Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Why blog? Reason #4: To practice writing

This is the fifth post in a new series I'm calling "Why blog?" In each day's post in this series, I examine one or more of the top 10 reasons people (including me) blog ... and what I have learned as a professional blogger and a corporate liaison to bloggers.

Saturday's post looked at Reasons #7, #6 and #5: To become famous, to inspire, and sometimes to gripe. But in answer to the question "Why blog?" today's post examines, David Letterman countdown-style ...

Reason #4: To practice writing.

I once knew a person who told everyone she was a writer. I think she told them this to gain their admiration, because, as far as I know, she'd never actually written anything.

Oh, she had good ideas for things she wanted to write, and when I first met her, I was quite impressed when she told me some of her ideas about the pieces she was supposedly writing. The ideas were inspiring and I was eager to read what she had actually written.

But after awhile I came to the realization that she hadn't actually done much (if indeed any) writing to speak of.

In my mind, if you want to actually be a writer, you need to do two things: 1) You need to do a lot of reading. Read good writers and think about why their writing is good, as you're reading them. And 2) You need to actually practice writing. A lot.

And a blog is, of course, a great way to practice writing. Think about it: You get feedback (hopefully) from people who read your blogs. If your writing stinks, you'll probably hear a lot of silence, and perhaps not get many, or any comments. (Yes, I realize that's awkward ... it probably explains some things about many of my own blog posts!) If you know how to access analytics on your blog, they'll also tell you that very few people are reading you.

But, if your writing is halfway decent, you'll hopefully get some readers, and possibly even some positive comments/feedback. And hopefully you'll also receive some good, specific and very honest feedback from friends who care about you, about what you can do better in your writing.

How great is that?

In my next blog in this series, we'll look at reasons #3 and #2 ... Why blog? To sell books, or to mobilize people for a noble cause.

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