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A blog worth adding to your feeds -- and reasons why

by Tom Johnson on Sep 19, 2007 •
categories: blogging technical-writing

Beth Long's blogOne of the blogs I enjoy reading is Beth Long's Spork in the Road. Beth, who I knew from the Suncoast chapter, is interested in the intersection of the creative and the technical. As I remember, she was writing a novel when I left, and was very focused on it. She also had a very enviable job creating fictional text for an online game.

Here's an excerpt from her latest post:

Optimism afflicts me in both my worlds, web development and fiction writing. The flip side of optimism is, of course, despair: when I realize it's impossible to reach the dizzying heights to which I so casually aspired at the beginning of a project, my brain siphons away every happy chemical and erases my buzz, leaving me with a creative hangover and a depressive unwillingness to finish the project and thus prove my incompetence.

One reason I like Beth's blog is because she seems to write for herself, for the enjoyment of writing, for keeping a journal of her thoughts and challenges she encounters. Her journal is a literary journal and you can see the expression of her creative mind through her posts. Whether she receives a lot comments or not seems irrelevant to her purposes.

Although I have many feeds in my feedreader, mostly chosen for their topics, hers is one I read regardless of the topic. I once wrote a post titled Counterargument to the Importance of Categories, in which I argued that for some writers, the category or topic is less important than the style. Beth's blog is one of those blogs, and I hope to move mine in the same direction.

In a presentation Char James-Tanny gave to the Suncoast chapter a few months back (which I just published on Tech Writer Voices), Char was talking about blogs and mentioned that I tend to focus more on people than tools in my blog. This is partly because I periodically spotlight new bloggers to let others know of their existence. But also because blogging is often more about people than tools. It is often just as much about our style of expression than the content of what we say.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer / API doc specialist based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.