As if training for a marathon I began a daily regimen of blogging. How can I be a writer if I don't write, right? The daily grind is not for the faint-hearted. You'd better be writing because you love writing. If you're escaping the real-world, the blog-world isn't different enough. Sometimes it's lonely here, sometimes I misunderstand others, and sometimes I'm misunderstood. I've found some lovely people I admire tremendously. I've seen good blogging and I've seen bad blogging. I'm still learning, growing, maturing.
As part of my training, I've invested in additional research. I noticed that a few of the folks I adore have been critiqued by Ask And Ye Shall Receive. Today I spent some time reviewing the reviews and studying what does or doesn't work. The FAQ page was especially helpful. Also, there's a review that provides tips, but the tips are buried in the midst of a ripping critique. The comments that follow (including lots of witty repartee by the ring of reviewers) are a study in psyche.
The kicker is the "How to Blog" post by Tony Pierce (a FAQ referral). The post is from June '04 and I guess it's so good they haven't thought to confirm that it follows its own recommended guidelines. This advice may be questionable as the advisor disregards his own advice. Too circular?
"10. use spellcheck unless youre completely totally keeping it real." (look up "youre". Blogger doesn't catch it with spellcheck, but that doesn't make it right. Apostrophe's appear to be optional in Tony's post. And "similarilly" somehow escaped his spellchecker as well).
"25. dont use your real name" (blog credited to Tony Pierce)
And a final comment: "if you're going to ripoff/mimic/be inspired by one blogger make it raymi, shes perfect." Raymi disregards most of the sage advice given by Tony and the ring of rippin' reviewers. Most of the panned blogs were lambasted for punctuation, grammer, and/or other bastardization of the English language. Maybe the point is that you can make up for some sins by being stellar in content. Tony is (or was) the LA Times Blogs editor, so his suggestions should not be dismissed too quickly.
All in all I found some very useful suggestions and hopefully I can self-correct by learning from others. Eventually I will submit one or both of my blogs for the brutally honest feedback I can expect (and would accept no less).