Positive Writer

Writing through doubt and fear, and you can, too!

The Most Overlooked Way to Bring Life to Your Blog Writing

Today I am going to share with you the most overlooked way to bring life to your blog writing.

By becoming an outlaw.

Creative Commons by JF Marrero

If you’re like me, clicking the ship button is scary. My writing isn’t perfect. I make mistakes and that often makes me feel like a criminal.

I just know the law is going to knock on my door and soon.

So for a time I wanted to achieve the impossible, technical perfection. It seemed like the right thing to do.

So many of us try to become perfect writers, who never make grammatical errors or typos, believing that’s the answer to good writing.

It didn’t work – I was still far from perfect (way far – Never – Never Land far), but that wasn’t the real problem.

Technical Perfection… The Trap

Let’s say you’re a law abiding blogger and have become one of those white gloved writers who have mastered technical perfection.

And yet…

You’ve written dozens of blog posts, maybe even hundreds, and as technically perfect as they are (or are trying to be), few people share your content. Aside from friends and family, no one else takes the time to comment on your articles.

Of course, you want more people to be interested and to engage with you.

The problem is your afraid to let go, to make a mistake, because perhaps someone is going to call you out.

Let’s look at what you’ve become (or are becoming).

An outstanding self-editor, relentlessly removing clichés, generalizations, and excess words.

You are specific and concise.

After all, this is what has been demanded of you over and over again.

But instead of attracting more readers the opposite has happened.

Allow me share a secret with you, but I’ll have to whisper it:

It’s not perfectly edited articles that keep readers interested and compelled to comment.

Your fear of the secret writing police has misled you.

Give up the crazy belief you’ve got to be perfect.

It’s what you’re saying that matters most.

If you’ve got something to say, then focus on saying it. Dictate into a recorder if necessary. Just whatever you do, don’t become obsessed with the mechanics of writing.

What you’re writing about should always be top priority.

It’s time to become a rebel, an outlaw.

Scary. Right?

But think about outlaws, they are infamous because they are rebellious and break all the rules. When they walk into a saloon the piano playing stops, conversation dies and it becomes so quiet you can hear a pin (or pen, you choose) drop.

Everyone is aware of who just walked in.

Outlaws get noticed.

Bartender, Sarsaparilla! And be quick about it.

Simply being informative with faultless, crisp, but lifeless writing is okay for text books and some newspapers (the boring ones), but not for your blog where your fascinating personality must shine through.

Let’s start your life of crime with the first draft.

The most common advice for writing a first draft is to let go and not worry about making sense or following rules.

I agree. Do you?

You know you really shouldn’t edit while writing your first draft. And yet, it’s hard to turn your internal editor off. Isn’t it?

When a first draft is too controlled, it’s like breathing through a gas mask and it only gets worse when the real editing starts.

Your writing needs life. It needs to be interesting and entertaining.

The good news is you already have what it takes. 

And it starts with your first draft. Forget about the rules while writing it. Release any desire for technical perfection, achieving approval and capturing attention.

Relearn how to let go.

Here’s the challenge:

Write a first draft about something that means a lot to you. Write what you truly mean. Let readers feel what you’ve got to say, raw and real. Tell how it is and don’t hold back.

Do not edit this first draft.

Not one word, comma or period. Then post it.

Seriously, post it ‘as is’ live on your blog.

(Okay, one small exception: Do a spell check, even outlaws need to make sure their 6 shooters are loaded.)

You’ll discover that your first draft hardly resembles your edited work. It’s longer, containing words and phrases you would normally remove. (I know, you’re internal self-editor just screamed. That’s okay. Screaming can be therapeutic. I think.)

What matters is that it has your personality in it and that’s how your readers will get to meet the real you, not the over-edited, controlled you.  

Besides, you’re first draft isn’t crap. It’s better than you think it is.

Don’t worry about coming across as indulgent or ridiculous, because doubts like those are what usually inhibit us in the first place.

Do this for some time and see if you start getting more comments. When you do, you’ll find out what readers enjoy most about the new articles and that information will help you draft future articles.

Everyone’s got to start (over) somewhere.

After you’ve posted your first drafts a few times and considered readers’ feedback, then little by little start editing first drafts into second drafts, only correcting the most obvious issues.

After a while, move on to third drafts when you get a feel for the balance between technically good editing and maintaining your style and voice.

I realize this isn’t an easy thing, letting go and sharing the uninhibited you with the world. It’s scary and may seem to go against everything you’ve been taught, but that’s why it is the most overlooked way to bring life to your blog.

If you want to create you’re own unique style and allow your voice to shine, then you must let go and discover your own brand of writing, even if it is imperfect.

Far better to live your own path imperfectly than to live another’s perfectly.

― Bhagavad Gita (tweet this quote)

Decent editing is important.

However, what I am saying here is don’t let the need for perfection make you write dull, boring stuff or scare you to the point you don’t publish your work.

Oh, and don’t worry if someone calls out your mistakes, because it might be helpful. If they are just flaming you, remember… 

Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.

― Bernard M. Baruch (tweet this quote)

You have an awesome, interesting voice and now it is time to share it with the world.

Never dull your shine for somebody else.

― Tyra Banks (tweet this quote)

Go ahead, be an outlaw. Outlaws are memorable.

Are you ready to break the law? After you’ve posted your daring first draft, come back and link to it here in the comments.

About Bryan Hutchinson

I'm a positive writer and when that doesn't work, I eat chocolate. I help fellow writers overcome doubt and thrive! In my free time, I love visiting castles with my wife, Joan. Join me on Twitter and Facebook.

Did you like this article?

Get future articles delivered directly to your inbox and you’ll also receive an extremely popular eBook included with signing up, all for free. More free stuff to come for subscribers only, so don’t miss out. Enter your email address:

Audacity-banner-G610 Proceeds from sales of the book support the Positive Writer website, writing contests, giveaways, and other events. Thanks for your support.
  • Interesting idea. I will try it tomorrow. At 5:00 a.m. when I write. 

  • I’ve done this … and though not wise (for me) to make this standard operating practice (I know that’s not what you’re advocating), it’s good to do this more often than I do!

    • It’s about letting go once in a while and resetting. Sometimes we lose focus on the content when focusing on coming across as professional. We can do both. Sometimes it helps to go back to our roots, what started it all.

  • Sounds scary, but in a good way. I like the idea of sharing your personality. I know the articles I enjoy reading are those where the author’s true self shows a little.

  • Sally Brock

    Bryan, not only is your information great, I loved the story the way you
    presented it!  You always keep me interested!

    • Ah, such an honor from such a wonderful artist such as you, Sally!

  • Question: Does anyone care about the 1960s any more?

    • We will when you tell us about your experiences in the 1960’s, so by all means write about them 🙂

  • Great post Bryan, you varmint you!

  • I’m feeling rebellious right now. Great post Bryan!

    • Good for you, Jennifer. Remember, I want to read that first draft so be sure to post the link or send it to me.

  • Do you hear that Bryan? That is the sound of me standing and slow clapping for yet another insightful blog post. Thank you for giving us all permission to ignore our internal editor, even if it is only for a little while. I loved this post so much I shared it on my blog as one of the top five blog posts I came across last week.

    Keep up the excellent work you are doing here! Consistently I see quality at your blog. Thank you!

    • Well, thank you very much, Karen 🙂 I’m going to head over and check it out.

  • Okay Bryan. I wrote this story today at 5:00 a.m.  Here it is. 


    • Powerful, Pamela. Keep in mind, forgiveness is not for him, it is for you. Blessings.

  • I am a writer after your own heart… chocolate always works! 

  • I enjoyed this very much, Bryan. That’s a great analogy with good points, I like how you compared spell check to the six shooter! Not only is it a fun post, but it’s true. I rarely spend much time editing my blog posts and I’ve rarely received a comment about it, if ever. 

    People are much more interested in what we have to say and how we interact with them than they do about proper punctuation and grammar.

    • And guess what, Stacy… your blog rocks! But you know that 🙂

  • It’s true that we all tend at some point to follow the ‘rules’ with too much rigidity. The inner editor is a friend-foe indeed, but which should not be present while writing a first draft. I’ve noticed that the more I let go and just write without editing and post it on my blog, the more people say my writing is great. Isn’t that surprisingly awesome? We are not perfect anyway and we never will be. It’s time to accept our imperfection and treat it not as a nuisance but as an advantage to make us better 🙂


  • Yingying


    The above is my blog and I tried just gushing out my words without editing. I think I did a shit post compared to my other posts. Would appreciate if anyone can let me know what they think, just thought it’ll be nice to get some feedback.

    Anyhow, I like your writings, Bryan. Your writings have inspired me in more ways than one. I’ve been wanting to start writing and I think I’ll start for real now. No longer want the fear to pull me back. So thanks and I’m glad I stumbled upon your page!

  • Quite a challenge Bryan, but yet important to me as I spend way too much time editing and tinkering with posts.

    It may be easier for some of us (me included) to strip to our underwear and run through the parking lot of the local convenience store. I’ll think about your challenge–and for the welfare of society I’ll forget my parking lot idea.