Justin Tadlock

The ABCs of Writing: Introduction

I’m starting a new series on this blog. Yes, another series.

Since I hold an English degree and am an educator of the finer arts of the English language — OK, so I’m teaching English to Korean kids (it’s not that complicated).

Wait. Wait. Wait. Did I write any of those sentences correctly?

That’s what I’m going to explore — the art of writing well. Sure, I’m going to make mistakes with this series, and I hope you all (or y’all) call me on every one of them.

Why start a series on how to write?

When I decided to take this blog in a new direction, one of the things I wanted to do was use my English degree to offer writing advice. (Or, is it advise? No, it’s advice.)

Too often, I see a lot of noticeable mistakes on many blogs. And these aren’t (ain’t) your run-of-the-mill Blogger.com sites either. I’m referring to some more well-known blogs.

Do you have to write well to have a successful blog? To some degree, yes. This also largely depends on the type of blog you run. The act of blogging is essentially writing.

This is also a way for me to take a step back from my WordPress duties. I don’t, can’t, and won’t blog about WordPress every day because I would become overwhelmed with pressure to continuously better myself with each post. This will be a way for me to supplement my work with WordPress. This is the “Blogging” part of “Justin Tadlock: Life, Blogging, and WordPress.”

How will I present this series?

This is undecided for the moment. Right now, I’m thinking of running through the alphabet (the ABCs of blogging), each day adding tips relating to a letter of the alphabet. Since I’m not sure yet, I’d like to hear some feedback from my readers. What would you like to see in this series?

I will try to cover all topics. Large and small. Simple and complicated. I will cover basic word usage, common misspellings, maybe a few dangling modifiers, and butchering the English language but doing so effectively.

My background:

I hold an English degree from Auburn University in Alabama. I’m sure the words “in Alabama” make you confident that this will be the best writing series ever, right? My concentration was in Creative Writing, but a large portion of my classes was in Literature. I spent a few semesters over in the journalism department as well. I probably learned more about grammar in those journalism classes than I had learned in the prior 23 years about English. I’m currently an English “conversation instructor” (teacher) at an English academy in South Korea. I teach little crumb-snatchers the finer points of the language.

I’ve always been a writer. Since I could hold a pen and pad, I’ve written some words in some way. To see some samples of my writing, you can browse the writing page. It’s nowhere near a comprehensive list of my work, but it’s a place to get a feel for my style.

Blogging has also been a big part of my life in the last few years. View the archives to see a post-by-post list of the last four years or so of my blog posts.

I am always learning more about writing and learning more about myself through writing. It’s time to give a little back to the world.

Are you ready to learn how to write more effectively?

I hope you are.

I would like to hear some feedback. What type of things do you struggle with? Do you want to tackle misspelling words? Common grammatical errors? Maybe you want to learn how to write better. How to capture an audience. Get information to the reader in the most effective way. Would you like to see more blog-centric posts or writing in general?

Right now, I’m laying out a plan to present this series. Now is the time to offer your feedback.

For your first homework assignment: find errors in this blog post and discuss why and how I could’ve written it better.