As my blogging buddy Sue Slaght pointed out last week, you know you’ve hit the big time when one of your blog posts gets banned. Apparently WordPress flagged last week’s post as ‘likely inappropriate’ and blocked it from their Reader application.
Well, dang. Who knew they’d object to a post containing the words p*rn, s*x, scr*tum, sy*hilis, and n*ked? They were obviously okay with allowing the original p*rn commenter to solicit me on my guest book. And I’ve done two other posts with the word n*ked in the title, so it couldn’t be that. The previous week’s post containing ‘s*x’, ‘sy*hilis’, and ‘scr*tum’ got through okay…
Wait; maybe ‘werew*lf’ was the offending word!
I got a belly-laugh out of the whole thing, partly because their tag perfectly fit my blog compilation series. Maybe I should name the upcoming book ‘Likely Inappropriate’ in homage to WordPress’s delicate sensibilities.
The funniest part was that last week’s post was actually one of the cleaner ones I’ve written. I mean, really; I was talking about spam and search terms. I didn’t even tell any dirty jokes. Jeez.
But I’ve learned my lesson, honest. So this week I’ve written an innocent post full of valuable writing advice. No dirty words at all. This one’s for you, WordPress:
Cleaning Up Your Post
The relationship between blogger and reader is an intimate one, and it’s important to gain your readers’ trust by keeping your post clean. Here’s how:
First, strip away the superfluous trappings to lay the post bare. Every post is different: some require rigorous scrubbing, but for others a light polishing is enough to raise them to their full potential. Some people use an automated process, but the hands-on approach is always more satisfying. Don’t be afraid to experiment. You’ll know you’re doing it right when the subject begins to firm up for you.
Work closely with a reader to identify subtle lingual nuances. Pay attention to how the post feels rolling off the lips and tongue. Savour the sensory experience, reading in multiple passes from top to bottom, then from bottom to top. This technique is important because critical points may be missed if you only go down.
By now your subject should be rock-solid, so it’s time to plunge deeply into the meat of the matter. Pay careful attention to rhythm and be sure you don’t deviate from the main thrust of your post. Any miscues at this point will be, at best, an unpleasant distraction for your reader; and at worst, a complete disaster resulting in messy fallout.
Slowly work toward the climax of your post. Don’t hurry. When the time is right you can switch to the hard-hitting style that will thrill your readers to the core.
After this you may discover that your post needs a bit more cleaning. That’s normal, but don’t be too heavy-handed. The best strategy is to let the post rest for a while before undertaking the final polishing. Then your magnificent post will be ready to fulfill all your readers’ needs!
Just remember: The extra time and effort you invest in this process will be worth it, ‘cause nobody likes a dirty post.
Thank you, WordPress, for reminding me how important it is to keep it clean!
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Woohoo! The draft is finished for Book 10: Spy Away Home! Just a bit more polishing (sorry, couldn’t resist), and then it’s off to the beta readers.