I Feel Like Screaming

March 24, 2007

I started too early. There’s no doubt I started blogging years ago at a time when it truly was a fad. Truth be told however, I was an awful writer with little to say. At the time, being a blogger didn’t improve my writing and I didn’t get smarter. True growth came after posting on messageboards and arguing about issues I truly cared for. To me, messageboards are still the superior method for improving one’s ability to synthesize ideas and to present viewpoints in a coherent manner. But there’s a caveat: you have to conciously make attempts at improving. I say this because I have seen one too many unfortunate souls who still sound horribly identical to what they did over a decade ago. So with that in mind, I am back to writing. The reason I feel like screaming is because If I dont write down some of the things that are going through my head these days, they will clog up my cranium until I am forced to regurgitate them all at once on someone not expecting a two hour rant on socio-political realities in the Muslim world.

In the spirit of improving, I am going to lift these gems right off the excellent ‘best blog’ blog.

• Best Bloggers respect their readers. They don’t take you for granted. They respond to your comments. They keep their promises or tell you why they haven’t been able to. (For example: We tried to do a Blog-A-Day every day this December. But we went to too many parties to do one EVERY single day. Still, even falling short of the goal, we gave you more great blogs this month than we have in many months this year.)

• Best Bloggers hook you. They drawn you in from the first sentence. That can happen in as many ways as there are imaginations, but it never, ever means this sort of beginning: Sorry I haven’t blogged in so long, but I’ve been busy. Or Not much to say, but I don’t have anything else to do but blog. A Best Blogger has got something to say, and they make you want to hear it.

• Best Bloggers know how to use the tools at their disposal. Mostly, that means they’re good at the language in which they blog. Their writing is clear and sharp, they can punctuate, they proofread, and they sound like the smart people they are.

• Best Bloggers are generous. They know there’s room for everyone. They know that another great blog in no way diminishes them. They link to people they admire, regardless of whether that other blog is bigger or smaller than they are.

• Best Bloggers never stop learning. They read other blogs and learn from what they discover there. They read books — books that are so well written they feel compelled to try to do the same. They’re curious. They’re not afraid to say, I don’t understand that. They try new things. Maybe they’ll learn to podcast. Or take some pictures. Or try out a new template. Find out what CSS is.

• Best Bloggers know themselves. They don’t try to be other people. They know what they love, even if it’s a little odd, and their enthusiasm and affection for their subject animates their writing.

• Best Bloggers know they’re part of a community. They contribute to forums, help new folks out, welcome people to blogging.


9 Responses to “I Feel Like Screaming”

  1. sunnilink Says:

    Blog on.

  2. arif Says:

    My entire concept of what constitutes as ‘good’ writing/writing styles worthy of aspiration have changed so much in the past month, I can only describe it as an epiphany.

    One amazing character has been responsible for it all: South Park quoting Libby Taylor.

    I’ve wanted to share this new found inspiration with you ever since it started. Perhaps when we next find ourselves in a state of steady finances and a setting of luxury I will indulge – or maybe on MSN.

  3. Ali Jaffery Says:

    Welcome back. Scream on.

    I’m of the blogging persuasion as opposed to message board-type. On message boards you really have to pick your spots and clearly/simply present your case, otherwise I find that there is just too much proof-texting going back and forth that the thread becomes unfaithful to issues supposedly being discussed. But then again, if you’ve found a comfortable niche with people who know you, how you think and are able to contribute to a discuss constructively, its on message boards that you might find the most useful and fun conversations.

  4. Hamzah Says:

    We need more Conversations with AP. That kept me coming back for more.

  5. molvi Says:

    sunnilink: understood.

    arif: ‘Perhaps when we next find ourselves in a state of steady finances’ hahahaha. *wipes tear* its funny because it’ll never happen.

    Ali: I think if you find yourself a niche messageboard with people at your level, you benefit. But lets not forget that I stopped frequenting islamica ages ago simply because I outlived it. Now I stick to defending liberal heathens on Sunniforum.

    Hamzah: As sad as it is for me to say this, I will probably never post another convos with AP. I think its time has past and quite frankly, me and arif just dont talk anymore. We got in a nasty spat over some obscure footnote in a sewing machine manual and well, things have never been the same again.

  6. Keep on screaming …

  7. Kesewaids Says:

    This is really cool… Are you trying to be with my weary texture A JOKE! ) Did you hear about the dyslexic rabbi? He was walking around everywhere saying, “Yo!”

  8. Hi – really good site you have made. I enjoyed reading this posting. I did want to write a comment to tell you that the design of this site is very aesthetically pleasing. I used to be a graphic designer, now I am a copy editor in chief for a merchandising firm. I have always enjoyed playing with computing machines and am trying to learn code in my spare time (which there is never enough of lol).

  9. thanks for the great article..

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