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Spare Some Change

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Written by Basil on 03/29/2007 9:17 PM. Filed under:

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Or, Have I Unlearned Everything Doctor Hurlow Taught Me in Advanced English Composition?

Earlier today, I was helping my brother write an essay for his application package to a film school in Nashville, Watkins Film School. I discussed basic strategies for structuring an essay, such as the inverted triangle introductory paragraph with thesis, three points with a paragraph each, and summary conclusion. Other structures could be found, but we don’t have time for a seminar in creative writing. His first draft is full of promise, but it lacks structure. So I commended him for having great ideas but assured him that every writer revises his work several times. As I said this, I realized that blogging has changed my writing habits, and I determined that something should be done about it.

When I first started blogging almost five years ago, I was very happy for the opportunity to write nearly every day. Professional writers often say that a daily habit is crucial to developing and nourishing good writing skills. That has slipped over the years. Many of my recent posts are simply passing along links to other sites. Other posts are short complaints or status updates. Writing is no longer something I do daily. I want to change that.

As I discussed structure with my brother, I realized that I usually give very little thought to structure in my articles. Perhaps logical development has become a habit for me, such that structure is completely natural. If that is the case, contemplating the structure of my articles will only strengthen my writing style and ability. As I thought about structure, I realized that I am poorly versed in other possible structures, other than the inverted triangle of journalism. I want to change that, too.

Most importantly, I wondered if this slovenliness has caused my writing to be less powerful and interesting than it could be. In turn, this prompted me to think about whether my content is interesting or useful to my readers. Google Analytics data shows that nearly 75% of my visitors are reading my site for the first time. Only 25% of those who read my writing think it is interesting enough to return. My top hit is a spooky car advertisement video; it may be asking too much to expect more than 25% of its visitors to return when the rest of my site is about Orthodox Christianity and miscellanea. This area needs more examination, but I want to change it, too.

I intentionally wrote this article with the basic structure I spoke of earlier. The goal was to give it a structure — any structure — as an exercise in writing. I want to change some things about my writing, and frequency, structure, and content are good places to consider improvement. We shall see if it produces any changes in my site statistics.

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One Response to “Spare Some Change”

  1. pete Says:

    Hey Kevin,
    Just thought I’d let you know that I return to your blog from time to time, and I think you write some great stuff. I actually quoted Father Stephen from your blog post in an online discussion for my Reformation class at Luther Seminary, and got some very interesting feedback.
    Hope you’re doing well.