Posted by: suekenney | February 3, 2012

To Blog or Not to Blog

what are word for?

Image by Darwin Bell via Flickr

Just sit down and write.  Don’t agonize over it.  Just write!

Great advice.  But … yeeeaaahhh.  I’m just a little bit OC, and I want every word to be just right.  I want to put forth great thoughts in perfect grammar, so that my readers will be astonished, amazed, and gloriously edified.

And there’s a lot to be said for going over your work and polishing it, making it shine.  I don’t think I know of anyone who just sat down and wrote a brilliant novel or thesis without hesitation or revision.  To put out a high-quality product takes a lot of hard work.

And that’s just it.  It takes work.  I can’t expect to sit down and, on my very first try, put out the next Great American Novel or the thesis to end all theses. I have to EXPECT to write and revise and dispose and write and revise some more.

Which, of course, means that you have to start.  You have to put words down.  Even if they’re stupid words.  The wrong words.  Clumsy words.  PUT THEM DOWN ON PAPER!  (Or your computer screen, depending on how you prefer to write.) 

Once you have those initial words, THEN you can work at them – expand your thoughts – change the wording – correct the grammar – polish your expression.

And this goes for blogging as well as writing novels or doctoral theses.  Even the smallest articles are worth doing well, are worth polishing and fine-tuning.  No, it’s not quite as excruciating or thorough a process; I, for one, am not getting paid to blog, so I’m not quite as particular as I would be for, say, a magazine article or a short story.

I do understand that not everyone agrees with me.  Just read a couple of blogs where the authors think the precise opposite:  let the words flow out, no revision or even spell-check, and let it fly.  I understand that their “worldview” of blogging is not the same as mine.  And this is a good thing – diversity is what makes the world so much more interesting.

But for me, I want even my blogs to be well-crafted.  But not so well-crafted that they never get published!  Gotta quit somewhere and let it go.

Kinda like parenting.  You can pour only so much into your child; sooner or later you have to let them go out into that big, scary world on their own and live their own lives; make their own mistakes; learn their own life-lessons.  And so with my posts:  do what I can with them in a reasonable amount of time, and then let them go.


  1. You’re. right

    • Thanks! And thanks for reading.

  2. My father always said, “If a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” I’m not a perfectionist, but I do try to do whatever I do as well as I can, though perfection is well out of my reach. But I have been known to update a blog post just to remove a comma or substitute a synonym where I’ve noticed repetition! Question to ponder: do we become English teachers / editors (or in my case, translators) because we are pedants, or does teaching English / editing / translating make us pedantic?

    • That is a really tough question. I’ve done both teaching and editing, and I’m not sure which came first. In either case, I’m still learning (and have hopefully made some significant progress) in being proud of my pedantry but not foisting it on others.

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