Set down your coffee cup

I mean it. Whatever you’re drinking, swallow, and set it down. ~stevenf’s The LJ Times, random LiveJournal excerpts presented in the style of a serious newspaper, has the potential to be dangerous to your nasal passages otherwise.

The OmniWeb feature that inspired it, the ability to view-source, edit it, and see your changes, sounds wonderful, and I don’t know why other browsers haven’t stolen it.

And as fun as it is to make fun of LJ-style writing, I still think it’s a wonderful thing. There is exactly one way to become a good writer: write. Not everyone writing “omg: Kevin’s sooooo hot!!!!” will turn out to be a good writer, but every one of them will end up a better writer than they were when they started.

9 Comments

Comment by Donna #
2003-08-23 08:01:50

That’s it – I can stop surfing – now I’ve seen everything. That was great, Phil – and your comments about becoming a better writer were right on.

 
Comment by Shannon #
2003-08-23 09:15:12

Ditto on the better writing thing. Although I’ve always been brilliant, of course.

 
Comment by kellan #
2003-08-23 11:57:54

Actually I think blogging is damaging my writing skills, or at least allowing them to atrophy :)

Seriously though, just writing will help you improve your writing a bit, editing your work will help you improve dramatically. It is the editing process where you really learn what does and doesn’t work, and become cognizant of your voice as a tool that you can use with intention.

Blogging discourages editing. I occasionally go back and edit old entries, but no one will ever see those except a few lost souls Google sends my way.

Seems like there should be a way (for a certain type of blogging) to productively re-shape the metaphor; change the blog’s role into a wiki-style recent updates page that points into an actual web of contextualized content.

 
Comment by Terence #
2003-08-25 06:03:24

As Hemingway said ”there is no such thing as good writing, there is only good re-writing”

 
Comment by Calculator Blaine #
2003-08-30 10:30:57

I think you hit the nail on the head about comparing your own writings to each other, it will make YOU become a better writer, but not a GOOD writer.

 
Comment by Jimmy #
2003-09-10 07:32:05

Regarding being a better writer:
I believe blogging makes most people better writers because what would they be writing otherwise?
Aside from occasional emails or instant messages, I don’t think most people nowadays write anything at all.

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2003-09-10 07:48:40

Which for some reason made me think of writing by hand, a thing which I could certainly use something to encourage me to practice more. About the only thing I write on paper is notes that I expect to last five or ten minutes, so when they have to be deciphered a day (or, heaven forfend, a week) later, it requires a full forensic team to guess what I might have intended to scribble. That would be the real benefit of a Tablet PC with handwriting recognition: not the ease of input, but the requirement that I relearn how to write.

 
 
Comment by reinhard #
2003-09-13 01:55:32

it is not important if you are a good writer. Many people from different countries and different languages read you comments – and :itīs nice to read them.
reinhard

 
Comment by Owen #
2003-10-13 20:07:15

It’s the meaning, thought, intent and passion behind the words that matters… not the words themselves.

 
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