When I started this blog, I wasn’t sure where it was going to go—or who was going to read it. (I know people are reading it, because I watch the stats, but I’d love to hear more from you all!) It is a writer’s blog…sort of…and a parent’s blog…sort of…but mostly, I realized, it’s an online extension of the Journal that I’ve kept since the seventh grade.
However, there are some significant differences between a personal Journal and a public blog. For one, there are things that don’t belong online. But that’s kind of obvious. The big difference between Journal and blog is focus. In my Journal, I ramble on as long as I want, touching on as many random associations as I want. But here, I have to narrow my field to a single topic.
And this has helped me with another item: titles.
Titles and opening lines are the bane of writers’ existence. That applies to music as well as prose, though to a lesser extent. Opening lines are a messy item. I’m afraid I have nothing to offer on that subject–yet, at least. But blogging has helped improve my titles. Having to come up with a title for every piece I write exercises the titling muscle, and all things improve with exercise.
That doesn’t mean that I no longer struggle with titles. I do. But I struggle less, and at a higher level, than before. Blogging has taught me focus, and title and focus are tightly woven together. When I know what I’m writing about, the title flows more easily. The quicker I am at identifying my focus, the less flailing about I do in the early drafts. (And despite the informality of a blog, posts do go through several drafts.)
Journalling improved my writing; now blogging does the same. So, regardless of who reads it, or comments on it, or doesn’t, blogging is a worthwhile endeavor.
Now, if I can just figure out endings…