I often go back to the days when I was writing for a newspaper – the traditional, paper-made ones. There was still anxiety about the topic but we also focused on content, cross checking our sources, stating the facts and trying to find a voice to communicate with the paper’s audience.Then came the web. And along arrived online writing. The rules changed. Online job offers are asking authors to deliver e-books in a few months let alone the insane ones who expect a well-researched, quality content and interesting e-book in a week!!! Did we get smarter during the transition from the traditional to the web era?
As for us, simple, every-day writers who lean over our keyboards with obsession but lack of expertise, we are expected to write ten or fifteen articles daily free of grammar errors, plagiarism and mistakes. The content must be juicy, informative and interesting! We ARE smart but don’t know it yet!
Writing is NOT recycling information
Listicles have swamped the web. “How to” and “7 ways to ….” articles get extra bonuses in the virtual brain of google. And we keep typing. Some of us do some thinking. Some of us do some research. But which are our sources? We keep coming back to the fastest source available nowadays which is the web. What we do is recycling information trying to use different words to avoid getting trapped in the web of copyscape. There is really no time for anything else.
The sad part of the story is that people turn to the web to get informed about anything. It’s one thing reading a funny story or sharing experiences, but online writing has become our guru. Let’s keep in mind that writers are also part of the audience. We are the first to criticize the web and still get victimized by it.
We don’t turn our backs to online writing
There is no doubt that the ability to write online has opened the door to more jobs and intrigued the interest of many people who wouldn’t have a chance to speak their minds otherwise. It gives us the opportunity to read product reviews and have access to any information. The problem is that only part of what we read is real. Who said that product reviews are all written by true customers? Who can say that the information we read about a subject is cross checked and verified?
Don’t get me wrong. I think online writing has set us free. But we have an obligation to the world and to ourselves: as part of the audience, we should challenge what we read and don’t rely 100% percent on what they feed us. As online writers, we should try to follow the good old-fashioned writing guidelines and never stop making criticism. The current situation reminds me the time when we talked about the effects of television. The answer was: you have the power as an audience to change the channel and choose what you watch. That’s exactly what happens now with online information.
Hold on to your identity
The internet has offered us a lot but has stolen our identity. And it’s not about getting glorified about our writing work. It’s about finding our way in the crowd and never forget that we still have control over our choices. It’s no wonder why there are still some excellent articles posted online. This is the sign that some writers might have followed the crowd but haven’t lost their identity. And that’s what we should all do if we don’t want online writing to kill our writing skills. We can be part of the new world but hold tight to our ideas, dreams and inspirations. They won’t let us fall!