Sunday, September 20, 2015

Bad Writing: A Good Relationship Gone Badly

By Kimberly Johnson

 Taylor Swifts anthem, "Bad Blood," weaves a tale of a good relationship gone badly. "Cause baby now we got bad blood. You know it used to be mad love. So take a look at what you've done. 'Cause baby now we got bad blood’”

That same sentiment can be applied to bad writing. You used to love to write; but now you and the keyboard are no longer friends. You dont want it to end. So, you and the keyboard pray that you can make it click-one last time.

Ill admit it. I have authored some bad articles. I loved being a newspaper reporter. I entered into relationships with city council members, with school teachers, with law enforcement, with business leadersyou get the picture.

The good connections produced good writing. The not-so-good-get-togethers produced ho-hum articles. Bad (blood) writing can creep into any (writing) relationship.

In my case, bad writing entered the picture because I was bored. Looking back, I now describe my badness as an unsuccessful attempt to capture an audience without focusing on the content.

For example, I wrote an article about a small town council meeting's swearing-in ceremony. For the residents, this was an important event. For me, this was not important. My writing conveyed my feelings: long sentences, passive voice, lack of description words, starting the lead sentence with The. But, hey, the editor used my pictures.

I think advice writer Mark Nichol highlighted what really is bad writing, true bad blood. It's called poor writing--a lazy way to communicate with limp verbs, dangling participles and passive construction. 

So do you have bad blood?

"(Hey) now we got problems. And I don't think we can solve them." 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Taylor Swift--really?