Didz W ∙ 26 Oct, 09
Thanks for the valuable tips Robert :) It's great that people can learn from you :)
There are, in fact, rules—even online. Rules are not restrictions. Grammar, spelling, punctuation, rhythm, focus, syntax, and structure aren’t especially romantic terms, until you get to know them. Writers want to make sense. They want to move the reader. It ain’t never gonna happen if you got busted paragraphs, mistaken punctuation and, bad rhythm, not to mention kreative spelling: see? Clarity is key. Learn the rules. Break ’em later.
The best rules can’t be stated, but you can learn them by reading excellent writing. Develop an ear. If you know what works, you’ll start to emulate it. Conversely, it’s good to study truly horrendous language, stuff that makes you embarrassed for those responsible. You’ll find yourself mortally afraid of—and automatically avoiding—the same mistakes in your own writing. Hemingway said, “The most essential gift for a good writer is a built–in shock–proof shit-detector.”
Thanks for the valuable tips Robert :) It's great that people can learn from you :)
that's valuable for me too
I've noticed that you have made quite a few, if not several negative comments. Maybe this is not the site for you. People are looking for general replies for encouagement, if thats not in you, don't comment. I'm sure there are plenty of blogs that do interest you. Stick with what truly inspires you, so that you don't continue to tear others down as you make your way through life.
Seems to be you are a nit picker too. If you are hurt with any of my comment reply there. Your reply does not match with current topic and No offend, who are you to tell which site is for whom?
quote' "No offend, who are you to tell which site is for whom?
" did you also ask yourself about that when you said get off this is not a dating site, mr. robert? anyways, thanks for sharing this recent topic. no offend too..its just that i think we should respect each other's thoughts, we are equal here as far as i know a creation of God.
I agree with Wytwitch
It is said that sometimes "Writers have thin skin." It is understandable. You work on an idea. You put in time and effort. You apply the spit and polish. You finally see it as your creation and then someone comes along and snickers at it or calls it garbage.
I've had editors say, "Don't take it personally," when their red pencils bled over my copy like a leaky blood transfusion. It is hard not to take comments personally because you can invest so much of yourself in your writing.
One editor gave me great advice: "There is a difference between criticism and critique. Criticism is to point out issues and encourage you to press on. Critique is a no hold barred approach to rip something apart."
Some people do try to help and offer positive criticism. It might be hard to take, especially if the person giving it is close to you or someone who speaks directly.
Of course, there are jealous and envious people in the world and also there are those sicko people in the world who seem to get joy out of causing pain to other people. Here is where some of my mother's advice applies: "Son, consider the source."
Hang in there. Keep writing.
I am kind of direct in personality. Its because It was long time I had been in war of life. The reason I stay and like bloggers.com is I like to read blogs and also meet different type of people in the blog world. Honestly speaking,First day I thought Talk was related to blogs. May be I was wrong or Bloggers should have explained that.
One thing I should say criticism is part of process of improvement. Accepting tough criticism is not always negative. After all everyone has different style. I am not always right. Also not a celebrity! If you don't agree anywhere suggest or shout! I will welcome criticism in both the sides.
I've noticed you are direct, and i myself respect that. Here we are all different people. We share different experiences in our blogs. And not just in our blog but also creating different topics here in Talk just to open conversation. I just feel that whenever someone answers my questions, its like i know what to do next, i get inspired.
I would have to agree that critism is part of process of improvement! But in any case the person has, we should always think that we don't know the main story of him/her and we need to understand. Its not that im looking for someone here, i don't believe i can find the right guy here either. But anyways, we are all equal here and we should respect each other's thoughts or way of expressing what we feel.
I do agree with you robert,it's just that some people don't know how to accept criticisms that's why they find it difficult to accept.
Im new to the whole idea of blogging. I have read through several blogs as well as the talks, this site is set to attract many kinds, full of various thoughts. We all have something to share and offer to another. Therefore, let's read all, but only comment to those who inspire us to give back informed and constructive replies.
Thanks a lot Robert for the valuable piece of advice....would u mind going through my blogs and giving me feedbacks???
Thanks a lot Robert for the valuable piece of advice....would u mind going through my blogs and giving me feedback???
sure I will visit your blog. I am happy to find people like you in this site.
i have blog about blogging tips. please visit my site and tell me my mistakes.
Thank you Robert for your helpful advice. I am taking it the way a student would and perhaps the way that it was intended. The unfortunate side of writing...be it blog or email is that the true emotion or intention is masked and therefore can be misconstrued about a billion ways. I am glad that such an educated and caring individual would take the time out to share his knowledge with us. Happy New Year.
Hi Robert: I am new to blogging, can you help me understand this "arena"? Thank you for your time if you have it, pleased to have made your acquaintance.
sounds like ur sayin u Michael Jackson!
Use the five elements...
2. first point
3. second point
4. third point
daghan salamat bai. thank you very much. i'm just starting with my blog. thanks a lot this will help me.
Thanks for the tips - you are so right about importance of the "technical side" - meaning the proper grammar, spelling, etc. I check and re-check and still later find errors I have made that make me mad at myself LOL. In addition, I would add that speaking in one's own voice in a blog can be helpful in differentiating yourself from others and helping to establish your own personal brand. I am drawn to those blogs that have a bit of an edge or a twist - something that is a little out of the ordinary. But that is me. Someone else might not like that - it is all a matter of personal preference. But in writing a blog, if you make it your own by using your own "flair" (for lack of a better word - it can be useful. It also of course depends on what you are blogging for. If for business, this branding of yourself becomes much more important than if you are blogging for fun only.
These are very helpful tips and thank you for
this article (Mr, Robert) it does help a lot to be reminded :)
But you know sometimes, to have fun a little and
to enjoy blogging is to just do what I call " free-write" ....We are not here to be graded...
School is outside this realm...No teacher is grading our work...
If did write some fragments and over punctuated..
some of my sentences.. I don't want to feel embarassed about it. Its like having to proof read
your work every second and paranoid for the criticisms when people open your blogs.
I don't know like most people here, I am just here
to write.. not perfectly-gramatically-executed
piece.. like publishing a book..but a warm-open-truthful blogs to best describe what am going through.
Yeah, thanks for the tip. But I’d say if depends on your blog category. If you have a personal blog you just write in there anything you wanted to write. To me what is important is I convey my ideas to my readers and in turn, be understood. When it comes to grammar it depends on the country where you are. American English and British English have different grammar settings and even spelling. Asian countries have different English language settings. Philippines use American English while countries like Singapore and India have British English.
Pocket book writers like J. K. Rowlings and Eoin Colfer had written and published their books in two sets, one for British English readers and one for American English readers. I am just hoping someone will rewrite the Lord of the Rings pocket books in American English.
You're right, it depends of what kind of blogs they are
writing. I totally spaced out on that one! :)
I am very new in this world, so not in position to comment, but One thing I feel, writing is nothing but an systematic way of your communication and records. So it must be simple to understand. i.e. you need to express yourself in your way.
Manish, welcome to blogging then...
Thanks Robert, this was helpful. When I start a post, I tend to just drone on and on instead of actually thinking out what it is I am saying or trying to say. I'll have to put my concious thought into it!
Thank you! You are 100% on target. I hope a lot of potental bloggers take your advice. There are too many want to be bloggers that just babble on and on.
I have the problem of just typing away. I've at times emulated my HERO(in the name) Mr Jack Kerouac. Maybe that'd work for a writers blog, or poetry blog, but mine is Politics. So, I have to remind myself politics isn't prose, although it's usualy just my take on an issue. I'm not trying to win a Journalism award! Bueno, hasta!
I know exactly what your talking about!! I share my blog with my best friend and it irritates me when she writes wrong but then i have to take a breather and say, "hey... there really is no such thing as wrong writing... only different styles of expression.." and then i jus smile and cringe while she types her life away lol love her to death!
Hi Robert ,(same name with my hubby..hehe)
Thanks for sharing your ideas and advice about writing. It helps...God bless.
thanks. i write alot of stories, and this advice helped. if i can figure out how to put stuff on my blog, then everyone could read my, hmm, terrible stories. im workin' on it!
Love the Hemingway quote. I hope my writing meets the standards you mention!
Your advice reminds me of my first military editor after technical training school. She essential said, "You have to LEARN the Rules, before you can break them."
What I don;t think kids, or even some adults understand is the Big Picture of Writing. People simply WRITE to Communicate.
One major fact people forget or don't notice is A Living Language changes over time. Latin is a DEAD language because it would not change.
English, on the other hand, is a Living Language because it rolls with the punches and grows. Look at how many words in American English came from other languages originally.
Grammar has probably always been overrated because language and the way people speak change overtime. And, some words once unacceptable are okay now like - ain't.
In 2011, I can't imagine anyone wanting to write like Shakespeare. I'm not British, so I don't have to pretend to like Shakespeare.
The real sticklers on English from the 1920s and 1930s wouldn't just roll over in their graves - they would rotate to see someone write LOL or IMHO - but, since language changes- over time such abbreviations might become acceptable in books, magazines, newspapers and formal writing.
About the busted paragraphs ? English teachers teach to put all the associated thoughts lumped and clumped together, which means you can have 30 long sentences in one paragraph.
In military journalism school, one tactic we were taught is you can "Bust Up" paragraphs for one simple reason: length. The traditional way leads to long, lengthy blocks of type.
When the eye sees a large block of type, it skims rather than reads or skips the paragraph all together.
Journalism teachers taught us not to be afraid to break one long paragraph into two or three smaller ones.
Since the overall purpose of writing is communication: the journalistic way of "busting up" paragraphs speeds up communication - smaller paragraphs are quicker to read.
Spelling - no easy way around this. Spell checkers are software; not people, thus, a spell checker might get a word wrong.
Americans spell theater and British spell theatre - the spell checker isn't going to catch the Union Jack or the red neck discrepancy.
Punctuation seems subjective. Some people say too many commas and some people don't ever want you to use commas. Some editors don't mind semi colons, while others get gray hairs.
Get the spelling and the flow of your message and I believe you will get your point across.
I don't think I agree about the studying horrendous language. Gangster rap might be okay for music, but who really wants to sit down and read several paragraphs of obscene language.
Growing up in the Ozarks, we "reckon," and have our own spin on the language. To New England blue bloods, people in the Ozarks might be backwoods hicks, but people in the Ozarks usually tend to be on the same page when it comes to the way they think, talk and write - and, I reckon it works fer us.
Ernest Hemingway, the novelist, wasn't an English teacher; he had been a working reporter for the Kansas City Star.
Hemingway definitely had a way with words. He wrote simple sentences and got his point across. It is said that many young writers became frustrated because they couldn't copy his style.
Therein lies the secret: Every writer develops his or her own style.
If you know your grammar isn't up to "par" use a tool called "Grammarly" to double check your work before you post. You can learn allot and it will improve how your write in the long run.
Be yourself and don't try to sound like anyone else. I can tell when a blogger isn't consistent with how they "sound". Not everyone is going to like what you say, but at least you will be "you". For every person that doesn't like you, there will be a few that will.
Isn't that all that matters?
Well... This is an interesting thread. LOL
Can you really improve your writing later in life? Spellchecking etc is as basic 101 as it gets... But can you really learn to write / develop style after you get out of school?
When I was in high school, I had great writing skill but the research papers we had to do never let me fully develop my full potential because the papers were never something that was interesting to me. I wanted to write on what I was interested at that time. It has been almost a decade since graduation and my writing style has changed dramatically to where I am able to articulate what I need to say much better than I ever did in school.
So yes- it is possible.
That is a good point about what you place as an avatar. You don't necessarily have to use your mug shot like I have, but try to think of what your are "branding". For example, if your blog focuses an art, place a significant avatar that, when you comment on others blogs they identify with who you are and what you tend to represent.
Good tips on blogging sir.
Personally, I'm a Twitter follower and lately there has been this trend of using hash tags often to accentuate a point or thought. I've sort of adopted this pop-culture tool as a playful tool to also accentuate a thought, phrase or sentence.
Truthfully, I have fun using it also. I know a much more mature crowd may not like this method, but I guess in the end I am catering to a certain demographic of people, while alienating another. Bottom line though, I enjoy the style I've adopted and in the end - isn't that what writing or blogging is all about?
i have bad sense of grammar but get huge traffic that is why I always wonder
That's what you call "Marketing.'
If you know Carl, the Kid Blogger.. He started when he was only 11 years old.. No idea at all in the right structure, but through SEO, he became famous..
Try to search "Kid Blogger"
"No offend?" -- "No offense?"--or "No offence?" Tomeyto or tomatoe? "French fries or chips?
Simple: "Write for yourself"
Not for advertisers
Not for those who will visit your blog, leave comment just for exposure, but not really reading what you've posted
Not for those haters
Not for those who will just copy what you've posted, or those who will copy the code of your template
Not for anyone, but yourself...
If it's your passion, it will come out from you smoothly, no rules.. (just have to be careful with the libel issues for bloggers)
If you only blog to earn money, then plan, and invest...
If you only blog to be famous, then post your photos..
If you only blog, because that's what almost the rest of the world is doing, then think again if that is really what you want..
There is no writing rules, or guidelines in blogging. (again, libel is a different monster) This is not an essay-writing contest anyway. Just imagine yourself putting your journal, or your diary online.
Again, if it's your passion, it will come out from you... Blog for yourself, because that is what you want.
Oh I forgot, don't be confused with "blogging" and setting up a site like "Wikipedia" they are different.
Some people who start blogging, get frustrated in the end, because of the wrong objective when they started.
Blogging is a hobby, a passion, something that you just like doing. Those online visitors, advertisers, or earnings are JUST bonuses.
Is that all above given tips are suited best for my writing skill and to my blog content.......... ;) I don't know I write blindly :D
I think I got what you meant.
Writing through blogging is closely the same with a person trying to learn Oral English Communication. The time he/she becomes conscious with his/her grammar, there would be a big possibility for him/her to stop studying as well.
Same thing with blogging, the time you become conscious if you are writing correctly, then you might just get frustrated and stop blogging. You'll think that it's only suited for good writers.
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I love the Hemingway quote. I never heard it before. Great points. Thanks for sharing. It also helps to read your writing aloud.