Sssh: Your Writing Sucks, But I Still Love It

by Jan Geronimo on March 29, 2009

Eons ago somebody fell in love with me, and of course being curious and all that, I asked why. The verdict was that because I was fun to be with. Sure, I was hoping for more earth-shaking reasons such as irresistible good looks, sex appeal, and state of the art brain.

No such luck. But I learned to live with it. It was a good start and we had fun all right.

The same can be said in blogging. If you have fun with your blog, meaning you write things you’re familiar with and have fun with it at the same time, I think you’ve got a winner in your hands. Readers will seek you out although you don’t pass yourself off as a guru.

You can even make the shambles that is your life as a magnet to draw readers to your blog. There’s something to be said about royal screw ups. People read to entertain themselves. And what higher entertainment than to read a guy’s post that points out he’s more miserable than you are.

Maybe it’s the tone of voice you use. Or your quirky sense of humor. Or your extreme lack of humor – that can be funny,too. Add to this the lack of artifice in your writing. You write to share an interesting story even if you appear as the “balahura” (scoundrel). That’s brave, I’d say.

Polished writing helps. Grammatical errors can savage your post such that it can be painful to read – true. But that’s not the whole story. As my feed reader is my witness, I can proudly say that I’m subscribed to a lot of bloggers whose posts are riddled with grammatical mistakes. Over time, these mistakes can be remedied by careful study and industry. Paucity of ideas – this is the hardest challenge to master.

Jonathan Morrow gave very useful tips for bloggers who fear their writing suck . What astounds me in his post, however, was when he said:

You thought blogs were something more noble? Well, maybe they are… to you. To the average person though, they’re simply something to do while they sip their coffee in the morning, unwind before going to bed, or take a break at work. If they didn’t read your blog, they would have to think about how crappy their life is, and that’s unacceptable. So, they turn to something more interesting: you.

Learn to relax. Give yourself permission to goof once in a while. Trust me, it’s a liberating experience.

Over to you now. You can tear at me now for advocating loose writing. That is, if you can find your target. Lol.

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  • Jan
    @petit: oh, you used to have one there? joji has one too. I just don't know if she has updated it though.
  • Petit
    @jan friendster is a blog nobody loves to read nor care to comment. it sucks , my blogs was originally from there you know. but anyway, its a good start though fifi.
  • Jan
    @dee: It's a tempest in a teacup as they say. I felt alluded to and of course I was offended. I wrote a hasty post like a crybaby. For all I know she might not had even read what I wrote. Anong magagawa e pumiyok ang guilty. Hahaha. At first I was offended. Now, I'm embarrassed. Lol. Think thrice before you post, that's the lesson I learned.

    @fifi: Friendster is a blog, of course. Keep it alive. You don't have to post every day. Maybe once a week? That will not be too stressful, I think. Why not sign up with blogger so we can be neighbors? lol.
  • fifi
    Do you blog yourself? Sayang, if you do not. You write so well yourself, Fifi. - i am affirmed. thanks. even when i had written for some publication, i never really saw myself as a writer. positive reinforcement was elusive in college; my professor's shrill voice telling the whole class that my work 'was not a composition!' made me give up serious thoughts on writing.

    i used to keep a blog but never had the time to maintain it and never really knew what to write about. the last post i had was 2 years ago when i quit work. does a friendster blog count? but i don't make regular posts there nor do i write for an audience. it's just a silent space reserved for my musings. i'll catch you in tweeter one of these days when school is over.:)
  • Dee
    Ay, share naman who that girl is and what happened. Details, details, please.I sense something interesting behind that story.:D

    Oh, yeah, writing that sucks. I do need improvement. But thanks for still reading it. :D
  • Jan
    @joji: You're a very creative writer, Joji. I have enjoyed reading every post. True, sometimes I try to figure out what you wrote from a safe distance. But it's because I need to understand it fully. Because what's great with your writing is that there are many layers to it. I just don't want it said I have lost my power of comprehension so I give it time to sink in.

    Often times you cater to the unthinking masses and dish out perfect morsels, easy to digest, fun and creative stuff. And I'm fine with that too - because it's easy on my poor brain. lol.

    @elmot: Buddy, you sound so adult. Is that because you've turned a year older and thus wiser? Daya si Yatot lang ang may cake. hahaha.
  • elmot
    some errors are part of the game, the best part of playing it is when you never give up, learn from it and in the end become a master of the craft you dearly love.

    on my part, i admit that i am not a good writer but i am learning everytime i write. i blush when i have grammtical errors even if they are typos... but that what writing is all about.
  • jojigirl
    Yeah, sucks! You think I have chances for improvement? I'm not taking it personally ha, hehe... I am just aware of the fact that my english is also a bit decrepit, ngee...
  • Jan
    @Xprosaic: Who ever says you suck at writing? Where's the proof? You have deleted the comments? hahaha. I haven't read any negative comments in your blog...I'm not fooled. I already have a fair idea how your naughty mind operates. :)
  • I am Xprosaic
    Oh it's not new to me when somebody says my write up sucks! Hahahahahahahaha... ANyway, I like the 'more earth-shaking reasons such as irresistible good looks, sex appeal, and state of the art brain'---If I could meet somebody who could give me these reasons, I could marry her right then and there! Hahahahahahahaha.. Kidding! It's not about how perfect you write but, just like in your word verification:'spent', it's how you spent it with the rest of the readers... Oh don't be fooled! I just made that all up...Hahahahhahahhaha
  • Jan
    @Petit: Well, you're the writer and publisher now - how about that. The wonder that is blogging is you can magically edit your posts anytime. Some errors are very hard to spot right away. We need to distance from it - wash the dishes maybe and then go back to it. Walla - there's the error! And you correct it.

    Hahaha. This goes to show I should my thesis is right. Look at that, I just mentioned love in passing but a lot of you guys picked it up.

    Well, I write decent love letters back in those days. Do they still do that nowadays? I wonder.
  • Jan
    @fifi: Nah, you're not predictable. I can't place, buddy. I need some reference point. How about a blog, your blog?

    Last night, I asked a lady on Twitter: "Are you by any chance Fifi?"

    She's not. She's deeply puzzled by my question. She asked if I was referring to a scorpion. What? Hahaha. So I let it rest.

    So the valid question is - Do you blog yourself? Sayang, if you do not. You write so well yourself, Fifi.

  • Petit
    i like it. PAUCITY OF IDEAS. i always get good lessons from you jan. plus the way you started this post with love intrigues everyone, hahahaha! you sure have a way of letting your readers stick to you till the end of the post.
    its always this, the thought of it that my writing sucks may come from my past editors non-constructive criticism way back when i was writing school papers. sometimes i forgot this is my blog, my ideas, my story and are not under them anymore. "no pressure", "loosen up a bit" will be fine for me.

    ok, lets leave grammars to (what you call them?), writing technicians, (a.k.a. editors) as long as it doesn't sound too awful.

    by the way, who fell for you? i bet you made such wonderful love letters huh? how about a post on that . i just wonder whats inside your usual love letters that made them fall for you hmmmm... am i too showbiz already? hehehe
  • fifi
    If it's any consolation, I have you in mind when I wrote this post. I said to myself, "Take that, Fifi." lol. I'm provoking you to comment right away. And you did. Mission accomplished. :) -- jan, i never realized i was getting predictable to you na pala. lol. mission accomplished, indeed.

    you're right too. spending too much time looking for errors can be tiresome and unnecessary. i'll leave that task to the editors.
  • Jan
    @Roy: The title of the post is too harsh to be addressed to you. No, your writing doesn't suck, Roy.

    You have mastered the tone in your blog. That's very obvious. What's a few slip ups between friends anyway?

    @Fifi: Thank you... I'm just advising writers to loosen up and give themselves permission to make mistakes every now and then. We all go through a period of awkwardness and until we have found our true voice, we're bound to err. And it's all right. The world will not end anyway on account of those errors.
  • Jan
    @Roy: Take that as a compliment. You have lots of wonderful ideas. And you have lots of blogs under your belt. If I were in your shoes, I'd be hard pressed to come up with same steady harvest of good ideas. See where I'm coming from?

    You're a good writer, Roy. Granted that you have grammatical slips occasionally in your blogs. Does this make you less of a good web author? Maybe to some, but as for me you're doing just fine.

    @fifi: You're right. It depends on the blog's tone and subject matter. I've come across this blog who put web authors' sloppy writing to task. Guess what, I spend a lot of time perversely looking for sloppy writing on his own blog. How about that? lol. I'm capable of that, too. hahaha Of course, I have found a couple of errors. And I moved on, not bothering to point it out to him. But it's a waste of time, I think.

    If it's any consolation, I have you in mind when I wrote this post. I said to myself, "Take that, Fifi." lol. I'm provoking you to comment right away. And you did. Mission accomplished. :)

    @lemuel: Single, with a surrogate kid. If you can call this blog a child. lol
  • fifi
    i think jan that you are not the best person to advocate loose writing because your writings appear so carefully woven. hihihi...
  • Jan
    @diTesco: It's a tad annoying, I have to admit. But those things can be overcome over time. I'd rather read great ideas written in awkward language rather than waste time reading well written posts about nothing. Of course patience can be worn thin if the blogger does not take it upon himself to clean up his writing. All I'm saying is I'm giving him a chance.

    @yatot: Yeah, I was puzzled too about that. Mind-boggling indeed. lol
  • fifi
    true true! occasional misspelled words or flaws in grammar aren't dealbreakers, that's for sure. but they can sometimes be irritating, right? the real challenge is still catching and sustaining your reader's attention, which by the way, hinges so much on good command of the language (which you consistently use in your blog).

    i read a lot of trashy blogs (about showbiz, for example) too and i don't mind the sloppy grammar, maybe because i don't expect it from these sites. so maybe it depends on the tone, subject matter, style of the writer, and what you convey to the reader as what is expected of you.
  • lemuel
    i read your blogs because i like your subjects and like to comment on them. however for this post, i can't think of anything to say... except, who was the the person who fell in love with you? are you married now?
  • Roy
    I don't know how I would react given such a comment... is that supposed to be a compliment? hmmm... lemme think...

    Like I told you before, my loose grammar has been a point on one blog post who made reference to one of my blogs.

    Honestly, I am always conscious of my grammar. Unfortunately, being a non-English master, I do fumble from time to time (or is it ofter?). But the heck, I'm not blogging to teach correct grammar.

    There are other blogs for that.
  • yatot
    what can i say...? i already know you love writing so much and blogging is the main output for this... but... im more interested in getting to know who that person once upon a time fell in love with you! hahahaha...
  • diTesco
    Writing mistakes on blogs, can sometimes happen because people are really not passionate about what they are doing. Rather they just want to "fill in" their blogs with posts without worrying too much about grammar or spelling. Mispeled wrds ken reely bi annoying, dont u thnk?, lol
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