Saturday, November 10, 2007

In the beginning....

Using that ever so addictive “Stumble” button on my browser, I came across a writer’s website.

It’s quite a neat idea. You write, publish posts like a blog, and 50% of the site’s revenue goes to the writers based on how many votes your posts get.

I know, I know…it’s not going to make anyone rich, and I’m pretty sure that the website owns the rights to anything you publish on there, but I decided I had a ton of blog posts, so I might as well try it out. I doubt I’ll earn a single cent, but it can’t hurt, can it?

So I decided to have a read through some of my older blog posts to find some that I could give the old cut and paste treatment. It was as I was reading some of my first posts from back in April ’05 that I made a discovery.

The quality of my writing has taken a freaking nose dive since then.

I read some of those old posts and found myself thinking “Hey, this is good, I wish I could write that well!”

Halfway through reading, I popped my head around the monitor and told Sunny my findings.

“You know, I used to be a halfway decent writer. Today I’m pretty much sitting at this desk, banging on the keys like a monkey.”

I think I figured it out, though.

Back in ’05, I started this blog, and like everyone with a new blog, I wanted one thing… Lots and lots of readers.

Back then, I’d write a post in Word, go through it three or four times, editing as I went, trying to make everything as good as possible. Then I’d go through again checking for spelling and grammar errors.

Back in ’05, starting every paragraph with “So” “You know” or “Basically” wasn’t an option. Having 7 commas in a single sentence wouldn’t have happened. I was actually concerned with the rhythm of my writing. Spelling and grammar were important. I’d actually triple check that I hadn’t used ‘where’ where ‘were’ was meant to go.

If we fast forward to today, it’s a different story. Back then, I started with maybe 6 ideas for blog posts and wanted to make sure I nailed each and every one of them. Today, I honestly don’t care about having a huge audience. I’ve gone from ‘performing’ to just plain writing.

Today I’ll have an idea, write it and publish it. That’s the process from start to finish. No leaving a post for a day to get some ‘distance’ from it, so I could edit it with ‘fresh eyes’.

However, I have to say that I’m a little sad that my work ethic has suffered so much.

I’ve found that I’ve gone from writing with an audience in mind, the same way I would if I was being paid to write an article, to a sort of hybrid style that’s somewhere between article writing and a private journal.

Maybe I should go back to writing the way I did in ’05.

…if I can be bothered.


delmer said...

I've reread some of my older posts and think, "I'd forgotten all about that," and "Hey, I was sort of funny then. When did I get so boring?"

(Of course, I also think some of the entries are sort of immature. As are some of my current posts.)

I also find typos in almost every single item, and I know I'd read each one three times.

OzzyC said...

I think we all suffer from this problem occasionally. My older writing is still my favorite.

Robin said...

I (obviously) can't speak for everyone, but the blogs I enjoy aren't enjoyable to me because they're polished, but because I can relate to them. Incidentally, I can relate to this post :)