Scott’s comment on part 2 of my Blogging about Blogging series reminded me that I never wrote about the revision and posting process.
Originally, I was going to go back to my draft from Part 2 and re-write it as a demonstration of the revision process. Seemed like a great idea at the time. After messing around with a bunch of strike-throughs and trying to explain why I was moving things around, I realized that I wasn’t really explaining anything about the revision process. Plus, it was becoming impossible to read.
Which is exactly why revision is so important. It’s not just proofreading. Revision is as much about refining ideas and tightening up arguments as it is about grammar and syntax.
But, at some point, you have to get to the grammar stuff. I know enough about my own writing to look for some of my common “mistakes” and writing “clutches”
For example, I’m quite fond of starting sentences with clauses (see below). This isn’t necessarily wrong but it does get annoying when every paragraph starts the same way. Here are some examples from Part 2: Drafting. I’m sure you can find plenty in this post as well . (What kind of clauses are these, anyway? I’m lacking in proofreading vocabulary)
- Like any kind of writing, the process of blogging
- According to this incredibly helpful article from MIT, the drafting process is supposed to be writer-centered.
- For the most part, the process I use for writing blog posts
- As I’m drafting, I don’t worry much about structure
Another area I always look out for is the length of my posts. Writing for the Web 101 tells us that shorter is better. And it is. But I have a lot to say, damn it!
Since short, pithy blog posts aren’t my specialty, I focus a lot of my revision time on cutting the text. I go through and try to reduce redundancies where possible and shorten sentences if I can. My posts are still long in the blog world, but I try to keep them at a manageable length.
After I cut out as many unnecessary words as possible and look for those annoying introductory clauses, I re-read the post one final time. I go through and add in links, run a spell check, add in tags and categories and click “Publish.”
The great thing about blogging is that even after the post is published, it isn’t done. I often go back and edit posts once they’re published. I usually change one or two things post-publication and then call it done. Although revision is an ongoing process, at some point it has to be finished.
Much like this post.