Why Blogging is Uncomfortable

I’m trying to take Andrew Sullivan’s advice to not think so much before I write a blog post. It’s really not going well.

That’s one of the things I started thinking about after doing the Style Masquerade in class — the difference between formal and informal writing and why I am less than confident about my informal writing. My lack of confidence is hardly a mystery, though. After a short lifetime of being taught to choose words carefully, a more formal and nitpicky style is my default.  And, to some extent, that contradicts what the blog post genre is all about.

In all, I’m fine with my style. After all, my writing style is a partial reflection of me: pretty comfortable in an academic setting, but incredibly awkward if placed in an informal, social context.

What I think I would like to change (and what I think will make me a lot better of a writer) is the way I go about writing. I would like to learn to get my thoughts on a page without dawdling over spelling, grammar, and diction. I’d really like to learn how to be comfortable with the knowledge that a first draft is SUPPOSED to be really terrible, to allow myself to embrace the many weaknesses that exist in my underdeveloped writing in an effort to feel more satisfied and confident in my writing overall.

 

Brie Winnega

Hey, I'm Brie. I'm an English major who's addicted to reading, writing, and ponytails.

3 thoughts to “Why Blogging is Uncomfortable”

  1. Brie,

    I totally understand what you’re saying. One of the foundations of my “Why I Write” project is that I tend to write only when required to do so for academic writing, which has turned me into a writer feeling constantly restricted by academic expectations. I feel like writing these blogs has been a great exercise for both of us in kind of letting go, and writing words on a page (or typing them on a computer screen) without consciously considering why each word is being placed there. I could see even in this blog post the way that you probably made a lot of conscious, methodical decisions about your organization. It’s going to be a challenge for us to “let go” over the course of the semester!

    What are you thinking about writing about for your “Why I Write” project? I see a lot of ideas in this blog post that would be interesting to explore, but I’m curious about what in particular you are looking to analyze! Good luck on the beginning of your project!

  2. Brie,
    I really enjoyed the honesty in your blog post. Like Sarah commented, while reading I could sense the conscious word choices and almost feel the hesitation in your writing. However, I felt that this added to the style of your post. Sure, you may not be the overly-confident informal writer, but you still have a way of capturing your audience. Blogging may not be the most comfortable experience for you, but just from reading your four paragraphs I got a great sense of who you are as a person. And hey, that’s what style is all about! As long as your writing is an accurate reflection of who you are then that’s all that matters, right?

  3. Brie,

    As carefully chosen as your words are, and as frustrating as it may be that you are unable to just spew words out, I think that adds to the uniqueness and edginess of your style. Because I have written in journals my whole life, I am able to spew words out maybe too easily. I think this comfortableness just comes from a lot of practice, and also, from producing a lot of writing that is for my eyes only. However, I am also perfectionist when it comes to writing that is displayed for others to read and critique. For that type of writing, I also have to go back and edit carefully to make sure every sentence looks pristine. I think that this perfectionism is common to many writers because of the fact that we care so much about words and their placement.

    On that note, I would love to hear about your ideas for your Why I Write project. It seems like your passion for the perfect arrangement of words is deeply rooted and I am curious as to who it was that taught you to “chose words carefully”? I think that could be a great starting point for your project.

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