Blogging improves writing, right? Practice makes perfect and all that stuff?
Blogging DOES improve writing, writing is a critical business skill, but practice DOES NOT make perfect.
Although blogging has greatly improved my writing, I'd still be making a great many of the same writing errors I was two years ago if I relied on only blogging to improve writing skills. But there is something that combined with blogging has improved my writing even more.
What? Simple: Getting others to review my writing occasionally. We are talking an almost formal review like when you wrote papers in school.
I've had three people look at maybe 3-5 blog posts each and the results have been great. Here's what I've learned:
From my retired school teacher motherinlaw: Pay attention to details, including details I never imagined. They matter, although I refuse to obsess over them (sorry Mimi, I don't always listen!). After all, a great shirt with a small black spot on it is still a dirty shirt!
From my wife Margaret: My writing is flabby! Remove as many words as possible without changing the fundamental feeling. Extra words distract and hinder your message.
From my friend Large John: Ignore everyone and just write like yourself. You can't write like John Irving or (fill in the blank) and they can't write like you. Your writing needs to reflect your personality, and when done right it will. Unlike me, John is a great writer and his top writing tips appear in my book.
A fundamental rule of writing, universally ignored in blogging, is "Never edit your own writing." In blogging, lets just say, "Sometimes don't edit your own writing – you need other's input and perspectives." It won't happen unless you ask!
Guest Blogger, Ted Demopoulos, blogs at The Ted Rap and is author of What No One Ever Tells You About Blogging and Podcasting.