It used to be that you could only write an “opinion piece” if you were a regular contributor to a newspaper and had your own column. Social media now allows anyone to write what they want anywhere, anytime. Short thoughts can be tweeted. Daily events and pictures can be shared on Facebook. and more ambitious writers can start a blog.
Why would anybody want to write a blog? The comparison I can think of is not a very elegant one. Something is stuck in your mind and it wants out. So perhaps you end up writing a school essay on a topic of your own choosing. In the act of putting down your thoughts and letting them out, something of your personality will inevitably emerge.
A few tips:
–A blog writer has to be scrupulously honest, because readers will detect any insincerity or posturing.
–And if you hate “The Nutcracker” or “Swan Lake” or something else that everyone loves, just say so!
–At the same time you are not in the business of writing about yourself and you need to safeguard your privacy, so no nakedness. There are good reasons why clothes were invented. Keep confessions for your diary.
–You also have to remember that you are not writing a novel. You do have to tell a story to keep your readers wanting to know more.
–There are no restrictions on what you can write about. I was asked once, “Why don’t you write about advice?” So I wrote a blog about why I don’t give advice.
–Simple, concrete everyday words are more potent than abstract ones or circumlocutions. But if only an esoteric word can adequately describe your thought then use it. Some readers will know the word; others will guess or look it up.
–Avoid empty-calorie words like awesome, amazing or terrific. Their meaning has evaporated from overuse. Shun clichés like: “To make a long story short” or “The tip of the iceberg” or “Putting the cart before the horse” and many, many others.
And, most important, you need to enjoy writing your blog.
(I sure do)
Editor’s note: The word “blog” is a contraction of “weblog.”