Monday, August 3, 2015

Is It Only a Blog or Something More?


By Bonnie Leon


How many of you have ever thought, It’s just a blog post, and hurry through to get it posted? Most of us do this, at least on occasion. We get an idea, write it down, do a quick edit, and hit send.

I’m guilty. I’m under a self-imposed blog deadline every week and sometimes I get in a hurry—there are so many other important issues that require my attention. And I’ve got to get something on the blog. With that mindset the something is rarely my best effort.

 Every Wednesday I have a guest blogger and some of the submissions I receive have clearly been written in a hurry-up mode. They lack polish and style, are often written sloppily, or have no clear objective and may lack rhythm and voice.

I sympathize. My blog guests and I live in the same world of writing. However, I cringe when posting unprofessional submissions, and sometimes I am compelled to make minor adjustments. I’ve received enough hurry-up writing that I’ve decided to include a request for permission to edit the work, with major changes waiting on an author’s approval.

We, as authors, need to remember that all of our writing is important. It represents who we are and what we stand for. It may be our first introduction to a reader. It needs to be our best work every time. So it may not be a book or an article in a prestigious periodical, but it still has the power to influence, encourage, and maybe even change lives.

Will we captivate a reader? Or will they move on without completing what we have to say? A blog can help or hurt our careers.

Things to think about before hitting send.

·        What is the purpose of the blog? Know what and why and state it clearly.
·        Is there a common thread throughout the piece? If not, find it.
·        Is the writing cohesive? Don’t throw out a bunch of ideas and hope they stick. They probably won’t.
·        Be relevant. What do your readers care about?
·        Keep the writing punchy—stay clear of clich├ęs, change up the tempo, find new ways to say something old.
·        Write tight. Readers have busy schedules too, and will pass on long-winded dissertations.
·        Seek and destroy weasel words. They weaken our writing.
·        Read your article out loud. It’s amazing what you will discover.
·        Let the work rest. Write and then go on to something else. Return to the work a day or two later with new eyes to see.

Your blog is valuable and worthy of your best so don’t hurry. And remember, blogging can and should be fun. So have a good time.
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Bonnie Leon is the author of twenty-one novels, including the recently released To Dance with Dolphins, Where Eagles Soar, the popular Alaskan Skies and bestselling The Journey of Eleven Moons and bestselling series, Sydney Cove. In 2014 Bonnie branched out into independent writing with her first ever memoir, a story about A Native American woman who grew up in the Alaskan wildnerness where she learned to hunt, trap, and survive. Her greatest foe, however, was not the grizzlies or wolves in the wilds, but rather her father. Bonnie’s books are being read internationally and she hears from readers in Australia, Europe, and even Africa. She enjoys speaking for women’s groups and teaching at writing seminars and conventions. These days, her time is filled with writing, being a grandmother and relishing precious time with her aged mother. Bonnie and her husband, Greg, live in Southern Oregon. They have three grown children and eight grandchildren. You can find bonnie at https://www.bonnieleon.com





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