I don't need commission, make my own decisions. That's my prerogative.
article: How to write a better weblog.
I'm just wondering, can anyone really tell you how to write a better blog? Shel eloquently covered this subject already, but I feel the need to express my feelings about it also.
I suppose it all depends on how you view weblogs. I see them as personal sites. As such, there really can't be a formula or prescribed notion on how a weblog should be presented. Each design is different, the content is different for each one, so how can there be one set of rules?
To tell someone how to write in a journal or diary (which is, for the sake of argument, what a weblog means in this article), borders on the ridiculous. Would you do the same for someone's paper journal? I can't imagine skimming through someone's diary and correcting their usage of grammar and punctuation and descriptive prose. Most people are writing what they feel. They are not writing to hone a craft, or with the intention of handing their writing in for a grade. It's just feelings and emotions and sometimes they come out awkward and clunky, but that's the beauty of it. It's natural expression. It's raw. It's the writer's personality showing through. Sometimes I write the way I talk, because in a journal or personal entry, that is what I am doing. Talking.
It just seems silly to take people to task for writing like amatuers when that's what most of us are - amateurs. I am not a professional writer, I don't write like one. I don't go back and correct my syntax (I do try to correct any glaring typos I have) because to do so would take away from the personal nature of my "talking to you." It would definitely take away from the heart and soul of what I write if I were to go back and refine my words. Displays of emotion should never be tampered with.
And yes, sometimes a weblog is in place to entertain you. And if I want to link to the same news story that a million other bloggers already have, so be it. It's what interests me. I want to talk about what Cheney said. I want to talk about the World Series. I want to write about Lord of the Rings. Yes, so did everyone else, but isn't the writer's credo write what you know? This is the stuff I know and love and enjoy discussing. I'm not going to not link to it just because you did. I don't concern myself with what other bloggers are writing about at the moment. I just know that I have something to say and I'm going to say it. Whether you care to read it or not is your choice. Move on if it's boring or repetitive. No one is forcing you to stay.
I don't know why other people keep weblogs, I just know why I do. Maybe you are writing to the audience and maybe you are maintaining your blog with the sole purpose of getting more hits and more readers and more links. I'm not. That's what makes this a personal web site. It's for me. The fact that you decided to come along for the ride is great. I like having readers. I like that some of those readers have become friends. But I don't write here with the goals of hooking more readers in. I write because I like writing. Because I like sharing. Because I am able to take a bit of my personal world and put it down somewhere and you can either laugh with me or laugh at me . But I'll be damned if I'm going to start viewing my blog like an English 101 project where I have to go back and correct anything that may take my grade down a bit.
And while we are on the subject of blogs and their purposes and all that, I would like to address an issue that's been coming up in my email quite often lately. Links.
Take note of the following please: My link list is large, yes. It doesn't mean it's random and it doesn't mean I'm not choosy about what I put there. I put links there for one reason and one reason only. I enjoy those sites and thought that maybe you might enjoy them too. They are not reciprocal links. I'd say about 50% of the people on that sidebar do not link to me. Some don't even have links on thier site at all. I don't care. That's not the purpose. So please, do not email me and beg for me to put your link there. First of all, it just makes me uncomfortable. What if I don't really like your site or I think there is objectionable material on it? That leaves me in the awkward position of having to email you back and say no, which makes me feel bad. The likelihood is that I will not reply to your email at all if you ask me, out of nowhere, to link to you. Conversely, you do not have to ask me if it's ok to link to me on your site. It's a free world. However, if I end up at your site one day and I find anything that offends me on it, I will kindly ask you to take my link down. If for some reason you used to be on my link list and your'e not there now, please ask me why. Most likely it's just a coding mistake. It would take an awful lot for me to remove a link once I put it up. You would have to either have something horribly offensive and threatening on your site, or you just haven't updated in months.
Do I take blogging too seriously? Maybe. It is serious to me. It's my therapy. It's keeping me sane. Whether I get to tell a humorous story and purge myself of some conflicting emotions or rant about our government, it's good for me. Self-expression is more important to some people than to others. It's serious business to me.
There's been an awful lot of blogging credos running around the web lately. People making lists of what makes a good blogger and what makes a bad blogger and how to blog and how not to blog.
I have a very simple credo: This place is mine. I do what I want. If you like it, stay. Leave a comment. Tell me you like it. If you don't like it, move on. There are a billion other websites for you to go to. No need to stick around just to tell me how much I suck, although that's your right to do so. These are my feelings, my views, my politics and policies. Disagree with me, I like that. I like debate. Just don't be an asshole about it. I will not follow anyone else's rules for maintaining a blog. My place. My rules. If you don't like, don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.
And yea, I quoted Bobby Brown in the title. You can shoot me now.
(the preceding post was not checked for spelling, grammar or punctuation errors. Just because.)