The key to great writing is reading blogs like Fred Wilson’s

Fred Wilson used a cross-country flight to write a 30-item blog-post. He says most of the points could have been Twittered, but many of them are over 140 characters, so he’s wrong. (Fred is a VC and investor in Twitter.)

I think several of the points are wonderful and some even are a window into who Fred is (#3), but I think #20 is my favorite as it has what I believe is an important insight into one of the hidden values of blogging, even if you have a readership of 12, like this one had for years.

“The simple act of writing every day, even when you think you have nothing to say, is essential to becoming a confident writer.”

Fred may not know it, but his advice echos some found in what I consider one of the best books ever written on the topic of writing, Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.” Her book is not about “how to write,” and it’s certainly not about “how to get published.” It’s about becoming a better writer. What you do with that better writing is up to you.

Fred’s blog is one of my favorites because after reading it for as long as I have, I think I know him — and I like and admire him greatly — even though we’ve never met.

Unfortunately, there aren’t enough business-oriented bloggers who have the writing skills (or the confidence) — to pull off what Fred does. There are lots of business-oriented bloggers who do a tremendous job covering their topics. And there are lots of business bloggers who let you know more than enough about their personal lives. But there are very, very few who have mastered the balancing act of doing both, without going too far with either. He’s the best.

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  • the best? i sure hope not. the comment left by one of my readers with quotes from emerson and whitman leave me in awe of what really great writing is

    but thanks for the very kind words Rex

    i really appreciate them


  • Rex Hammock

    Well, my definition of great writing — in the blogging context — would probably penalize emerson and whitman. I’m talking about the kind of writing that’s instant, extemporaneous yet authoritative and insightful — and gives the reader insight into who you are. Good writing for a blog is more jazz than classical.