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What A Book On Writing Taught Me About Blogging


Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott is a very well written and hilarious book on writing.

I gathered quite a bit of insight and inspiration from Anne's book, much of which can be applied to blogging.

The essense of blogging and the blogosphere is transparency and honesty. Sometimes we may not like the consequences of being honest, or telling the truth, but it's how we deal with the consequences that really matter.

So, here's what I took away from the book that can be applied to blogging:

Tell the truth. No matter how ugly it gets or how afraid you are. If you don't tell the truth, you're likely to be regurgitating 90% of what's already out there.

Sh*tty first drafts. Most blogging software comes with some sort of draft function, use it. Just because you type it doesn't mean you have to publish it right away. Take some time to edit and hack it to bits.

Be gentle with yourself. There is a section of the book where she asks whether you'd allow someone to speak to your children a certain way, and if not, why would you allow people to speak that way to you?

The same applies for your inner critic. We can be very harsh on ourselves, but if we wouldn't let someone speak to our child that way, neither should we let our inner critic speak to us that way.

Write for the sake of writing, not for the sake of fame. You will still be the same person you were before you published the blog entry, so instead of writing for the sake of being famous or gaining recognition, write because you enjoy it. Write with a deeper sense of purpose, knowing that things will fall as they should in the end.

Find your own voice. I just finished up an entry entitled That Elusive Human Voice where I discuss a technique from Anne's book: writing a letter.

Writing for the web is about connecting with your reader. To do that, your reader needs to hear your voice and personality come through.

I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in blogging. It teaches you not only how to look at life, but also how to write well. And if there's anything you'll be doing a lot of when you start a blog, it's writing (and of course, dealing with everything that blogging throws back at you).

Blog happy,

Linda Buquet

Wow Teli, I LOVE the way you write. I won't have time to read the book, but the blog related ideas you boiled it down to are the most important points I would get out of it I'm sure.

Thanks! :)


Aw, thank you Linda. You've made my day and I'm very glad to hear you like the way I write :).