Before I started this blog I was at University studying for a degree in Forensic Science. After I graduated I had a lot of free time and, being a beauty fan, I decided to start my own blog. After years of writing in a specific, scientific way, I found (and am still finding) it difficult to write less formally. The two writing styles are so completely different, everything I learnt not to do in a science report is everything that should be done in blog writing. I thought I’d put together a little list of the the rules I had to stick to, the differences and everything I’ve had to change.
Don’t Write in the First Person
The word “I” was completely banned at University. Everything had to be written in the third person, which is actually quite hard. Try giving your opinion without using “I think that…” or to telling the reader how they can repeat an experiment without using “you can…”. I love my first person writing freedom on my blog- that’s right I love.
Write Concisely and to the Point
There’s no room for waffle in scientific writing. However, in the blog world it’s almost better to ramble on a bit. I really like it when my favourite bloggers go off topic because it lets me get to know them better. I still haven’t quite mastered this one. I was always the Queen of writing below the word limit. My dissertation for example was nowhere near the 10000 word maximum.
Have a Source for Everything you Write
Anyone who has studied History or a similar subject will know how annoying this can be. I literally had to find a source for everything. I couldn’t say anything without having to provide a source to back up what I was saying. I understand that it’s important to back up what you say but can’t you just believe me for once? It’s nice to be able to say that an eyeshadow is light brown without having to confirm with 10 other sources that the eyeshadow is in fact light brown.
Use Complex Terminology
There were so many words I used in my degree that I could barely say, let alone spell and I had to use them a lot. In blog writing it’s much easier to keep it simple. That way everyone knows what I’m going on about! I suppose the exception would be when talking about makeup/ skincare ingredients, but it’s nowhere near as bad.
This is the one I find myself forgetting that I’m allowed to do. If you don’t know what a contraction is (I had to google the word) it means when an apostrophe is used in place of a word or letter. For example “it’s” instead of “it is” or “don’t” instead of “do not”. Contractions weren’t allowed in my University assignments because they make writing sound less formal. This means contractions are perfect for blog writing! If I find my posts are sounding too formal I go back and check that I haven’t forgotten to use them.
Sorry if this post turned into a bit of an English lesson! I’ve realised that my writing style has changed quite a lot since starting this blog. Although I it still has traces of my science writing I am working on making it less formal. Have you ever changed your writing style or have you always written in the same way? I’m very interested to hear your thoughts!