Writing Writing or Blurting?

I haven’t read Alexandre’s post on Disparate yet but the little note at the top (about that being a draft that he never finished writing) made me think of something. How do you write on your blog? Do you just blurt it out as you think it, not much re-reading or censoring? Do you write and re-write, preparing it like a magazine article or a chapter in a book? Somewhere in between? I find that it’s mostly blurting out for me, re-reading quickly, mostly correcting mistakes 2-3 times and then publish. There are a lot of things I want to write about in more detail and almost never get around to, not spending enough time doing actual writing vs spewing.

It’s not a new question, people have talked about similar questions about “methods” for a long time but I’m in somewhat of an existential crisis about this blog and as soon as I thought of the question I felt like I wanted your opinion about it.


myriam October 17, 2006

À vrai dire, ça dépend toujours de ce dont mon billet parle. Certaines choses méritent plus d’attentions que d’autres, mais reste que de lire 10 fautes par phrase, c’est désagréable peu importe le sujet.

Patrick October 17, 2006

Hehe. En effet. J’essaie de pas faire 10 fautes trop souvent.

Hugh October 18, 2006

I do two very different types of posts: the blurt & the think piece.

the blurt is just a little chunk of info/link etc.

the “think piece” is a deeper thought, that starts as a long blurt, and I press publish. then i ususally massage over a couple of days. But if I don’t blurt it, i don’t write it. I have about 5 semi-posts in my drafts folder, one of them from 2004(!), waiting for me to think more before I publish them. Not good. They would all be happier if I had just blurted them, and then thought more.

Alexandre October 22, 2006

I’m a bit like Hugh. I do like to let some ideas mature before I post them. It saves me time, actually, because I can write a post combining different issues. Kind of a “stream of consciousness” strategy.
And I really don’t want to make it sound as if my posts were at all polished (they’re clearly not) but I do try to send as few “knee-jerk” posts as possible. I will blurt out stuff, but it’s still based on a post I wanted to write a while before. And the knee-jerk post, I send reluctantly… ;-)
The example you’re using above is quite specific. In late February, I was thinking about a series of topics that really congealed around a few ideas. I was beginning to put everything in it. And I saved a draft about the whole constellation of ideas, when I noticed that it would keep me writing just a bit too long. Turns out, I probably should have posted it sooner, but keeping it open, in my mind as well as in my drafts, meant that I would revisit the issues themselves. The draft worked as a reminder of what I was thinking then.
Because there are so many interesting subjects to talk about, I end up having lots of to-blog lists, including many issues I’ll never really use in my blog but that I can keep as links to cool stuff. What I find out, is that I can often write a post that will integrate several of these links. A new strategy for me (from a fellow Yulblogger) is to post a series of “quickies” in a single post. Just links with quick comments. That way, I can relieve my mind from the burden of those links.
So it’s all a balance between RERO (Release Early, Release Often ) and maintaining long-standing interests. Quite similar to academic writing, actually.

Thanks for the link!

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