I have a terrible, secret shame: my writing skills are lousy.
For me, perhaps the most difficult aspect of blogging is the writing process. Sometimes I feel inspired, but more often, I struggle. No matter how profound my level of inspiration is, bugs always seem to work themselves into my writing. Missing words, grammar slip-ups, poor phrasing—you name it. I feel as if I've been cursed.
My frustration is probably due to my dislike of writing in school. Back then, it simply didn't interest me. I was too busy learning to code against the Zilog Z80, and playing Trade Wars on my local BBS. I suppose it didn't help that, for many years, the vast majority of my reading consisted of either technical books or comic books.
When I began blogging in August of 2006, my writing was... unpolished. I composed my posts with the same grace that elephants construct model airplanes. Sadly, I couldn't recognize my own weakness.
For awhile, my blog stayed pretty low on the radar. I wrote a few technical articles, but in February of 2007, I really hit my (first) stride writing articles about functional programming concepts using C# 2.0. I rolled into March, picking up steam until my writing and I reached an impasse.
On March 23, 2007, I posted an article that earned me a few negative emails. None of the emails criticized my content (which is still pretty cool). Instead, they (gently) pointed out typos, poorly-constructed sentences, and unclear tidbits.
Feeling frustrated and inept, I asked my trophy wife—who graduated with a minor in English Education—to take a look at my article. Graciously, she corrected my grammar, and I promptly re-posted it. So, everything was OK now, right? Wrong. The wind in my blogging sails had died down. My dear trophy wife continued to help me with blog posts, but my desire to blog had waned. Eventually, my output shrank to just a trickle.
Finally, on August 1, 2007, I was bit by the blogging bug for a second time. But this time was different. This time, I was playing it smart. I "employed" my trophy wife as a full-time editor. Since then, she has poured over every blog post with me.
My trophy wife is an especially good editor. In addition to navigating through my grammatical mine fields, she works hard to actually understand the concepts that I'm trying communicate. The process results in better-written articles that are more easily understood.
Since I got my second wind, blogging has been a joy. It's much more fun to have someone to bounce ideas off of ([ed.] Never end a sentence with a preposition, silly). But most importantly, it's provided a way to bring my trophy wife into my world.