prejudice. It holds special appeal In the last lazy days of summer, when I want nothing more than to read all day, or take a walk, or sit in the sun, and by night to don a pretty dress and dance with a handsome man.
Such is my romantic view of Victorian life.
I’m not proud of the fact that there are unwashed dishes in my sink, a pile of unfolded laundry on my bed, or a family of dust bunnies under my dresser. But I’m writing. And when my writing time increases, my usually high cleaning standards take a dramatic fall.
You’ve learned a thing or two in this lifetime. Maybe you know the secret to making the perfect souffle. Or how to be a stepparent to kids who refuse to say your name. Or maybe you want people to know how prayer has changed your life. Whatever it is, there is some message that you feel called to share in a blog.
Whew! What a roller coaster 2016 has been. From the World Series to the presidential election, I’ve had my share of late nights, nail biting, close calls, celebration, and despair.
During Game 7, in the bottom of the third inning, Carlos Santana crushed a curveball to right for a single, bringing Coco Crisp home and tying the game for the Cubs. And millions of hearts pounded.
Pssst. I’m going to urge you to steal the ideas in this blog. Because I did.
But before the blog police come busting in my door and drag me in front of the court of ideas where I’ll have my misused words thrown in my face and—
Wait, this is starting to sound like a dystopian novel when it’s supposed to be a blog.
Here’s the truth:
Unless you’re a witness being interrogated by a cop, it’s not always a good idea to start at the beginning. Hook the reader first and then worry about giving details.
This may be overly picky, but it never hurts to be precise. Are you using the word “unique” properly? It means “without like or equal,” so there can be no degrees of uniqueness.
Incorrect: It was the most unique dress I’d ever seen.
Correct: It was a unique dress.
Break it down!
Feeling overwhelmed by an idea that you can’t seem to wrangle onto the page? Try this 5-Step Blueprint when writing your blog:
This is a great presentation from South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker on plotting using the key words “but” and “therefore.” It’s brilliant. Watch it.