I’ve always considered myself a good enough writer that those grammar and style books never really applied to me. I could remember reading Strunk and White’s Elements of Style in 11th grade and that was the only book on style that I have ever read.
But over the past year my writing has shifted from mostly writing history papers and essays to writing blog posts, comments, and status updates, and I’ve come to realize that the online world requires a different writing style than does a paper or essay.
In one of my classes, “Digital Writing“, we are using the Yahoo Style Guide to learn how to write for the web. Chapter 6 was all about the correct usage of punctuation, and when going through the list, I realized that I was misusing some of the punctuation in my blog posts.
I was a bit worried about this, because I want to be thought of as a smart writer, and at first I felt that my incorrect use of punctuation, plus my still evolving voice, would damper that.
But then I remembered reading a blog post by Judy Dunn on Cat’s Eye Writer Blog, where she said it was ok to have typos and break convention.
My friend, sales strategist and experienced blogger Lori Richardson, said: “As much as I try to not have spelling issues, it still happens. I like bestselling business author Michael Port’s emails. He always says, ‘P.S. I don’t charge extra for typos. They’re just my gift to you.’”
And she is right. Those typos will get through, even with spell check, even with editing and proofing. They just do. Don’t beat yourself up over it.
I don’t want to beat myself up over a misplaced semicolon, or an incorrect usage of a dash. To do so would hinder my creativity. This is my blog, and these are my words, feelings, and emotions.
No one should be able to tell me how to write.
Could I use some consistency and correct usage of punctuation in my blog posts? Sure, in order to become a better writer I will probably need to do so.
But overall I don’t think that you will notice much of a change. This blog is still all about me, and I hope to keep it that way.