One of the best ways for a writer in any field of the industry to improve their writing is to write frequently. Regular writing keeps the mind active and creative. But is sitting down with a pen and paper the best way to go about this anymore?
|Log in from your desk top, access the world, blog on, write on, pound some keys!|
For writers with Internet access, the relatively new phenomenon of blogging offers a quick, easy way to develop writing skills. For those of you who are now staring blankly at the word "blogging," I offer an explanation. A blog is a website that consists mostly of a series of articles, called posts, usually listed in reverse chronological order. Blogging is the act of updating a blog. Simple isn't it? Creating your own blog gives you an incentive to writing everyday, and that, my friends, will help you develop your writing skills.
Blogs are freely accessible on the Internet, so maintaining a blog gives your writing immediate exposure to a broad international audience. You can instantly receive feedback on your writing from readers via the commonly found Reader's Comment feature. Knowing your writing is already appreciated can be a real motivator to continue writing and a great boost to your confidence when it comes to submitting your work professionally.
The rise of the blog has been relentless and unstoppable. In the 9 years since "weblog" was first coined by Jorn Barger, the number of blogs has reached a conservative estimate of 40 million and this will probably have doubled by the time this article is first published! It's a phenomenon that jumps the boundaries of its origin. For example, one UK newspaper, The Guardian, reprints comments on news events from blogs every day.
It's not just writing blogs that's popular. People do actually read them as well. The website Blogger, which hosts blogs, is one of the most visited websites on the Internet with several million people visiting it daily to read the latest updates. Even by Internet standards, the speed with which blogging has developed is extraordinary, representing a revolutionary change in online media and writing in general.
There are now millions of people involved in blogging, and as with all areas of human life, this brings immense variety. Blogs can take the form of anonymous online diaries or be about a particular subject, such as science. No matter how specific and obscure your subject is, on the Internet you're guaranteed to reach people interested in the same thing, and these people will form the readership of your blog. Unlike material written for a print publication, you can write on any subject you want; you can use your blog as a place to experiment with different forms of writing.
Just because you don't believe you've got specialist knowledge or an amazing idea to plug an untapped niche in the market doesn't exclude you from joining the blogosphere. There is a whole multitude of blogs devoted exclusively to airing the author's opinions and commenting on the world around them.
Hosting websites – like WordPress and Blogger, for example – let you create your own blog for free in a few simple steps that require very little technical knowledge or web savvy. These hosts let you begin posting without delay, providing your readers with updates as you write them either through the main page or opt-in RSS feeds.
Blogs also provide writers from all areas a new tool resource for research. Almost all writers will have to undertake research for their writing, and the proliferation of blogs ensures the availability of information related to the subject you want you are researching. The website Blogwise lets you search blogs by topic, key-word, and geographic location. Technorati allows you to perform similar searches and gives more detailed information.
So, it's quick, painless, and free. Blogging develops your writing skills and gives you access to a wider readership than any print publication. Just like it's never too late to start writing, it's never too late to join the blogging revolution. It's transforming the way we distribute our writing! What are you waiting for?
Duncan Money is an occasional freelance journalist, long-time campaigner on a variety of issues and currently a minor celebrity with Britain's fascists.