I started writing when I was 12 years old. I’m not an English native speaker so my posts were terrible back then. My grammar was annoyingly incorrect, my vocabulary lacks substance, and even my sentence construction was incomprehensible. I’m not saying that I’m a pro now, but at least I can write an article that people can read and understand.
Then I took a long break cause my dad doesn’t like the idea of me writing. His brother ended up broke because he took up journalism in college and became a reporter after. He thought that if I pursue my passion, I might end up just like him.
Well, I think he was successful. It’s just that he didn’t push for fame and glory like his fellow journalists. He helped a lot of people, and now he prefers to just stay at home and relax. Both his children finished college and have jobs of their own.
Then I decided that maybe I can go back to writing again. It was quite okay but not satisfying. But I still think it’s funny when you re-read your old posts. After reading one article after another, you can’t help but ask yourself, “what was I thinking when I was writing this?”.
After a few years of neglecting my site, I knew that I needed a comeback. And I think writing is one passion people should never forget. It’s like a time capsule that you can access 24/7. I was using Blogger before changing to WordPress. I started by writing one blog a month, sometimes every three months.
I got satisfied with the articles that I wrote back then, I thought it was good. Then after re-reading it, I realised that most of it were remarkably terrible. I suddenly remembered that when I started writing again, I was always rushing. I was aiming to finish it quickly, read it once, and post it, cause I thought I need to be efficient.
So, I asked for help.
It went well in the first few weeks cause my husband was revising my blog posts. But he got busy because of an important sport, so I had to do it all on my own. After the match, he read some of the articles I made.
He said, “what happened to your writing? It’s long but it doesn’t have any substance. Stop rushing to post one article a day. I’d say, try to sit down and re-read them several times before you post it. Always put yourself in your reader’s shoes.”
I was taken aback. All this time I thought I was giving it my all. So, I sat down and read all the articles he polished and the ones I made. After re-reading some of it, I began to understand how he found out that I was hurrying to finish the articles.
- The grammar lapses are obvious.
- No explanation nor excuses. I’m working really hard on this, that’s why it’s in number one. I’m now working on reading more books and listen to podcasts.
2. My train of thought is just all over the place
- I think this happens when I get too excited about a topic. So now, I try to write a set of drafts and then just pick which one is the best. Then I’ll think about it on that same day I wrote it, then read it again the next day.
3. I’ve been using the same words several times in one paragraph. The vocabulary is nonsense.
- I intentionally use the same words when writing, and thinking that I’ll just go back to it after I finish the entire article to rectify it. But since I get too excited most times, I end up forgetting about it. Then I will just find out maybe after a few weeks or several months.
- I don’t want to get used to this kind of bad habit. So now, I make sure to fix whatever the lapses are and modify it right there and then.
4. The words are too deep that he thinks some readers might not know what it means, and it doesn’t even fit in some of the sentences
- After taking the IELTS exam, I got stuck with the mindset that utilising highfalutin words is a must to produce a high-quality article. But after reading some of the best blog posts in Reader in WordPress, I realized I was wrong. Using basic and simple words that’s easy to understand helped me more in expressing myself than utilising unfamiliar words.
5. I keep using complex sentence construction because it sounds neat and intelligent.
- I tried using SKELL, it’s a website that tells you if you’re using the words correctly in a sentence. Whenever I tried keying a word, as long as it sounds fine, I use it right away without thinking about it. But now, I’ve come to understand that quality articles should be written using the KISS method – Keep It Short and Simple.
6. The sentences are quite long that it doesn’t make sense sometimes anymore.
- I think I get too excited that I always write the first idea that pops up in my head without having second thoughts. And because of IELTS, again, I thought that writing long sentences is the key to success in blogging. Well, based on research, a lengthy blog post focused on SEO can help a blogger grow its network and gain more readers.
- Therefore, I’ve come to understand that writing long posts just for an article to look good is a big no-no. It needs to be interesting and knowledgable. I also learned that if I want to write a lengthy article, it needs to have SEO. It has to have substance and should concentrate on the main topic to avoid going astray.
7. There are instances that I even contradict myself.
- I write in Thought Catalog too! But this is a comment I got three times in a row from my editor. It’s beginning to be an awful habit. I now try my best to re-read it several times, and sort out my opinions by writing it in my I-pad. Sometimes I read it aloud to understand it better.
8. I rely too much on Grammarly.
- It is a good app, but I’m utilising the free one which means I don’t get the most out of it. I just found out from a friend who purchased the complete package that it helps, but not entirely. The majority of the work will still depend on the writer. The sentence construction, the vocabulary and the presentation of ideas.
- There’s also another app that helped me a lot when I was working as a content writer, it’s for free too, it’s called Polish My Writing.
I’m not saying that I write like a pro now. I realised that if I want to produce a quality article, I need to give it some thought. Read it at least five times, constantly have the persistence to do it, and find someone who will also have the patience to read it and edit it articulately and accurately.
See, I used another complex sentence! Well, I’m working on it. Thanks to everyone who still reads my blog. And thanks for reading this one as well! I hope you will still keep visiting my site 🙂