Here are some initial thoughts on writing a guest post:
- Constraints breed Creativity — the guidelines for a blog, while constraints, can bring out the best in you. I find that having a constraint, say, on the number of words available, makes me far more cognizant of not only what I am saying, but how I am saying it — and the resulting prose shows the difference.
Being a representative impacts behaviour — when young, there was the expectation that when you were a guest you’d be on your absolute best behaviour. Not to say that you weren’t expected to behave when at home, but that different rules applied when you were in someone else’s home. On a personal blog it’s generally considered ok to kick off the shoes and let the hair down. When a guest, however, what might be acceptable at home is generally frowned upon.
Editors matter. I believe that everyone benefits from editing — it is no longer the Age of Dickens where writers are paid by the word. I have read both the cut and uncut versions of Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. I find the edited to be a better read — Heinlein’s prose is tighter as well as the phrasing. The process of editing produced a much better story. When writing for others I think that I tend to be more thoughtful about what I’m saying and take more time, both in the writing and the personal editing. Having someone else edit as well makes the prose tighter and more effective. Editing cuts down on rambling and produces a better and more professional work.
I think that the these initial thoughts could be condensed to “Respect both the people whom you are representing and their audience” — I think I have some definite thought and takeaways from this. While there are times where it might be appropriate to quickly dash off something, such as a ‘gotcha’ or an aid to memory, I can definitely think of places where I could and should respect both my audience and my craft far more than dashing off a quick blog post might represent.