Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wild Web Writing

I was up late last night uploading my massive new website, So digital change and web writing is much on my mind. For the last seven years or so, my husband and I have been investigating and experimenting with the digital future of writing and publishing. Yet the mainstream of my work and business continues to be in actual paper books. This heavily influences the way I write for the web.

At first, it was hard for me to loosen up, or let any prose out of my control. Writing a casual piece, such as a blog, without polishing it a hundred times can feel unnatural for book-first writers. It's like letting people troll through your messy drafts. It's like letting your slip show. It's . . . well, embarrassing and improper.

You can see this book-first writer reserve on I.N.K. Many of the blog entries here are more like articles: carefully crafted, shaped, and polished. They are by nonfiction writers who put great thought and care into every word and fact. The articles are also a big longer than most. What else do you expect from nonfiction writers? Supporting examples and facts are essential to our work and our lives. We like proof and shape, not just tossed out ideas.

But, blogging and website writing is rather addictive, as I and some of the other nonfiction writers have discovered. It fits the way I think. My new website has that mobile, easily updated content aspect of blogs. It allows me to follow tangents and take readers there with a clicked link. My clusters of ideas can flower. Feedback from others can take the ideas farther than I could myself. It's great how quickly you can correct a website.

But I do miss my book editors out here on the web. I love editors. They inspire. They save me from myself. They push me to write better, to shape better. Together we check and recheck. Editors, like writers, care.

I could go on. I am a book-first writer, after all. I have about ten more chapters on this and related subjects. But this is a blog. Right. Spontaneous. Right. Supposed to be really short. Oops.

No comments: