I've been a journalist for 26 years. I've kept a journal since Oct. 27, 1972 when I was 14. But my real breakthrough in writing began in October of 2005, when I started blogging.
The immediacy of the format, the lack of editors and the pace of self-imposed deadlines have forced me to rely only on myself to create fresh, accurate and clean copy. I've become more economical with my choice of words because I know that I have only a nano-second to catch your attention in cyberspace. So here's my list of:
How Blogging Has Improved My Writing & Work Ethic
My Version of Blogging 101
• Better Headlines: As a print journalist, I relied heavily on editors and the copy desk to write great headlines for my stories. I don’t have that luxury in cyberspace. In the world of DIY publishing, it’s my job to write pull-you-in headlines.
• Frugal Word Choice: Of course, I have unlimited space in cyberspace, but if I blabber on and take too long to get to the point, my entries in PFBlogs.org look boring. I’ve learned to write better grab-you-in leads.
• Spacing. It’s hard to read a page of straight type. I’ve learned to make my posts easier to read by using lists, lots of paragraphs, sub decks and thoughtful spacing.
• The Proofreader: I’ll be frank. I’m a good writer but a terrible proofreader. I cringe when I think of the typos and other errors that I’ve passed through to my editors. Due to blogging, I’ve become better at scanning my copy for errors.
My most efficient proofreading technique: Reading my copy aloud and slowly. Also, I have my mom. She tells me when I have typos online. My father is also a sharp reader. And they tell their friends to read my blog. So I have to keep the folks happy and proud with error-free copy.
• Deadline performance. My editors enjoy my copy, but hate getting it late or at the last minute. (Deadlines have been my Achilles heel.) Blogging has changed my deadline performance. The pace of Press-a-button publishing has made me more efficient.
There’s more, but that’s enough for now. Watch this space for the weekly appearance of the Sunday Word Economist.