Thursday, October 18, 2007

This post is mostly just for me.

You know those people who feel better about themselves because at least they admit to being racists? That's the closest thing I can think of to describing the way I feel about signing up for this page. 

There are blogs I feel good about reading. I found when I googled an awful-sounding medical procedure a family member was about to go through (without giving too much away, the word "scraping" was involved). A year and a half later, I still read every post, because...well, DAMN, she's a good writer. Conversational style. Tons of heart. Clear awareness that she's writing for other people. The best use of all-caps since Dave Barry's early stuff. Not to mention the most effective swearing anywhere online.

There are blogs I don't read as often as I should—the marketing and writing stuff that would make me better at what I do if I weren't so busy refreshing

There are blogs I read purely to find out about friends: what they're thinking, what they're doing, what their kids look a little good gossip.

Then there are the train wrecks. I know they'll be badly written and self-involved. They're based in a need for public self-expression and a belief that others give a crap what they think. They're filled with the things we used to write in diaries and keep in secret hiding places. The writers don't know your from you're or they're from there from their. They believe that because they can post, they must post. 

I still read them, but it makes me feel dirty. At least I admit it, though...right?

I've always written for a living, so I'm shooting for the first and second kinds. Substantive, funny, insightful, that sort of thing. 

But that takes work. You have to write about things others care about (which takes listening and maybe some research)...say something that might actually mean something (which takes thought)...edit out the crap (which takes standards)...find a compelling voice (which takes time). And do something besides just dump your opinions in a text box without so much as a spell check.

So we'll see. Maybe starting by saying what I'm for and against will keep me honest. Or maybe it'll just make me feel better.