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Revise and Rewrite

? McDonald's blogs turn public into health inspectors |


| Dan Gillmor and the End of Bayosphere? ?

January 24, 2006

Revise and Rewrite

Heather Green

Element of the Week

I am still paging through my new copy of "Elements of Style" and came upon this pointer: "Revising is part of writing. Few writers are so expert that they can produce what they are after on the first try."

This morning in the elevator, I bumped into a colleague who is starting another BW blog tomorrow and asked how things are going. She said that starting a blog is exciting, but that the writing really takes up a lot more time than she expected. She was surprised by this. And I remember when I first started blogging being surprised too. Because you think, ok, short items, that won't take much time.

But blog posts do take time--at least when I want them to sound coherent and actually have a point. I still write in the MoveableType box. But I copy the longer items into Word and take another look at them there. The whole process doesn't take as long, now that I am getting the hang of writing in this kind of medium. But, it's writing. And no matter how much we write or how many posts we do, revising is part of writing!

12:27 PM

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? Revise and Rewrite from ProPr

Heather Green?? post on Blogspotting reminds us that good, clear writing requires thought and effort. Few people can write a flawless, clear and precisely focused first draft. For the rest of us, reviewing and revising are essential.

I??... [Read More]

Tracked on January 24, 2006 08:02 PM

Well, it's not easy if you aren't a fast writer, but I wonder if you really are picking up on the blog zeitgeist.

Blogging for the most part is about taking in what's on the web and responding to it. It's the fastest writing I've ever done and quality-wise, I find my readers quite forgiving of the occasional usage and style errors.

It's like going to see James Blood Ulmer play funk. Yeah, he's going to blow a few notes, but that's entirely forgivable given how fast he plays. You go for the ride, not a close listening.

Blogs aren't for the slow or thoughtful. That kind of writing doesn't require blogging software: any online or hard copy form of publication will do. Blogging is about dipping your toe into the flow of news and pulling out the occasional fish. What you do with it is your business, but you've only got a brief window of time to decide whether it goes in the creel or back in the stream.

Yes, revise errors (if you spot them), but don't have a cow if some sneak into print so long as they're technical, and not factual.

Posted by: Mark Gisleson at January 24, 2006 12:59 PM

I wonder if you're taking what I was writing a little too seriously. I am not having a cow about writing. I am just saying that posts have to be coherent, and like any writing, that takes a little time.

Posted by: Heather Green at January 24, 2006 01:03 PM

Thank you for reminding me of this book. A great find, again.

Posted by: Joseph Hollak at January 24, 2006 01:04 PM

Got my copy of "The Elements of Style" today. Thanks for the tip.

Onward to better grammar.

Posted by: David Porter at January 24, 2006 04:19 PM

And brevity is the soul of wit.

I've found that blogging makes for an efficient writer, and much of the revision process focuses on ensuring each word counts. It's an essential exercise that benefits the rest of one's prose. Strunk and White's mantra rings true: omit needless words.

Posted by: Alan Nelson at January 24, 2006 10:54 PM

james blood ulmer rehearses and revises too.

Posted by: schadenfreudisch at January 25, 2006 10:33 AM

Hi Heather,

I do agree with You , I think that ??logging?do take some time, specially in my case where I am not a native Englishmen .

And revising do take extra time while I try not to post major grammatical errors, that is why I first write in word an then copy paste the content to the Comment box.

Posted by: Henrique Plöger Abreu at January 25, 2006 12:56 PM

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