“I actually also have a private blog, to rant. Y’know, writers always edit themselves in public, even when ranting.”
“Yes, I completely agree,” I answered the fellow blogger.
Then that crazy thing of my brain thinking about random offhand comments started to kick in about 6.28 hours later (approximately. That’s approximately 6 hours, 16 minutes, and 48 seconds for those of you doing the math at home.)
Yes, writers ALWAYS edit themselves in terms of tone or message. I know I do. But why? And is it damaging to the point we’re trying to make as writers or bloggers?
Obviously, editing is mainly for the reader. When I sit down to write about a topic I’m angry about, the first result is not something that the reader would probably want to read. When I write about something when I’m angry, I tend to go all over the place; I stop at many different points all out of order. I also will usually overstate my point (sometimes illogically), because I’m trying to emphasize a point. It will likely be offensive to someone as well, largely because of the previous statement. And occasionally I’ll just get frustrated and start banging my fists on the sanflkuenlaewnyfzboard. But not often.
So yeah, first result for me when writing angrily will usually consist of incoherence from random point-making, overstatement that will actually make me look like an idiot for illogical claims therein, and will also probably offend someone in a way I don’t want to.
Generally, that will turn off a reader. Nobody wants to read how angry you are unless they agree with you. So we edit.
Now when I edit one of those posts, it usually takes awhile, mainly because I have to rewrite the whole thing, using bits and pieces of the original draft and organizing the points into an easier to read format. I also have to remove any points that are illogical, because I try to be intellectually honest like that. Plus people will get all up on my case if I do make an argument that’s not justified, which I’m quite happy they do. And after that’s done, usually it’s quite harder for someone to get offended in a way that I don’t want them to be. But if there IS anything else after that that may hinder the effectiveness of my point, I try to reword it as well.
So after thinking out loud there for a couple paragraphs, I have come up with an answer to my question. I personally edit so that my point ISN’T damaged by the forceful nature of the original words in my post. I edit so that my point is better received by the reader. Because ultimately the goal in writing is to not only express oneself, but also to convey one’s point in an effective manner to the reader.