When Rachel first suggested I take this little corner of Hollaback Health and talk about better writing, I was super excited. And then I was super nervous. Would I be able to write one tip or post a week on how to be a better writer? Panic set in.
So I decided to be logical and make a list of prospective topics. And then I ran out of pages in my little notebook.
You see, I’m just as passionate about good writing as I am about getting more greens down my gullet or more speed in my sprint. Maybe it comes from having been a class-A nerd who read books at her desk during lunch while I was in high school (yes, I admit to it, please don’t hate). Maybe it comes from some deep-seated, frustrated ambitions to be a college prof (I could rock the hours at the library no probs, but not the career uncertainty, thanks). Or maybe having glasses since the age of four turns you into a book-devouring, red-pen-waving member of the Grammar Police.
And, if you think I’m gaga for good grammar, I’m even more passionate about getting this little blogging community of ours to recognize that how we write is just as important as what we write about.
For starters, having a blog means that anyone can take a look at what you write and how you write it on a daily basis. Of course this means that employers can go scouting for you (and that they may well make a hiring call based on whether you know the difference between there/they’re/their). It also means that your old classmates and fellow bloggers and any old person with a computer and the ability to search for you can check you — and your subject/verb agreement skillz — out. Do you want the mean girl from high school to contact the rest of the old coven of witches and tell them that your education obviously went to naught? Didn’t think so.
Furthermore, each and every one of us interacts with readers and other bloggers on a daily basis. You want to be an authority, not a Spell-check casualty, no matter what you write about. After all, how can I trust that a blogger’s content on getting enough Vitamin D is correctly researched if the blogger rattles it off so quickly that all punctuation and logical sentence agreement falls by the wayside? Organized thoughts and sentences are crucial to getting your point across in an authoritative way.
And then there’s the whole issue of being your own brand. Every single thing you write — every little character, every single comma, every last metaphor — gets chucked into the bucket of virtual characteristics that make up Brand You. Brand You should be clear from your writing and voice — and you want that writing to sparkle, even if you’re “only” describing last night’s sweaty four-miler or last night’s insane kitchen experiment.
So I hope that this upcoming series of tips and posts will help you do much more than just correct a grammar error or two. It’s not about split infinitives (and anyway, the paranoia about split infinitives is now very passé, I’m glad to report).
I want you all to realize how important YOUR writing is to your readers, your image, and our blogging community. You don’t need an editor to be a good writer; you just need the willingness to give your words and thoughts the importance and finesse that they truly deserve. If I can help you do just a bit of that, you can bet your sassy self that I’ll be sleeping better at night because of it.