Posted by trae_z on May 13th, 2011
Over 4 days in February 2010 in a series titled “Rules for writers” The Guardian newspaper in the UK invited a number of writers to share a few tips about their writing habits, rules and creeds. Inspired by that, Nigerian bloggers Alligator Legs and Akin Akintayo did an expose on their own blog writing rules. Acknowledging the brilliant concept and in the spirit of the moment I’ve decided to explicitly share my own blog writing rules over the past 7 years with you, my fellow human life form. If you want you can call this the sequel of my “How to Blog” post from 2005.
1) Be Original, Be Interesting
When I write I always try to be original with my blog posts being insightful and having substance. I never regurgitate content like gossip bloggers; I leave all that for the mass media being it’s their traditional role. My participation in current discourse must always be fresh, offering something new and interesting from my point of view. The mindset is always as if I were a stand up comedian trying to make a mark in the fast paced entertainment industry. I advise that if writers must bitch about their relationship troubles it should be from an interesting and funny angle not a bore as no one really gives a fuck about another’s lonely life nor the colour of their underwear.
2) Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Closely related to my first point I am never petty. Like a paid newspaper columnist my quality must always have quantity. Bare bones blog post with a single link to a YouTube video or another site is not my style. Facebook and Twitter exist for such “miscellaneouses”.
3) Come Correct
When I write I try to be as clear and concise as possible. Punctuation is cherished and explanations made thorough. I write with the mindset that the average inquisitive Joe should be able to relate and take something out of my articles.
4) Be Easy
When I write I don’t fake or force stuff. I only write when I’m sufficiently inspired. I like it to come to me naturally; after all a blog is meant to complement not stress one. As such I am not obsessed with the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) blogging for money ideals. I equate them to students striving to be exam malpractice geniuses when they should instead strive to be academic gurus. The most ridiculous of such act I find to be the pro-SEO removal of date stamps; that goes against the chronology essence of diary keeping/blogging.
5) Be Objective
Closely related to Wikipedia’s neutral point of view stance, objectivity and fairness are some of my credos when writing. And when I make reference to the works of others I try as much as possible to pay them their props.
6) The State of Mind is Liberal
Like the American declaration of Independence I believe in the ideal that all are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of their own source of happiness. When I write holding on to my point of view I try to do so with utmost respect for others and their right to hold on to theirs. If I must change their mindset I try to be civil about it and make sure the argument is keep healthy and intelligent.
7) Stick to the Roots
Never changing I’m 117% Nigerian, African Roots and all. And so my writings are centred towards the defence of the Igbo, Nigerian and African course.
8] Art is Life
Like the creators of The Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles cartoon showed by their naming convention (Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo, Donatello) I love the arts! As such I’ve made it a habit right from the inception of my blog to at least always include a picture in each of my blog posts.
9) Choice of “Language”
Like Jay Leno, David Letterman and Conan O’Brien I believe a sense of humour is the best medicine and try as much as possible to reflect that in my writing. Also like rappers and the poetic license I generously allow myself to let one rip foul-language wise once in a while. Yes, soul deep it’s part of my expression.
10) Married to my Hobbies
Finally like my blog’s tag line shows I’m married to my “hobbies”. So do essentially expect a healthy dose of football (soccer), Music (Hip hop) and geek (nerd) like references when you read me.