I value my readers, etc, etc and so on and so forth. :-D (You knew that was coming. Didn't you?)
I was recently reading "Rework", by the owners of 37Signals. In it they said that you shouldn't write to simply write. Well, you can guess how I feel about that! And this recent transference of ownership of T-Central got me to some ponderin'. I took some aspirin, however.
How do you make a report about an amazing weekend boring? By bad writing. How do you take someone to where you have been? By evoking that place and time. A writer I deeply respect once told me she was struck by my description of the fog I was riding my motorcycle through. I was perplexed; I read the post, and I hardly used any words at all. And yet they were sufficient in number that she could imagine the ride, herself. What an accolade! I think it took me about a zillion years to come down from that one. :-) (I'm still up there, come to think of it.)
Take the reader to where you were. It doesn't take much. Observe, observe, observe. If you're taking notes, you're not observing. If you're committing moments to memory, you're not observing. The first rule of writing: observe.
The rest is grammar.
When I write a sentence, I try to make each word work for a living. Whether it's holding a tone, or conveying some information, each word has to count. It has to work for its living. If it doesn't, it's let go. I'm not always successful; I write so often I'm bound to make considerable errors. I edit so infrequently it's astonishing my enemies don't have more fodder for their quiet hatred.
One person criticized me for not staying on topic. Apparently I have to write about one topic, and one topic only. My life outside that topic is meaningless; it might as well not exist. Many bloggers adhere to this principle. I've never read a guide to blogging that states otherwise: you must write for one topic. It's the only way to build readership. Become an expert on that topic, make your blog a destination for people looking for information on that topic. Yeah well. My blog is a destination for people that want to find out about me. Heck, my wife doesn't read this blog very often. (Hi, love! Yes, I did call the insurance company.) Not that she has to. She lives with me. (I sometimes suspect she endures me.) (Hi, Love! :-D )
How did I get so lucky?
Back to my topic. Blog writing. (Transgender) blog writing. To be particular. :-)
When you write a blog your first thought should be "what the hell am I going to write about?" How about "life". Your life. It's not a soap opera, unless your name is ... Well, suffice to say her life is a soap opera simply because she makes it one.
Okay, the first thing to realize in (transgender) blog writing is that if you stick to transgender topics only... Oh, whatever.
The two things you need to know about writing is that words count. And each word must work for a living. The two things you must know about politics is that someone will disagree with you. And it's not usually personal. If you take it as personal, you condemn yourself as a lightweight. Both intellectually and politically. Someone criticizes a fundamental claim? It's a personal claim about identity? Don't go stamping around in a huff. That proves you're stupid. Argue with them. Understand where they are coming from.
If someone tells you they disagree (not that there's much of that in transgenderblogland) it's not a grievous insult. It's a disagreement. It's not a denial of you identity. It's a disagreement. If you say "I'm a woman" and someone like Germaine Greer disagrees - she's not necessarily transphobic. She's merely providing a different context. It's up to you to put her objections into a different context. It's not up to you to force her to accept your conclusions. let me repeat that: It's not up to you to force her to accept your conclusions. You have to persuade her.
Persuasion is more persuasive (...) if it doesn't include things like getting (blindly) mad, using well worn ad hominem attacks, resorting to holding your breath until you turn blue or being so outraged you turn into a transgendered Incredible Hulk. (She might look fetching in that little black number, but that green color doesn't do her complexion any good at all!)
One killer of blog writers is flawed logic. It doesn't leave beads of blood on their foreheads - it leaves gaping wounds in their credibility. Don't get your numbers wrong. Don't get your logic wrong. The other side is perfectly at liberty to do both of those; that helps you. But woe betide the transgender blogger who makes an unverifiable logical claim about anything. It's a stupid thing to do. It's ridiculously easy to find, often fatal, flaws in many arguments. All you have to do is recast the argument into abstract terms. Think about your arguments from the opposing view; instead of simply asserting their uselessness in multi-syllabic words, try pointing out where those arguments fail. Don't, whatever the hell else you do, don't use vague ideas as a foundation or a refutation.
I think the basic foundation any political (transgender) blogger should remember is this: politics is a callous business.