My writing

Life I've been reflecting on this handy article which has highlighted a couple of areas of my writing style which could do with some improvement, particularly the use of crutch words (and phrases, I would say), awkward phrasing and those pesky suffixes. I'd argue that I've picked all of that up from the material that I read and the styles I'm trying to emulate, but I can often feel myself turning out very similar, bland sounding sentences. I'm sure it's related to the sheer amount of writing I turn out, but I look at some of the fluid copy which fills the pages of the magazines and books and newspapers I read and I just know I'm not up to that standard.

It's become apparent that one of the reasons that I've developed this unhappiness and what could be called a crisis of faith in my own writing style, particularly on the blog and elsewhere (apart from not having much to write about) is that I've returned to the habit of putting together something like a review and posting it straight away. This means that when I look back at it later -- the next day, even the next hour, I see errors or things I'd like to change or I think I could have worded better or that could be less repetitive. What I really should be doing, and will try to do in future, is not rush to just drop something here because it's been written.

I know that goes against the immediacy of the medium, but from a young age I was told that whenever you write anything for public consumption you should put it in a drawer overnight and let it marinate before the rest of the world sees it. That sounds like very good advice. Most of the answers I wrote for Review 2006 were at least begun a few days in advance and completed on the night of posting and I'm really pleased with what I accomplished there. I agonized for a week over the final draft of my dissertation. I need to get back into the habit of rereading things before I submit them because they always improve when I've glanced over them a second time. The review I've written tonight will be appearing tomorrow, then, and it will be better.

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