Staying on Track for Bloggers

You know you have something powerful and meaningful to express, but when you read your writing back to yourself, you notice that you have rambled off course. You are not quite sure where you went wrong since you thought it was going so well. Don’t censor yourself until the entire post is complete. You may not know where you are going during the process of writing it, so wait until you finish before you go back to perfect the piece.

So how are you going to deconstruct your article?

  1. Pretend you are writing for someone who has never read any of your previous blog posts.
  2. Understand that while you may be familiar with your back story, your reader is not.
  3. Briefly clarify the things that make no sense or that are incomplete.
  4. Make an outline. You are doing this in reverse of the usual order. However, when you create an outline from a completed piece which is giving you trouble you will be able to tell where you have gone wrong.
  5. Now that you have an outline, you will title each section and think about summing it up in a sentence.
  6. Now put those sentences into order. Do they seem cohesive? Does one topic flow into another? If so keep the sentence categories. If not cut and paste them to the side.
  7. Now reading back –does each paragraph in your blog post reflect the one sentence summary? If it does keep it, if not, cut and paste it to the side.
  8. Now, let’s move on to the sentences within each paragraph themselves. Ask yourself if the sentences follow logically from one to another. Can you edit and organize the sentences to have better flow?
  9. Do those sentences seem crisp or are they running on? If so, truncate them and use the necessary punctuation.
  10. Make certain your tense structure is compatible throughout.
  11. If you are still having trouble, ask someone else to read it. A second pair of eyes will be able to find things which may have escaped you. You can then clarify.
  12. Practice deconstructing a blog post you admire. I know our schedules can be overwhelming but if you want to be a good writer, you must learn to have a discerning eye.
  13. I can’t emphasize enough that reading and absorbing material will make you a much better and more skillful writer. If you are having problems, look to an example. I had a lot of trouble with transitions when I started to write. I also knew that Flaubert wrote the best transitions. I only had to open Madame Bovary to find out how he did it.
  14. Sit on your post for a week. You’ll find you can improve it when your eyes are fresh.

Above all, don’t fret. Let it go. Your capabilities may be limited at present, but you can be sure that you will get better the more you write.

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