Do You Pee Wee or JV Your Blog?

There are writers and there are bloggers.

This flashed — boom! — while I crossing Costco. If you’ve been inside a Costco, then you know that walking from one end to the other offers plenty of contemplative time!

There are writers and there are bloggers.

They’re mutually exclusive, despite surface appearances.

What is a writer?

The simplest answer: One who crafts with words. Who cares for the craft. Is impassioned for it. Is committed to it and the crafting — from the bold strokes of the visual brush to the finest threads of correct grammar, spelling, fundamentals of language.

Nothing but nothing ruins otherwise adept writing more than sloppiness and inattention to and disregard of the details.

Even an incorrect subject-verb agreement can tip the scale and create a stir, a disharmony and imbalance in otherwise fine writing.

Such sloppiness, of course, reflects the writer.

I’m turned off by sloppiness in any trade and craft but most poignantly and painfully writing because it is mine.

There are writers and there are bloggers.

So what’s a blogger?

Someone who throws slop on a page.

Do not misinterpret.

It is not to say that the intrinsic content is slop (though it may be) but rather that the words are thrown onto a page with scarce tending to a standard of quality or crafting.

The content reads as if the author didn’t care — and s/he didn’t.

Sometimes a blogger is a mediocre storyteller.

(I know only of one who is a superb storyteller AND excellent writer (most of the time) but he blogs infrequently. Our loss.)

Sometimes the mediocre storyteller can make a blog worth reading … but it requires enduring and turning a blind eye (or pretense of one) to hair-raising sloppiness.

I mean serious sloppiness.  It’s instead of its, they’re instead of there, no instead of know, your instead of you’re. I knooooow, 2nd-grade stuff, right?! Stuff not gone wrong, rather made wrong by educated native-English-speaking adults!

There’s no reason for it, only excuses.

The eyesores and mines in a field that mar a chunk of writing render reading painful. Eye-bleeders I call ’em. Plus they’re insulting to the craft and language itself.

Throwing stuff onto a page does not a writer make.

You are a blogger until you prove that you can write.

There’s Pee Wee baseball and the Philadelphia Phillies.

Somewhere in that broad spectrum you fall.

Be it in books or blogs, it’s easy to spot, roll eyes at and laugh off the multitudes who claim they can write. “I’ve got the next Big American Novel in me” thang. {gag} Thanks to technology and self-publication, there’s no measure to the sea of that crap.

What irks and saddens me are bloggers and folks who exhibit some modicum of talent or skill in expression but fail to invest any energy or care into the writing.

Their blogs, their writing could be elevated if only they did care … if they’d take the time to look up a word’s definition, to check spelling, to ensure accuracy of noun-verb agreement, punctuation, grammar, syntax (which even some better bloggers/writers lack in spades), the nuts ‘n’ bolts.

So simple. So basic. Third-grade stuff. No Hemingway here.

Laziness lands you in the Pee Wee league and keeps you there.

Do yourself better, do your readers better, do language better.

Dedication and commitment to the fundamentals help elevate from Pee Wee to JV (junior varsity).

Do not aspire to write that next big novel. Do not try to be a writer (unless you’re genuinely one).

Just write decently on your blog.


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