What Blogging Has Taught Me About Writing

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From Writers in the Storm:

Four years ago, when I shared the results of a writing experiment with my Wednesday night writer’s support group, one of the members (Jenny Hansen, “High Priestess of WITS”) asked if I would write a blog post about my findings. I had no idea what I was in for when I said yes.

Over these last four years, I have gone from an occasional blogger on the WITS calendar to a regular contributor. Guest posting on Writers in the Storm has provided more than a platform to share my writing journey. It’s also taught me some valuable lessons.

Blogging is Different

The first lesson WITS taught me is that blogging is a different animal compared to other disciplines, especially when you’re writing to educate rather than entertain. I tend to write in a narrative style. That works out fine for personal essays and fiction, but not so much when you’re trying to educate.

Jenny would never blab about it, but my first effort was rough. It took several rounds of edits to forge my words into something more coherent and easily digested.

She taught me to organize my thoughts into a logical outline and make sure my points are clear by using examples to drive them home. A little exposition is fine for context, but don’t go overboard.

This leads me to my next lesson.

Keep it Focused

In the beginning, I had a tendency to pick a broad topic and include far too many details. The reality is you can’t cover everything in 800 to 1200 words. A better idea is to break broader subjects up into a series of posts.

People are drawn to WITS because the knowledge is served up in bite-sized pieces that are easily processed and incorporated into their writing life. Actionable advice is the very best kind.

I’ve also learned it’s okay to distill things down to the basics and leave some questions for the reader to research on their own.

Link to the rest at Writers in the Storm

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