Just Shelley Writing

Hiho it’s off to edit I go

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I kept waking up last night with answers to the questions from yesterday’s interview popping into my head. The experience is comparable to a web bot being sent for information and returning two days later. Nice, but a little late.

I’m feeling more than a little tired today, so not much in the way of interesting or compelling reading for you, aside from a few notes about writing.

As much as I dislike to, I’m going to start running my weblog posts through Word for spell checking. The reason I’m so adverse to this is because one thing I’ve always liked about weblog writing is that I can relax a bit, and not worry about my usual problems of mixing words, dropping words, bad spelling, and totally screwing up all the subtle nuances of grammar. I can just write. It’s a very liberating experience.

However, this generates problems for people who quote me because they copy the words as they are, misspellings and all. That’s not particularly fair to them. Additionally, as one person was kind enough to mention in my comments not too long ago — one can easily drop the intelligence of a posting by just turning off spellchecker, a not so subtle reflection on my misspellings.

In addition to the spell checking, I’m considering using other more formal editing processes. For instance, when I write a book, the first draft is nothing more than a way for me to try and record my thoughts in a coherent manner, while I’m also figuring out how to create the examples, work the technology, and so on. The real writing doesn’t start until I start editing the work; smoothing it out, making sure it hangs together, flows well, and doesn’t leave topics abruptly. As Shrek would say, writing is like an onion, consisting of layers.

Some writers can put words down in perfect form the first go around. I can’t. However, I don’t normally apply the more formal writing process to my weblog posts, but I’m thinking of doing so. Unfortunately, this has a side effect of removing some of the spontaneity of the writing — that bit of me that leaks through in the words.

What I might do is continue with my usual haphazard style (except for spell checking) in my regular posts, and then save the formal process for postings that are longer, more complex. So, when I write about my cat, I’ll just write about my cat, and as long as cat is spelled c-a-t, don’t worry about the rest. But if I’m writing an essay about my anti-war views, take more time, and edit the material more carefully.

Ah, well.

In the meantime, if you like my little Talkback feature, there’s a web form you can use to lookup comments by URL or name. I have a question, though, for you: does the ability for someone to look up all your comments make you more aware of what you write, or do you comment as you always have?

Geodog made a good point about this in my posting on Talkback:


I’m with Ruzz and Dorothea. Stupid late night comments preserved for eternity? Let Stavrosthewonderchicken’s comments be highlighted. Maybe I should start posting as him?

In any case, I’m glad I use my online name. It isn’t hard to find my real name, but I would be even more self-conscious if the first thing that popped up when someone put my name into Google was a half assed comment on somebody’s weblog.

Or maybe that’s the idea? Discourage half-assed comments?


Does Talkback make you uncomfortable?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email