a hobo's song

One of my goals with the revived blog is to become a better writer. Somewhere in the dim recesses of my mind I have delusions of some day becoming a writer more than in passing.  I would like to write stories, whether as a novel, a short story, or what-have-you. There’s a catch to that, though: I have to actually write something.

Enter the blog.

In January, when I resolved to become a regular blogger again, I decided I should write about whatever strikes me, as opposed to focusing on one or two key things, like gaming, or Railroad Earth. I have eclectic tastes, and gods know, my interests span a very wide spectrum, so the blog suits that nicely. That’s all well and good, but the actual practice of writing is something that only pops up in occasional posts. I want to correct that particular aspect of this place.

In my spare time this week I’ve been exploring some interesting blogs about writing. This morning I found this particular page that links to ten blogs on writing, and from the get-go, I’m intrigued. I’ve signed up for some daily email from one site, which will hopefully help me with daily practice writing on various topics. Look for more of that to show up here as I start to focus more and more on the art of writing.

My own writing is fair enough, I think, but I have certain written tics that pop up in a lot of my writing that are embarrassing to me. They may have seemed clever to me at one time, but are now utilized so often when I write that I cringe when I find myself using them.

One example is the phrase, “But I digress.” I started using it in my writing probably six or seven years ago, and when I look back over older posts, it pops up often enough that even I’m noticing it now. Kim is great for my writing — she knows my style and always gives me great notes on what I need to do, and she’s the one who usually notices when I’m falling into certain habits. For example, she noticed I was using “I feel” instead of “I think” a whole lot, which is a bit more passive than I should be, so I’m working on it. (For example, I did just that in the paragraph above, where I used “I feel” before catching myself and correcting it.)

I need to be more expansive in my writing, not falling back on my old reliable turns of the phrase. This means I need to practice, and find new ways to expand my writing skills. I’m hopeful about all of this, I am.