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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Monday, September 6, 2010

Anatomy of Writing a Blog

Wow! Over 200 posts! I remember writing the 100th post—Birth of a Blog—around Memorial Day, so here it is Labor day with over 100 more posts. The idea for this post has been percolating for a while now, especially when I get comments like. . . “How do you have time (to write)”? or “Don’t you ever run out of ideas?” So, here it goes. . . here’s the thinking behind the writing.

IDEAS: This part is easy. I love to write first thing in the morning when the house is quiet. I get up before everyone else and the computer lures me. Most of the time I wake up with an idea for post in my head and the words are already composing themselves. Anything can trigger an idea for a post—a conversation with someone, a picture, an event. I also keep a small notebook to jot down ideas, just in case.

VOICE: Voice in writing is when it sounds like you or sounds appropriate to the audience. Since I often write for my job, and share that writing with colleagues, there are times when my colleagues copy what I have written. One colleague has shared with me that they got a comment back from a reader that it sounded like me, rather than my colleague. The colleague confessed to helping themselves to what had already been written. But that is an example of voice. While I haven’t analyzed my work writing in comparison to the blog writing, I’m pretty sure the voice is similar.

SENTENCE FLUENCY: Sentence fluency means that your sentence length, beginnings, and endings vary and make your writing interesting to a reader. Sentence fluency is not something I think about while writing. It is something I think about when I re-read and revise, especially if the writing doesn’t make sense or seems dull. While there are many rules in writing, sentence fluency (and voice a bit) allows you to get around the rules. I love to start sentences with “And,” if that is what makes the writing interesting and adds voice. Writers of books and poems begin sentences with “And,” all the time. They write incomplete sentences to make their point or to highlight an idea. Yet, when we were taught and do teach writing, often the rules are what is taught and emphasized. If I had to remember all the rules when I was writing, I wouldn’t write. I wonder if that is what happens to people who are “afraid” of writing—they are worried about the rules. That’s too bad and sad! There are only two ways humans can process information—talking and writing. While I’m known to do plenty of talking, I want to be okay with writing, too.

WORD CHOICE: Word choice means that the words you choose to use in your writing make sense and make your writing interesting. Again, not something I think about when writing, until I have a word I want to use—because it’s in my head—but I’m not sure of the correct spelling of the word. Here’s the confession: I’m not a good speller. I rely heavily on spell check when I write. So, while this post is going on Blogger, it is being composed on Word—as are most of the posts—then copy/paste into Blogger. While Blogger gives me spell check, too, I have to wait until the end to check. Word tells me right away it a word isn’t quite right. I can then check it then, or wait until later. (Also, Blogger doesn’t allow me to type as fast as I can and gets behind.) There are times, not necessary posting, when as a writer I have wanted to use a particular word, but when not sure of the spelling, I have selected another word to put in its place. Not the best feeling.

ORGANIZATION: Is writing well organized and makes sense? OK, this is something I think about while writing. When the ideas are coming together, I try to categorize them a bit and put them together so the writing does make more sense. I don’t use an outline or a graphic organizer, note cards or other organization tools. Those just slow me down. Composing on Word helps with that as things can be moved, revised, changed, or reorganized with ease. While posting on Blogger, I often use pictures to help me in organizing my ideas and writing.

CONVENTIONS: Conventions are spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc. You know, more rule stuff. While I try to get the grammar, spelling, and punctuation right before hitting the “Publish to Blogger” button, I know errors pop up. I typically don’t see them until I read the post on Blogger—and reading it out loud helps me find the punctuation and grammar errors specifically. Again, I think writers get stuck on this—worried about the rules—and therefore avoiding writing.

PUBLISHING: Now were talking! This where the audience—the reader—gets involved in writing. While you don’t see my list of ideas, because I don’t want to publish that—it’s not for public viewing—you get to see the fruit of those seed ideas. The point being that not all writing is published. Some writing is just for the writer and some writing is meant for an audience. Most of the time, I select pictures that enhance the published work. And, while I could use the web-cam on the computer right now to take a picture of me writing this morning, I’m not. Let’s leave it at that! Blogger has many tools to enhance publishing including text colors, links, etc. I have yet to use all of them.

More thoughts on writing. . . on days when I write I’m happier, just like when I have a day that includes music. If you are a runner, golfer, or gardener, aren’t you happier on the days you run, golf, or garden? It has to do with the Zone of Proximal Development, a researcher name Vygotsky, and brain chemicals, but that is all for a much, much, much later time. And, just like with runners, golfers, and gardeners, they find the time to do what they enjoy.

In the meantime—Happy Writing!


  1. Up catching up on the Williams blog! Hello insomnia =); but only because there is so much to look forward to with the upcoming trip! Where else to go but the Williams blog! I wonder, did you get a new camera? Your pictures at Adventure land seem different to me. Very interesting somehow in terms of lighting and composition. I love your blog, and all your 6 traits!

  2. Oh, careful eye of faithful reader, we didn't get a new camera, but we did use an underwater disposable camera for some of the pictures at Adventure Bay.

    Have you started packing yet?