Good Writing on the Web Matters

16 January 2012
by Carson Suggs

I wrote in my last article that intelligent writing could get you positive attention. Let me explain what I meant by that.

I appreciate good writing, and I love the act of writing, but it’s frustrating. It seems that, in a lot of ways, we’re getting more noise than signal. One-click publishing is easy, but has it made things too easy? You could open Tumblr or Posterous or WordPress, create a new post, write whatever you want, and click – it’s on your site. You don’t have to put too much thought into it, and that is starting to worry me.

Looking back on my last post, “intelligent writing” was not the best phrase to use. I used it in place of something I had in mind but couldn’t put into words at the time. Passionate or thoughtful writing is a better and more accurate phrase.

Your site could be devoted to a broad topic – technology, politics, religion, what have you – and from there you write long or short-form articles expressing your thoughts on whatever tickles your fancy. If you’re knowledgeable about the topic and it’s clear you’re passionate about it, you could gain a large following, allowing you to make connections that never would have been made had you not committed to writing in the first place. But it can’t happen if you don’t put in the appropriate time and effort.

Writing on the web matters. We’ve come to the point where anybody can create a blog and publish anything under the sun, but how much of it is constructive? There’s nothing wrong with somebody starting a blog to post all the silly videos they find on YouTube throughout the day, but if you want to call yourself a writer, the first (and only) step is to write.

A little extra patience usually pays off.

The writing could be personal, or it could be about Apple, or Google, or religion, or politics: you can write about whatever you want, as long as you choose to write and put more than a minute’s worth of thought into it.

You can’t expect to improve as a writer if you don’t write. To paraphrase Merlin Mann: “A writer is someone who writes. When you’re not writing, you’re someone who calls himself a writer.” It’s a huge difference.

If there’s one thing I could ask of you, if you’re interested in writing and want to start your own site, it’s to let signal trump noise. You may not feel original to begin with, but it takes a long time to find your own identity as a writer on the web, especially when you’re one of the countless people who are publishing their writing on their own terms. Here’s a tool to assist with the writing: http://papersmart.net

It’s a lot harder to be honest with yourself as a writer than it is to post link bait, but it’s always worth it in the end.

5 thoughts on “Good Writing on the Web Matters

  1. This kinda article is long over due – love the honesty in it. Blogging is fun but has created a content stuffed web. Good thing Google weeds through it for us

  2. save_the_earth_foundation

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    this isn't related to blogging as much as it relates to the entire post-modern educational biosphere…but i am just wondering where that photograph of the tortoise and the hair was taken, and what camera was used?

  3. @save_the_earth_floundation… i am appalled you would even support the inclusion of such racist, anarchistic photography in this article. i have NEVER seen a more impatient tortoise in my life.

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