Writing is hard

Most of you probably know, by now, that my day job is writing software documentation. Actually it’s a hell of a lot more than that but that’s a discussion for another place, which nicely brings me round to my topic du jour.

I’ve been blogging for so long now that I easily slip between “work” writing mode and “blog” writing mode. One is conversational and prone to grammatical faux pas, the other is what I use when I’m blogging… These two writing modes are joined by a third mode, which is far more eloquent. Alas it doesn’t deign to hang around with the riff-raff too often and spends most of its time offline in various documents and files.

Over the years my “blog” writing mode has developed into what you see today. I’ve stol borrowed several style ideas from others, obv, but that DOES NOT MAKE ME A BAD PERSON (although I hope that content offers me some leeway). Thanks to anna (obv), heather (CAPS) and Lyle (italicised emphasis used for side thoughts), all of whom, I feel I should point out, trump me on content everytime. And no, I’m not being modest, and no I’m not hunting for platypus.. titudes..

Since starting my other blog, I am finding myself developing yet another writing style which is part way between “work” and “blog” modes and, whilst it’s still very much a work in progress I am enjoying the experience. I’ve mentioned before that it is a bit odd to be starting a new blog, from scratch, after all this time, and I am doing my utmost to remember all those things I wish someone had told me when I started out this esteemed tome that you are currently reading.

Am I allowed to call my own work esteemed? Probably not.

The evolution of a writing voice is best achieved by, you know, writing a lot. It doesn’t always have to be good (refer to my bulging archives for evidence) but the more you do it, the better it gets. Of course the audience plays a part as well, pitching your content correctly isn’t always easy, but some educated guesses will get you pretty far, certainly far enough for most hobbyist bloggers.

And therein lies the crux of the matter. THIS blog is a hobby, THAT OTHER blog isn’t. Not really. It’s self-promotion, it’s open to my peers and so the content comes under more detailed (or at least more consistently detailed) scrutiny. I’ll quite happily concede that I’m using it as a way to find my professional voice with the aim of writing an article or two for publication. It goes hand-in-hand with the reasons behind the move to the “oneman” brand, and with the upcoming re-design of said websites. It may even become part of an MA in future years, but that’s a fairly big decision which can wait for now.

As for the other kind of writing, the more eloquent prose that occasionally spring on you, that will continue to burble away in the background. I do enjoy writing it, and whilst I don’t find it particularly hard, it usually gets a couple of edits before it gets published. Alas it’s wholly dependant on my mood, time available and ultimately it’s not something I can sustain for more than the length of a blogpost.

In other words, no, I am not writing a book.

Yet.

7 comments

  1. I have a new technical term , explained to me the other day:

    FDM

    Frequently Done Mistakes , which we now add to its own section next to FAQ

    🙂

  2. When you DO write a book and you are famous,will you still speak to us? The other thing I want to say is I think I would like your mum… she has style.

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