The Declarative Voice and Blogging

A friend and I recently had a conversation about blogging. We talked about how when you're blogging and you have something you want to say, you have to write in the declarative or else the text comes off wishy-washy. He knew it was right, but it was his biggest hurdle to get over.

I agree that it's strange to sound so authoritative… I mean, I hardly ever speak like this in vocal conversation, unless what I'm saying is irrefutable, like "My daughter is awesome." or "Fire is hot."

At first, it did feel weird to write these articles where I'm stating my opinion as if it's empirical truth. I don't say that it's absolute truth, but I also don't start every sentence with "In my opinion". That phrase is one of many that activates a hidden voice in a reader's head that says, "Stop reading this."

Writing for a blog is just like writing an editorial for a newspaper.

Like editorials, it comes down to leaning on the reader to understand that the blog's author is just another person who feels compelled to write. Express your opinions, trust your readers–they can handle it.

When to post?

I write slowly. Even when I was writing fiction full time, I would start a story and then work on something else, until months later I finally had one piece good enough to show.

This doesn't really translate well to blog writing, but hey, subscribing to a blog is free. I personally would rather only read worthwhile stuff, so when I don't have anything to say, then I don't say anything. I'm trying to stay as close to 100% signal as possible.

I'm working on a multi-part guide to WoW class design that's coming along nicely. I'm pretty excited to finish it, but there's also my job and my beautiful new daughter and actually playing WoW and the Celtics are in the playoffs. The end result is that the time between posts is even longer. This series will begin later this week.

To tide you over, here's some news from a better world.

Wrath of the L

I'm working on a couple of pieces based on the WotLK news updates. Before that flurry of announcements, I was working on boring posts like "Master Looter is the only option", "Pace isn't that hard" and other pieces that sound even worse. Blah blah. I got bored while writing them.

I write everything concurrently, so when I do update it will be with a series of posts. This is how I wrote fiction, too.

Part of writing about the expansion is typing out the name of said expansion. I mistype WotLK every time. What should be:

Wrath of the Lich King

comes out:

Wrath of the Licking

(Insert massively multiplayer punchline here.)

Texan Sayings

In my April 2008 issue of Writer's Digest, there's a short article by G. Kyle White called "Back Up Your Work for Free". Here's the first sentence:

There's a saying in Texas: If you don't like the weather, wait a minute and it'll change.

Ah, Texas. Compare this to Mark Twain's famous quote:

If you don't like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes.

I'll put aside that this is a paraphrase of one of the most famours literary figures ever, appearing as original in a magazine on writing, and nobody caught it.

I love the whole Republic of Texas meme, and how this quote shows how Texas weather changing is clearly… bigger than New England's. Because everything's bigger in Texas. I can't help but wonder what other sayings that Texas has.

  • A stitch in time saves seventy-two.
  • Killing ten birds with one stone.
  • The only thing we have to fear is hesitation itself.

Also, I didn't read the rest of the article because I was laughing too much.