Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bloggers Beware—the Dreaded Diva Disease may lie just Ahead

I’m sure there may be many of you who are unaware of this threat. But when I describe it’s symptoms you’ll recognize it for what it is.

A diva, in today’s language, is someone who is high maintenance, who has to have things just so in order to be satisfied. 

Many of us fall into that trap with our blog posts. We believe our grammar, syntax and style must be perfect before we click publish.

Actually nothing could be farther from the truth. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating sloppy writing. But, I am on a mission to get some of you to relax a little and get on with it. Blog posts are supposed to be short, to the point and, above all, conversational. And let’s face it, we all sometimes speak in sentence fragments.

Besides all that, mistakes in this medium are easily correctable. It’s not like we have to reprint a book or magazine.

Being a perfectionist with a blog post is a colossal waste of time. I know, we all want our posts to go viral and be referred to for years as a masterpiece, but that is highly unlikely. Day to day blogging is almost disposable writing—it’s here for a day or two and then gone—left to linger in the archives.

That isn’t to say it’s without benefit, but it’s the sum of what we say and how we say it that proves our value to our readers.

So how do we cure ourselves of the Dreaded Diva Disease?
  • Set a time limit. Blogging isn’t something we can invoice a client for so we shouldn’t spend too much time and effort in its implementation. It CAN augment our income by showing what we can do and proving our worth as a writer, but it isn’t an income source.
  • Find a system to writing your blog, and USE it. Here’s how I compile a blog post. First I write it out in a word document, then I read it out loud, finally a do a quick grammar and spelling check. After that I publish it. Then on to the next task.
  • Post more often. Yep, you read that right. If you’re agonizing over every word and nuance in your post you have too much time on your hands and you need to step up the frequency of your posts. This will do two things. First, it will force you to spend less time because your deadlines are tighter Second, it will require you to relax your standards.
Now it’s your turn. Have you discovered you suffer from Triple D? Have you battled this disease successfully? If so, let us in on your secret.

And don’t forget to join the conversation!


  1. Ouch! I would say I'm "recovering" but hardly cured. I still spend too long on each post, and I am still a perfectionist, but setting up a schedule that requires 2 blog posts each week has definitely helped. Great advice Edie! Thanks!

  2. Lynn, I think we're all "recovering" to some extent! I really wouldn't have guessed it of you. Your blog posts look effortless - which is the key to successful blogging!

  3. Thank you. You have relieved a lot of the angst I feel when, by the light of the next day, I see some line edits I missed or some syntax I should have cleaned up. This post was a relief to my OCD brain!

  4. Once again you read me! I have no confidence in my writing but I have a perfectionist standard. That's a lethal combination. Fortunately I have begun to enjoy the process and accept blogging for what it is. Thanks for helping this struggling writer along the path.

  5. It seems crazy to me now, but when I first began my blog I was posting 7 days a week. What a huge waste of my valuable time! I am in the recovery stage as well, but have found that I can reasonably post a well-written and meaningful entry 3 times a week. Once or twice a week, I post a link from someone else's blog in my "Show and Tell" section. This takes the pressure off of me to have to come up with something and allows me to network and showcase other people's talents and ideas.

    Thanks for reminding us to take the pressure off ourselves. Your posts are always so helpful.

  6. As a perfectionist (yes, I admit it)and a newbie to the world of blogging, I spend a good amount of time writing posts. And I put it off too.

    I originally set a schedule for posts, but keeping to it is another matter. It goes back to the D word--discipline.

  7. Edie, part of my system is having my husband, who is not a writer, read through my post before I hit "schedule." He's read enough of my stuff through the years to know I misplaced comma or a misspelled word. The nice thing is a typo isn't forever--you can always fix it when you find it.

  8. Yes, Edie, you and I have had this conversation. I know I spend way too much time on my blog. But as I read your post, I was reminded that--good or bad--I'm not working from a regular blog format. I guess my weekly post is more like a newsletter...which means more work...which means perhaps I should rethink my post style and schedule.

    As a tomboy, I've NEVER thought of myself as any kind of Diva, but my current format is definitely high maintenance!

    Perhaps it's time for a change. Ugh. As you also know, I hate change...

  9. The diva mentality...may we all stay clear of that one. I think another important way to look at Blogging is to reject the pressure. Write what you love and those who connect with you will come. It is a waste of energy to focus on your stuff going viral. Appreciation from those your words have touched is worth far more than a fleeting flash if recognition.

    I love this post. Maybe because I am a big picture person. Excellence in grammar is important but readers don't remember typos near as much as thought provoking posts.

  10. Perfectionist? (yes!)
    O.C.D? (Yes!)
    Talk too much? (yes!)
    Write too much? (yes!)
    Misspelled words? (never-it's a typo!!)
    I was in East Asia and Poland for years, so I was used to writing long, informative newsletters-my blog certainly reflects that...and I really need to pay attention to your wonderful and TRUE advice, Edie...so I'm headed to do a very short blog (soon) and if I "messpell" a word...I'm leaving it! It'll be fun. (though I may cringe)

  11. Ladies, I agree with all of you! I was away from my computer a good part of yesterday so I'm behind on answering your wonderful comments!

    Carol Ann and Sheila, I'm glad you can relate. So often we forget how much we ALL have in common, no matter where we are on the writing path!

    Allison, that's a great way to organize your posts. I admire you for posting 7 days a week - I know Keiki does that too. I have to pace myself!

    Ellen, thanks for chiming in!

    Beth, my husband is now comfortable enough with my writing style to do that for me too. He's been a godsend during many quick deadlines!

    Vonda, I feel your pain girlfriend!

    Keiki, very wise words. Thanks again.

    Blessings All - E

  12. I think this post was aimed at me! ;)

  13. Lily Sue, Sometimes people get more when we say less. That's been the hardest thing I've had to learn with writing for the Internet!

    Stacy, we're all a work in progress!

    Celeste - I promise I had no one in mind (except me) when I wrote this post!

  14. Yes, sigh. This is me in a nutshell. :)

  15. Edie, thanks for encouraging the "freeing" of the Diva in us!! Well, at least inspiring us to head in that direction. :) Yes, we are surely works in progress.


  16. Edie, this exactly what the Lord has been teaching me. Thanks for confirming my steps.