Blog Writing Can Make Good Writers Better
When you’ve been blog writing for a long time, it’s both fascinating and terrifying to go back and look at your earliest posts.
In my blog writing process, I try my best to write it far enough in advance that I have time to be able to re-read more than once before it actually publishes so that I have a better chance of catching typos, and errors in grammar.
Writing further ahead also gives you a chance to re-read your post to make sure you’re adequately making the point you set to make when you started.
Over the past few months, I’ve been using a free service called Grammarly. It operates as a browser extension and takes the spell check function one step further, pointing out punctuation problems and potential grammar errors. There’s a pro version available for a fee, but I haven’t been willing (so far) to spend that kind of money.
Recently, when the photo-hosting site Photobucket decided to suddenly stop allowing people to live-link to their own photos on their blogs, I made the decision to redownload all of my critical photos there and delete my account. That, naturally, caused a slew of broken links over the 13+ years’ worth of posts, so I’ve been trying to go back through all of those broken links and restore the pictures.
As I’ve done so, with Grammarly open, I’ve seen plenty of little red marks indicating spelling errors and grammar mistakes, along with errant uses of commas. In more than 13 years of blogging, I’m happy to say the number of times Grammarly indicates that I’ve used a comma unnecessarily has dropped dramatically. As for spelling errors, if I remember correctly, AOL Journals, where this blog began, did not have a spell check option, so what I didn’t catch slipped through the cracks.
As bloggers, we’re often told that no post will ever be “perfect.” There comes a point at which we’re urged to hit publish. Presumably, we don’t neglect the basics of writing when we do so. But for some of us, maybe we unconsciously do.
In any case, I think it’s definitely true that blog writing is one of the many areas in which practice makes perfect: the more you do it and the longer you do it, the better your writing will get.
I’m trying to remind myself of that when I go back to a post from, say, 2006, and see a lot of red marks from Grammarly.
Just for the record, when I encounter an old post with such issues, I do go back and fix them. Just because an error has been around for a decade or more doesn’t mean it should remain.