Lunar Adventures: exploring a little bit of everything
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Friends of LunarAdventures:
Use your blog as a personal wayback machine
I believe that one of the best ways to improve as a writer is to go back and read your own material periodically — after a few months, after a year, after a few years. On the one hand, I’ve been fortunate enough to have been writing on websites and print publications since around 1995, giving me a repository of writings to look back on. On the other hand, I’m a complete ditz when it comes to saving works of which I’m particularly fond. The problem is less about saving them and more about figuring out where I saved them.
While the internet has provided me enough artifacts to get a glimpse at how my writing has developed, I’m finding that blogging is an even better indicator of writing progress — and without the giant gaps of relying on published favorites. It’s a cross-section of the good days and the bad. It’s like a journal in that it’s a daily endeavor, but unlike a journal is meant for public consumption.
What to look for as you visit your past
There are a lot of things to look at as you re-read your earlier posts — besides just enjoying the trip down memory lane. But don’t bog yourself down by focusing too much on being a copy editor; look at the big picture more. For instance:
As you read a post, ask yourself: how would I re-write this post if the event happened today? What could I have done to improve how I conveyed this message?
Examine the voice and perspective you used to write the post. Would the idea have been conveyed more effectively had you stepped back a little and been more descriptive? Had you been closer and more emotional, at the expense of some details?
If you were a visitor that had arrived at your site that day, and that was the first post they had ever read on the site, would that post have accurately represented yourself and your blog?
If you were a first-time visitor, would you want to read another post after reading that one?
I’m sure every one of us can improve our writing in some way or another — no matter the topic of the blog. Do any of you have any suggestions of things to look for as you read your own past?
Mon August 29th, 2005 8:52 pm
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