April 25, 2007

You Can’t Write My Blog Post

published this at 3:32 pm

A Bad Facsimile

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She came into my office and sat across the desk from me. She might have been the brightest person I ever hired. I know she is the best.

We were meeting on her first lesson for a teacher guide that she was working on. Her name was J.

I looked down at the lesson. I looked up at J. I said, “Do you like this lesson?”

J said, “Do I like the lesson? Well it has this, and this, and that.”

I repeated myself. “I said, “Do you like this lesson?”

J said, “Well it has that, and that, and this.”

So, I said, “J. This isn’t a test. Do you like this lesson? Would you actually teach from it?”

“Oh no! I wrote what I thought you wanted. I’d never teach it like that.”

J get this straight. You can’t write my lesson. I can’t write yours either. If we tried we’d both just fail miserably — we’d both write bad facsimiles. I’d write a bad facsimile of your lesson. You’d write a bad facsimile of mine.

Writing a blog works the same. You can’t write my blog post. I can’t write yours either. What I can do is pay attention to how you do things and find my own version of doing them that makes sense for me.

I can’t write your blog post.

But I can find my version. That blog post that would be only me.

–ME “Liz” Strauss
SOBCon 07 It’s incredible. Are you coming?

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Filed under Successful Blog, Writing | 20 Comments »


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20 Comments to “You Can’t Write My Blog Post”

  1. April 25th, 2007 at 3:48 pm
    Tariq Khan said

    Liz,

    I’m so glad that you write your stuff the way you do. Otherwise we would lose the blessing of knowing the real you through your posts.

  2. April 25th, 2007 at 3:49 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Tariq,
    Thank you for such a lovely compliment. :)

  3. April 25th, 2007 at 4:03 pm
    Whitney said

    I like this bit: “You can’t write my blog post. I can’t write yours either. What I can do is pay attention to how you do things and find my own version of doing them that makes sense for me.”

    This post and the other one — Put more of you into your writing — should be links on a new page in your sidebar. Perhaps call it “Getting Past Writer’s Block.” Perhaps call it “Get Over Yourself and Get Past Writer’s Block.” Perhaps you’ll think of something better.

    It’s too easy for bloggers to get tied up into knots, especially if they’re doing a blog for their business. This tying-up-in-knots gets worse when you keep hearing others say “There’s nothing new under the sun” or “There is no such thing as new content” or “Everything has already been written about.” Writers, all on their own, come up with enough obstacles to writing. They don’t need help. They need to be reminded that it’s about angle, perspective, experience.

    When people say there’s nothing new under the sun, I think it’s a sad commentary on their belief in human potential and the power of Whoever It Is Who Runs The Universe. Could the human race really have been created to be so limited? I think not. There’s plenty new under the sun — when the right people (with the right angle/perspective/experience for the job) and the right pieces converge at the right time and the right place.

    I’m rambling. I’ll stop now.

  4. April 25th, 2007 at 6:00 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Whitney!
    If this is an example of you rambling, then all I can say is, girl ramble on.

    You are so right about how people bring their own experience and perspective to the table to make each piece a new and fresh outlook on any idea. That is a great and grand statement of the poweer of the human writer and what we each bring. :)

  5. April 25th, 2007 at 7:07 pm
    Dean said

    So guess you won’t be doing anymore guest posts :P (I enjoyed your post on Chitika blog).

  6. April 25th, 2007 at 7:15 pm
    Valeria Maltoni said

    The Liz imprint. You are so right in drawing attention to the fact that each individual already has what it takes — in a different way. That’s what’s making blogging powerful. It is great *because* we have many versions of colors (words, thoughts, perspectives, etc.) and not an official black and white version of what things look like.

  7. April 25th, 2007 at 9:24 pm
    GP said

    checking in from Montana yet again. I think it goes back to earlier… blogging from your experience. Then it’s created newly each time

    GP in Montana whose going to have a “turquoise” day tomorrow :)

  8. April 25th, 2007 at 11:03 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Valeria!
    Everyone in different way — yes that is it exactly. You say oh so well! So many version, so many experiences, so many perspectives. :)
    Thank you, Valeria, for saying so wonderfully.

  9. April 25th, 2007 at 11:04 pm
    ME Strauss said

    GP!
    YEA! A turquoise day tomorrow! We only have gray in our forecast. . . . I think you’re trying to talk me into coming that way to rind in those limos. . . .

  10. April 26th, 2007 at 6:16 am
    Copy Copy Copy: You Can't Write My Post. I Can't Write Yours. « Lorelle on WordPress said

    [...] Copy Copy: You Can’t Write My Post. I Can’t Write Yours. In “You Can’t Write My Blog Post”, Liz Strauss has done it again. She makes a brilliant point: Writing a blog works the same. You can’t write my [...]

  11. April 26th, 2007 at 9:12 am
    Delaney Kirk said

    Hi Liz,
    My newspaper has a Dilbert cartoon today that fits your post.

    The manager tells Tina, the tech writer: I’m starting my own blog.

    Tina: Dear God, No!

    Manager: Every day I will record my personal thoughts about our business. I need you to write the first one by noon. I can’t wait to see what I’m thinking.

    Thought you would enjoy this!

  12. April 26th, 2007 at 10:19 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Dean!
    I didn’t mean to jump over you. I answered you in my mind and I guess I didn’t type the answer here. . . .

    Of course, I can still write a guest post. The object is not to write it as if I’m trying to be the author of the blog in which I’m writing, but to still write my own post on that other blog.

    I think you might have been teasing, but I wasn’t sure. So, I thought you deserved the straight answer first.

    Hey thanks for the comment about the interview that Sharon did for the Chitika blog. It was such fun to talk with her.

  13. April 26th, 2007 at 10:21 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hey Delaney!
    I do like that one. It’s a lot like how I live!

  14. April 26th, 2007 at 5:17 pm
    Dean said

    Yeah, I was teasing a little :)I agree with what you are trying to say; it’s good to be inspired by writers that you enjoy, but you’ve got to do it your way, then it becomes special.
    Like I said before, I really enjoyed your guest post, visited your site, and added you to google reader :)

  15. April 26th, 2007 at 5:43 pm
    GP said

    GP checking in from most excellent “Turquoise Day”… I stretched my comfort zone AND got what a wonderful gift the Picken is…

    so maybe not limos, but horses ??? Now that might stretch your comfort zone ?:)
    GP in Montana

  16. April 26th, 2007 at 6:52 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Dean,
    Whew! It’s a wellspring of relief to hear that you were teasing, because the idea of having to explain it to you behind the blog was something I wasn’t looking forward to. :)

    Glad to hear that my conversation with Sharon was an invitation for you to visit here. :)

  17. April 26th, 2007 at 6:55 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Oh GP,
    It’s about the day that I went riding. It was a summer day during high school years, and the horse so wanted to go back to the barn and I so didn’t know what I was doing . . .

    sitting in a saddle, leaning sideways over open air, holding to the corner of the barn isn’t the position that one is supposed have when rididng a horse. :)

    I’m fairly sure of that.
    Liz

  18. April 26th, 2007 at 8:07 pm
    GP said

    ah the old “i smell the barn” syndrome. Picken does that every now and again and that’s about at the time i change direction, continue on… something anything to let her know who’s the “alpha” mare in this partnership :)

    Then all is well
    GP in Montana who thinks you should try it again… right after the limos drop you off

  19. April 26th, 2007 at 8:22 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Guess no one can accuse me of being an alpha mare, then. :)

    tee-hee.

  20. November 3rd, 2008 at 5:49 am
    Prabu Rajasekaran said

    I feel writing is about finding your own voice. Just finding it. Not critiquing it. Just finding the voice that makes you cry or laugh or simply happy.

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