Taylor Swift’s 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 don’t want it to end. So,
you and the keyboard pray that you can make it click—-one last time.
I’ll 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
leaders—you get the
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
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
"(Hey) now we got
problems. And I don't think we can solve them."