Friday, 28 September 2007

You Too Can Be A Blogging Success Story!

A gauntlet has been tossed to me by Merry Jelinek, thus this post. I feel silly doing this, but I cannot let a challenge go unanswered.

My Advice on How to Write a Marvelous Blog

1) Write, write, write! Don't even think about punctuation, spelling, grammar, repeated words and phrases, cliches, or any of that nonsense. Go for black on white, words on paper. Who cares if anyone reads your prose, after all? After all, remember the immortal words of Thomas Gray:

Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.


Go on: let your blog be that sweet flower blushing unseen -- and unpunctuated -- blooming all alone in the cyber-ether. Mix your metaphors with a will, too! Who cares if anyone reads your blog, learns from it or is vastly entertained? The point is writing it.

(Catch that repeated 'after all' in the first paragraph? Do that a whole lot and don't be the least bit ashamed!) Take my advice and throw in a lot of poetry and arcane quotes, and everyone will be so impressed by your erudition that they'll never notice your crap phrasing or poor choice of words.

2) Don't go to a lot of trouble to research anything or check your sources. If you're writing about the earthquake in Peru and you can't be bothered to find out how many people were killed, just throw in some random figure. Who's going to complain? And if anyone does, just tell them to get a life. Trust me: only nerds and geeks worry about that sort of thing.

3) Make sure to give full rein to your gutter mouth! Use plenty of four-letter words, not just the odd one to pepper your prose and add a real punch, but as many gratuitous expletive-deleteds as you can stuff into your text. Remember to use them as nouns, adjectives and adverbs. Some people will whine that this can be off-putting, but just listen to the people around you and you'll see how wrong -- and morally repressed! -- the nay-sayers are.

4) If you can't think of a single thing to blog about, go ahead and write about your blocked sink or how dopey your brother-in-law is, and don't bother to be clever or too concise. (Cleverness and looking for 'just the right word' is highly overrated and a huge waste of time besides.) There's always plenty to write about: for instance, if you're pissed off at one of your neighbors, have a go at them and don't pull your punches. After all, it's your blog, and bitching about others in a mean-spirited fashion is half the fun! Sure, some bloggers who post about trivial subjects or gossip are either very good writers or otherwise cleverly manage to work in a useful moral point, but this is totally unnecessary.

5) If you're not pissed off at anyone, pick someone public you're pretty sure everyone hates and roast them instead. If you're not sure why everyone else hates this figure so much, just copy what they say or write. You'll look cool, and if anyone complains that you're shallow, so what? At least you know you're in the majority!

6) If your kids have just brought home superb report cards, don't be shy -- now's the time to share! Post them on your blog. Everyone will think you're really smart, having kids with grades that good. Other sure-fire blog success tricks are filming your kids' piano and poetry recitals, sports meets, speech competitions, and awards ceremonies (be sure to film the WHOLE thing, from the first fifteen minutes of coughing and throat clearing to that last tiny clap).

7) Remember that it's all about you! Don't bother responding to anyone else's comments, and don't waste your precious time visiting their blogs either. You'll have oodles of people commenting on your blog once they read all your vapid, self-indulgent, poorly-written musings.

8) If you must visit other blogs, make sure they're written by people even duller than you. You'll look great in comparison, and they'll be so thankful that they'll comment on your postings every time.

9) Overdo it with the hyperbole, bold-face, italics, CAPITAL LETTERS, and -- above all!!!!!! -- exclamation points!! Some idiots will tell you that overindulging in these will make you look like a weak writer who has to rely on this sort of thing because your writing skills aren't strong enough. PAY THESE NERDS a b s o l u t e l y NO MIND!!!!! Let 'more is better' be your new mantra and go right over the top!!

Gosh, that was fun. I now tag Carolie, Eryl, and Kanani.

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23 comments:

Carole said...

Funny, funny stuff.

Merry Jelinek said...

Fan-friggin-tastic!!!!!! (expletive enough?) Personally, I shall take this advice and retool my blog to put all of my eggs before the horse.

Great job, Mary, and fun to read.

Kim Ayres said...

You've missed out that you really need to have a black background. This makes you look cool and mysterious. The fact that it also makes it harder to read means that you can be sure your fans are more dedicated to your writings!

Eryl Shields said...

I knew I must be doing something wrong.

Carolie said...

Hee hee...you made me laugh out loud...until I got to the last line! Eeek! Will try and post something in the next 48 hours! (How NOT to have a large audience for one's blog -- post once every month or two, no more frequently!)

debra said...

Don't, like ya know, forget cliches, poor grammar and smilies :-)

Uma Krishnaswami said...

Very funny. You did spur me to go post on my very occasional, completely self-indulgent writing blog.

Charlie said...

I love your advice, Mary, because I've been following it from the start. I started blogging in early 2005, and I when I post quarterly I get as many as 1 comment!!! 2 is a bonanza!!! (Need more exclamation points?)

Personally, I think everyone should consistently misuse to and too. But this is YOUR blog, so do whatever the hell you want to with it.

Mary Witzl said...

Carole -- I'll have you know, you came within a hair's breadth of being tagged! Then it struck me that Carolie needed a little push, so I let you off the hook...this time.

Merry -- Love those eggs before the horse -- what a great image. I had my work cut out for me following your example, but once I got into it, I had a great time!

Kim -- Someone else will just have to cover those black backgrounds, Kim, and I certainly hope they do. Actually, as I was writing this, it struck me that a few of my blogging habits might make it into someone else's list...

Eryl -- Like everyone else here, you do everything right!

Carolie -- I thought if I tagged you, I'd get to read another one of your postings sooner rather than later!

Debra -- I love those cliches, as long as they're tongue in cheek. And all too often I use them myself, then catch myself...

Uma -- As you may have noticed, my blog is about as self-indulgent as they come. I liked your posting on childhood being like a third world country (sorry -- can't remember your exact phrasing). I am always amazed by the assumption that childhood is a time of perfect innocence, sweetness and light. Can't anyone remember the school bully? Spitballs? Boys who burned ants with magnifying glasses? But I am digressing! I hope to be able to read more of your postings. I am also trying to write for children and young adults, as are a few other posters on this blog.

Charlie -- You get lots of comments on your blog, Charlie, and you're a fine writer too. Oops -- I mean 'to.' See? I did that just for you!

A Paperback Writer said...

Do people really put their kids' report cards on their blogs? Gee, I must be reading the wrong blogs.

Carolie said...

Posted, as requested!

Christy said...

Wooooot! My son did just get a report card! Off to post it now! ;)

Mary Witzl said...

APW -- Admittedly, very few blogging parents do this and I suspect that the one I happened upon was one of those family blogs whose main purpose is to keep a very large, extended family informed about the activities and welfare of other members. But it reminded me so much of the Christmas newsletters my parents used to get from relatives whose kids were on the Honor Society, elected senior class president, student union representative, valedictorian -- you get the idea -- that I was repelled. And one woman did post her daughter's ballet performance. Catch me ever doing that, no matter how tempted...

Carolie -- I've just been to see, and that is a brilliant posting!

Christy -- My youngest just brought home her report card last week. I'm filled with a horrible desire to share the results, but will resist this. The state of her room and length of her showers are much more interesting topics and likely to gain me much more sympathy...

Carolie said...

You're too kind, Mary...thank you!

A Paperback Writer said...

Ah, I understand. Gee, so you mean I shouldn't post all my students' grades for you guys?
Shucks, and I was gonna.....

Katie Alender said...

I THINK UR GRATE MARY THEM R SUM RILLY GUD TIPZ. ILL PROLLY USE THEM IN MY BLOG, WICH IS FUNNYER THAN URS.

Danette Haworth said...

Mary,

Excellent post! Had me laughing!

Now I know the true secrets of blogging. I must drive around and collect curse words and phrases from graffiti so I can pepper my posts. After all, these words will appear in bold caps, so I need a lot of them.

Mary Witzl said...

Carolie -- I went back and read it again today for another laugh!

Katie -- Ooh, I'm proud of myself: I could actually READ that! Most of the time I have to call the kids into the room and beg them to translate.

Danette -- There are plenty of really foul words around, and I do use them myself, but somewhat sparingly. I like to think that when I whack myself with a hammer, I'll be able to get full value from the F word. When you use it all the time it just doesn't have the same value.

Danette Haworth said...

Ha!

Phil said...

I promise to follow your words of wisdom to the letter. I want to be you when I grow up.

Namaste.

allrileyedup said...

Number 6 won me over. For real. It REALLY WON ME OVER.

Mary Witzl said...

Phil -- You do know this is tongue in cheek, don't you? Please tell me you know that!

ARU -- My husband and I once sat through two hours of some friends' home movies. This included a few messy diaper changes, an unsuccessful fireworks display, and two birthday parties for four-year-old twins. If I could sit those friends down and make them read my blog, you can bet I'd post my kids' ballet recitals. In fact, come to think of it, what a great idea for when the in-laws visit again...

blues free ringtones down said...
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