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.