I have seen quite a lot of blog posts recently detailing the “Seven Steps to Writing the Best Book Review Ever!!!” They tell you how to lay it all out and what should and shouldn’t be included, which sounds like a pretty good idea at first.
But, the more of them I see and the more I think about it, they are really starting to get on my last nerve.
Blogging is all about expressing yourself, right? So how can you do that when you have to abide by a specified set of rules?
I don’t know how other people do it, but no extensive planning goes into any of my blog posts. I know roughly what I want to say, and so I sit down at my desk (or in my bed, more like) and start typing. Sometimes this means that it turns out as the biggest load of crap you would ever read in your life, but that is what editing as for. I am a big believer in just getting it all down and then sorting it after. I write all my essays and stories this way, and it has been working pretty well so far for me. I do a giant brain dump onto the page/screen, and then sort through it all to find what I was really trying to say in there. You don’t have to do it this way, of course, but this is the method that works for me.
So how can I then work through a set of rules? That would be changing my writing process entirely.
This is why I am here to tell you – in an equally unplanned ramble – that I don’t think there can or should be a step by step guide to writing a book review, or any kind of blog post. Sure, it might be helpful if you are starting out and need a helping hand. If using these guides works for you, then great! I don’t want to stop you or tell you you are wrong for doing so.
What I am trying to say is that things like this feel to me like they are taking the creativity and spontaneity out of blogging, which is part and parcel of the fun. If I don’t want to list the five million places you can buy a book, then fine! If I want to say that I can’t decide whether or not I like a book, cool. If I do or don’t want to use some sort of star rating system, great.
We all have our style of writing and our own process for getting our thoughts out there, which is why no two blogs are the same. It would be pretty boring if we were all regurgitating the same few things on every blog you clicked onto.
I, for one, am going to continue abiding by own blog “rules” – and that is that there are none.