by Phoenix A. Desertsong, Staff Writer, Healer & Advocate
There's a myth out there that when you start web writing, you can just sort of write whatever you want. While there’s some truth to that, there are people out there that seem to perceive that web writing doesn't need to have much thought or effort put into it. You can just type whatever comes to you. Then, you hit 'publish' and that's a blog post.
Technically, yes, you can post whatever you want. But as with any kind of writing, the more thought and effort you put into your web writing, the better results you’ll get out of it. That doesn't mean you have to write the perfect post every time, of course. Some people try. Yes, there are those of us that can whip out a blog post in 15-20 minutes, slap a Creative Commons or public domain photo on it, give it a snazzy title and publish it with an immediate audience.
But, is that true of most web writers? Certainly not.
I'm a pretty fast writer myself. I've easily written 1000 words in 20 minutes many times. That's not to brag. It took a LOT of practice to be able to write that quickly. In my case, it was years of journal writing that started back in junior high. But, I think what helped me the most over the years was retyping my journals into the computer. Not only did it help me practice typing. But as I typed them up, it also made me rethink how I was wording things.
Obviously, when you’re writing in your own journal, you're not going to be as cognizant of how you're wording things. You're just going to write whatever comes to you. It seems that a lot of people think that writing perfect prose just comes naturally to web writers. That’s not true. For every post I whip out in 15-30 minutes, there are five more on my back burner. Of these five, three or four of those will likely end up scrapped.
There are also plenty of blog posts I whip out, then go back and revise. Web writers are always tweaking. After all, what you write is live to the world. If you’re not happy with it, you’re going to change it. You want to always show something that is strong work. Even if it’s not your best, you want it to be something you’re fine with having your name associated with.
To make up for those times where the writing flow isn’t working, many web writers write ahead. This is why you see so many web writers hammer out a lot of posts at one. That way, you can go back and decide if something is ready to publish or not.
Still, everyone's writing process is different. Some of us take a lot of time to craft the best blog post that we can. When I have a post that I really want to come out the right way, it can be a long process over the course of days or even weeks.
But, there is plenty of thought that goes into a blog post. There’s also a lot of research. Not only are you fact-checking or looking for additional info, but you have to know if it’s going to actually get interest. Will this resonate with your intended audience? Is it a topic people will even care about? There's so much going on behind the writing that most people never think about.
Sure, you can just sit there and use a blog as your journal. That's perfectly fine. I used to do web writing in that way. That’s when I just wanted to connect with others through writing without really thinking about it as a career. Web writers should just do whatever works for them. But if you want to take your web writing to another level, that’s when you have to start treating it with far more care.
Yes, it's absolutely a myth that blogging doesn't require a lot of time and effort. It really does, especially when you're trying to grow it. Just starting a blog and writing anything takes time and effort. Even if you’re just writing for fun, it's never as easy as it looks! After all you're putting something out to the general worldwide public. That’s nothing to sneeze at!
So, the old saying “if you blog, they will come” isn't exactly true. You have to put in a lot of time and effort for a blog to live on. For those that can do it consistently, be proud of them for doing something they love! If you have the passion to put extra thought into effort into everything you publish, there will be a pay-off in the end.
~ Phoenix <3
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Often known by her nickname "Ami," Ms. Phoenix Amelia Desertsong has written for many online publications, often under pen names.