By Peter Giblett
Recently I encountered a comment about how blog writers jabber about how important something is, but never actually do it. There is a challenge, everyone knows writers write, they don’t do. It is a part of the makeup of the writer. Is this true? Do the writers avoid doing things? Do they pontificate about what is possible without taking any action? Does the act of writing achieve anything?
Sense of Achievement
A case or self-doubt, perhaps. Ruthanne Reid of the Write Practice says “Writer’s doubt does not mean you suck. Writer’s doubt does not mean you can’t do this. Writer’s doubt is, in fact, a liar. Your self-doubt comes from your inner critic.”
That inner critic comes out at the point when you question yourself and your abilities.My question is not about their ability as a writer, but something more profound. Is writing alone an achievement? Click To Tweet
For a person who writes a book, there is a definite achievement – a product sold on the shelves of a store. Can we say the same for journalists or magazine writers? Publishers pay them for articles (whether online or in print and whether they get read or not). For a blogger, arguably, achievement begins when someone reads their work.
An Excuse to Avoid Real Work?
I have been writing for a long time and know there are times that I have used writing about something as an excuse to avoid real work. In business, I started writing because writing the project specification was more pleasing than doing the actual job. It is also correct to argue that defining the project is a significant achievement.
Ultimately, those who write specifications, and project plans provide a valuable service. It is first necessary to conceptualise change before performing it. Finally, it provides the leadership that would otherwise be lacking in projects. I sometimes miss that role.
The Blog and English
Do blogs help people learn English? That is an interesting question. A study by Science Direct titles “The Effects of Blogging on EFL Writing Achievement” investigates this question. They conclude “results indicate that blogging itself does not provide better performance regarding writing achievement.”
The moderation work that I do for Wikinut would show the reason why Science Direct reached that conclusion. Less than 10% of all articles submitted use high-quality English. Wikinut encourages authors to grow, so allows some posts with less than perfect English. In my estimate, 30% of submissions fall into this category. Sadly some authors on that general writing site NEVER grow, never improve their English usage. They never leave that category. Little wonder the conclusions reached by Science Direct.
The Need to Grow
One of the best snippets of advice I have ever had is to write well you must read a lot. Reading is the essential prerequisite for skillful writing. From influential authors, you learn how words are used and sentences formed. You may pick up a style you would like to replicate. Sadly, there is no uniform rule that reading aids the writer. Long before the current trend for self-publishing began, there were books by favorite authors that offered poor language constructs. Perhaps, popular with those wishing to dumb down the language.
One of my favorite reading books is the Oxford English Dictionary. Rarely a day goes by without opening it. To improve my knowledge – learn unfamiliar words or upgrade my understanding of known ones. These days it is more an online reference than using the book.
A Matter of Opinion
But I return to the central question. Have I just jabbered about it and avoided doing anything? It does occur that one of the best ways to do that is by offering opinion after opinion. Most opinion is uninformed and can change from day-to-day. I say that because it is not based on provable facts. One of the courses I attended at Law School was opinion writing.
For a professional, like a lawyer, accountant, or doctor, etc. opinions are not willy-nilly. Professionals form them after analysing facts then using their skills and knowledge. They know, do “X” and the likely consequences are “A, B, or C.” Their studies of professional literature lead them to make certain conclusions. When a professional provides an opinion, they do not do so lightly.
Blogs often give liberal doses of opinion, often uninformed. From the team most likely to win the world cup to what the president or prime minister should do. Please, don’t get me wrong, I am as opinionated as anybody. I have shot my mouth off about something and probably done so in the last 48 hours. Ask my wife.
Jabber About it
But I return once again to the main point, jabbering about a topic rather than getting to the point. I once stated that bloggers are primarily columnists, providing their perspective and opinion on the world around them.
It is still possible to give an opinion and get to the point. The Huffington Post provided many goals for business blogging as including:
• Express brand identity
• Build an e-mail list through great content
• Attract top industry talent
• Build credibility
• Become an industry thought leader
• Distinguish yourself from the competition
All compelling reasons to write and show your best writing. It is true this list is business focused, with the first item being brand identity. Then every piece we write demonstrates our own brand identity as a writer. Each post published is a showcase for something you may write in the future. It is where the other items in this list come into play and where you build your career as a writer.
To the Point
That is where getting to the point comes into play. It is one reason I seek to teach my readers something. I also know that if I jabber, I don’t teach and that is my primary reason for blogging. Do you jabber? Tell us your story!
Featured image: Blah, blah, blah – jabbering about it by Geralt CC0 Public domain image from Pixabay
Bio: Peter B. Giblett
Peter B. Giblett is a freelance editor and writer with a background in business and technology management. He is also a non-practicing lawyer. English born, now living in Canada. He’s an Alumni of City University (London) and University of West London. Entrant and winner of National Novel Writing Month 2015, a novel he is currently editing. He runs his own blog called GobbledeGoox, which provides thoughts on writing, blogging, words, and word craft.
Published posts on Two Drops of Ink: Click here for All of Peter’s articles on Two Drops of Ink
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