Everyone knows that writing is no easy task. We’ve all faced times when we simply wanted to give up and perhaps even accept a poor grade on a writing assignment. It is a process and William Zinsser, author of On Writing Well, attests to this in his guide to writing nonfiction. Writing nonfiction, whether a newspaper article, an academic paper, a blog, etc., requires a certain skill set. This skill set is learned through practice and while writing may come more naturally to others, it still requires hard work. A polished finished product is well worth the work. The best writing is concise, simplified, uncluttered, established stylistically, original, unified, and clear in its purpose.
Writing is a unique process. It is different for every person. Every person has his or her own thought process and way in which they want to present their message. Zinsser confirms, “Some people write by day, others by night. Some people need silence, others turn on the radio. Some write by hand, some by computer, draft in one long burst and then revise; others can’t write the second paragraph until they have fiddled endlessly with the first” (Zinsser 5). This is normal and it is encouraged that people embrace their writing process for what it is. If it allows us as writers to produce the best content we can, then why not embrace it?
With the invention of the Internet, blogging has become a major platform for writing and social interaction. The great thing about it is that anyone can be a blogger. A blog is like your brand and you have control to make it whatever you want. Often, bloggers focus their sites on their interests and hobbies. Furthermore, blogs are typically entertaining because the writer is passionate about their topic and therefore, they put forth effort into making it great, interesting content. Zinsser encourages people to write with their interests, “No subject is too specialized or too quirky if you make an honest connection with it when you write about it” (91). However, Zinsser also encourages writers to not write for a particular audience, but rather write for themselves and their leisure. Trying to write for the audience can unintentionally shift the writer’s goals and hinder the writing content itself. Joanna Penn, author of The Beauty Chorus, wrote an informational and inspirational blog post for all the writers struggling to come to terms with their writing content. Check it out here! Like Zinsser, she encourages us to write about what we love, not just what we know.
As I am in the process of establishing myself as a focused blogger, I enjoy browsing certain blogs on the web. Five of the five following blogs are unique in their writing tone, content, and appeal to different audiences.
- The Lo Down: A lifestyle, beauty, fashion, and fitness blog by Lo Bosworth, author, entrepreneur, and former reality TV star. Her blog is full of advice, geared towards young women yearning to live an adventurous, stylish life. I appreciate the clean look of her blog. Also, it’s archived so readers can search for posts by month and by category. Lo adds a twist to her blog by sharing her fun adventures, testing of new products and places, and a NYC Guide to fashion. Lo has great, descriptive images that enhance her conversational writing style. I love how reading her blog posts is like talking to one your girlfriends!
- Tone It Up: This interactive, motivational blog by fitness and lifestyle gurus, Karena Dawn & Katrina Hodgson, is inspiring for women of all shapes and sizes. Their booming fitness business stemmed from a personal struggle with healthy living and eating and has helped the lives of millions of women. Dawn & Hodgson’s blog is truly a community and these two best friends/coworkers are clearly passionate about helping women live healthy, happy lifestyles. Their posts consists of recipes for clean meals, interactive workouts shown with step-by-step GIFs, lifestyle tips, and inspiring transformations in the Tone It Up (TIU) community. The two fitness, health, and wellness aficionados are very engaged with their social media accounts (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and encourage their TIU community to chime in through their journey to a healthy, happy life.
- A House in the Hills: Written by a photographer who is a self-proclaimed chef, style maven, interior designer, world traveler, and dog stylist who blogs about anything and everything. Sarah Yates Mora’s blog posts include a lot of interesting narrative that is appealing to her readers. As she is a photographer, her images are beautiful and make her blog stand out among others on the web. Mora is truly down-to-earth and genuine in her blog; she shares her experiences with life’s greatest pleasures but also writes about some trials and tribulations. She has struggled with Chrohn’s Disease and allows her readers a peak into that less polished part of her life. Like many, Mora is active on her Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest account.
- Chocolate and Marrow: Written by blogger Brooke Bass, Chocolate and Marrow is specifically a food blog that focuses on dishes through the seasons and the savoring the art of the written word. As she presents unique recipes for her followers, she also shares personal anecdotes, which adds an interesting element to her posts. Her images of the dishes are artful and mouth watering to say the least.
- Classe Touriste: Debbie Pappyn and David De Vleeschauwer, a freelance writer and photographer couple, comprises their journey around the world into on beautifully crafted blog. The images and stories they share inspire their readers to be adventurous and travel to the unknown. Their blog is essentially a guide to the world’s most beautiful places and how best to navigate through them.