Look, it’s no secret that typo is my mother tongue. I’m sort of amazed that anyone can follow my posts. (Please don’t burst my bubble if you have never understood what I’m talking about. Le me just pretend….) Despite this, I have presumed to write several posts on the art of blog writing. Yup actual writing. Not composition or technical creation: writing.
But you know what, someone like me that has a lot to learn on the subject is more likely to seek out the information. That’s how I can share it with you. Not that long ago I tried to put together a little basket of abstract thoughts when it comes to the specifics of writing reviews. In there I talked about the structure of posts, but I didn’t touch too much on the language. Today, I’d like to explore that aspect a little more with you guys.
I’ve read several different views on the subject. Some bloggers are adamant that proper spelling and grammar is of the utmost importance, and you should give as much attention and time to proof reading your posts as you do to actually writing them. Others seem to say a summary rereading of your work out any details that need improvement is enough. Still others seem to believe that as long as your readers can generally understand what you’re saying, it should be enough.
Of course, I know I make a lot of typos and sometimes use very odd sentence structure. Part of it is due to English not being my native tongue but most of it is a combination of mild dyslexia, writing on my phone while in public transit and being too lazy/busy to proofread everything. Sometimes I can write posts up to a month or two in advance and I only reread (remember) them once they get published. At which point I’m mildly traumatized by the fact that I clearly can’t write. I might be able to compose (still debatable) but the mechanical act of putting the letters together in the right order is way beyond my reach. Despite this, I seem to resist the idea of simply carefully rereading everything. And I think I know why.
There’s a non-verbal aspect to written language. And I’m not just talking about emojis.
I have always considered my posts as conversations. Not lectures or instructions or even news. I’m not here to teach you anything or answer all your questions about anime. And I show part of that in how I write.
I get excited about a point and my fingers trip over the keyboard in my rush to share it with you. And idea pops into my head and I don’t quite know how to instantly translate it into English, so I end up with personalized idioms. I’m like a little kid who hasn’t quite learned to align their mind with their mouth, so I start off telling you about one thought and end up in a completely different one without having informed you of the transition. It’s a real good thing that I don’t aim to explain.
If I was the type to create academic and researched posts, this would not do. A complicated thesis needs clear language to be properly understood. Alternatively, if I wrote debate type essays, with clear moral stances to defend and important points to make, then my arguments would be weakened if I hadn’t taken the care of ensuring the proper spelling. But that’s not really my wheelhouse.
Let’s be clear, I’m not saying you should add mistakes to your work to make it feel more spontaneous or convivial. There are plenty of ways to do that. Colloquialisms or even made up expression. Casual tone and sentence structure. Unpretentious vocabulary…
What I am saying is that in my personal experience, I can’t seem to thoroughly proof a text without also sanitizing it. When I reread my stuff (and I do in fact reread most of my posts before publishing) I tend to look at content rather than technique. Since I know what I want to say, my eye doesn’t quite register those typos since my mind autofixes them. This is also slightly due to the dyslexia. But it’s not unusual for someone to have more difficulty pinpointing their own mistakes. As such when I read for spelling and grammar, I need to get in a different mindset. That mindset tends to be very…dull. This is the mindset that cuts out all those excessive adjectives I use and tries not to be too *cute*. It’s no nonsense Irina that has a job to do! And let’s face it, I still miss a bunch of typos.
A few months ago, this was bothering me a lot when I fell on a post by a blogger I like who shall remain nameless. It is obvious to anyone that this blogger is not and anglophone and I occasionally have to read paragraphs a few times to figure out what they mean. But I love those posts.
Despite the technical obstacles, the writing is really great from a creative standpoint. They manage to paint these great word pictures and there’s this unique aspect to their use on the English language. You can almost hear the accent, and I really like that. It adds a distinct personality to the posts that wouldn’t be there otherwise. I realized that I couldn’t care less if those posts had typos. I might even miss them a little if they were gone.
Maybe you’re starting to wonder if I actually have a point here. I’m flattered that you made it all the way to this paragraph, shows you have some faith in me. Let me try to spell it out. (Spell…you get it…cause I can’t write… yah you got it…) Language is simply a tool for communication and as such depends on the end result you are seeking. There’s no need to fret over every little word or stop yourself from writing because you fear your skills may not measure up. The words are just the wrapping, the real gift is your thoughts.
Find your voice and the rest will come naturally. If you find that what you need to express works best in precise and meticulously correct language than of course you should aim for that. If you find your own Freudian slip typos hilarious, leave them in! I don’t think there’s a Right way.
Did I just write 1000+ words to justify my lack of attention to details and laziness in correcting my work? Yeah probably. I should really proofread my stuff more carefully… But not you, you’re doing great just the way you are!