I Kill about 60% of My Darlings Before Publishing


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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blogging-tips

I edit what I write several times before I hit the “Publish” button.

On many occasions I leave my darlings aside for a fortnight or so; and then I read them, cut, append, read, juggle sentences and paragraphs, juxtapose, add, drop, umpteen times in no specific order until satisfied to a certain extent. In most cases I publish only about 60% of what I originally typed.

In her post titled “Kill Your Darlings” W. Michelle says:

Being a good writer means knowing how to edit: taking what you’ve written and stripping out the dulling distractions so your ideas shine. It’s not always easy, but it is necessary.

She quotes American writer and Nobel Prize laureate, William Faulkner: “In writing, you must kill your darlings.”

This is Michelle’s advice to bloggers:

  • Today — whenever you’re reading this — start a new post. Write until you’ve said everything you want to say, then save your draft — but don’t publish.
  • Tomorrow, open the post and check the word count (hint: it appears at the bottom of the editing box). Edit your post down by 10%, then save it and forget it again.
  • Repeat on two more days, until you’ve done three days of editing.
  • After three days of editing, hit “Publish.”

If your original draft was 1,000 words, the piece you ultimately publish should be around 730; if you started with 500, you’ll end up with 365 or so. If you’re a flash fiction writer who starts with 50, you’ll need to get yourself down to 36. (If you have a bolt of searing editorial insight and want to cut it down more than 10% on any day, feel free.) Whether you’re a long-form or short-form blogger, learning to wield your red pen ruthlessly will improve your writing.

A fellow blogger and poet Tom Balistreri commented to Michelle’s post:

After I write I go back and remove all my typos.
Then I go back and correct my sentence structure.
Then I correct my grammar.
Then I throw out anything that’s frivolous or doesn’t make sense.
At that point I have a blank page.

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IndiRank: Ranking of Indian Blogs


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj
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IndiRank is a system built to rank the blogs in the IndiBlogger network. Although every blog is manually verified before it’s allowed into the network, the IndiRank system is completely automated.

The IndiBlogger network believes that any ranking system should not be taken too seriously – and that is because no system can be accurate. IndiRank is built to rank the majority of Indian blogs as accurately as possible. However, please do take note of IndiBlogger network says:

  • Not every blog applies to our algorithm, and a blog may get a rank it does not deserve.
  • The IndiRank algorithm is continually tweaked to improve it’s accuracy.
  • No piece of computer code can ever judge your blog as well as your readers can – so get your blog reviewed on our forum if you haven’t done so already!

I joined the IndiBlogger network recently and here is how IndiRank has ranked my website “Impressions”.

IndiRank - June 13, 2013

Updated on August 18, 2013:

IndiRank - August 18, 2013

IndiRank - September 9, 2013

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The Unheard Cries of A Misplaced Apostrophe by Felix O’Shea


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Posted on January 18, 2013

Poor little apostrophe. He knows his place, and more importantly, he knows when he’s not in it. Some, or all, will say that it isn’t really too important, and that as long as you get the gist of what is meant, then the grammatical semantics of the written word can probably fall by the wayside. However, if the boat of proper grammar truly is sinking, then I would rather let the weight of a million neglected semi-colons and brackets pull me down to the dreary depths of the abyss, than abandon ship and take refuge upon the misplaced and miserable apostrophe that hangs lifeless between the O and the S in the word: photo’s, or cling to safety upon the second f in the word of.

Now in writing this, I just want to assure anyone reading that I am not trying to seem patronising, nor am I pretending to be an expert; I can assure you that I’m not! I do, on occasion, get quite baffled with so many of the finer and seemingly more insignificant points of english grammar: a possessive of a plural, apostrophes on names that already end in ‘s‘, and so on, but what I’m trying to speak in favour of is the feeling that you needn’t be wrong, it doesn’t take that much effort to look it up and, let’s be honest, abbreviating and misspelling words in text messages really doesn’t save that much time!

Also, since I mentioned saving time, I may as well have a quick rant about how utterly, utterly stupid it is to replace a few letters with a number, or a word with a letter. I will of course concede that great is indeed two characters longer than gr8, and that if someone wrote b4 in a certain context, I would be able to deduce that they meant before; and I dare say that if ever I read “U R L8!”, I would probably be able to extract the meaning of that as well, albeit amidst a flurry of rage; but are we really in such a hurry all the time that we just can’t spare the fraction of a second lost by writing you’re instead of ure? It’s trying to look cool, because people think proper English isn’t. It’s the grammatical equivalent of wearing sunglasses at night.

There are a lot of aspects of our fine language that can baffle some, for instance the eternal battle between then and than (simple answer: then is chronological; than is comparitive. E.g. I grabbed the chicken nugget that was bigger than all the rest, and then I ate it.), and I understand that it is an effort to remember it all, but it simply pains me to see people who lack the linguistic skills to convey their points; and it makes me sad, because I know that joy that it brings me to properly convey my own.

Always remember, a well placed apostrophe is a happy apostrophe; and you’re never too busy to write a legible text message.

Repost of The Unheard Cries of A Misplaced Apostrophe

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“An attack on the religion, and not the religious…” by @GrumpyComments


I agree with Felix O’Shea when he says that he hates religion. Jesus himself was in no way religious and he uttered some very strong words against the religious leaders and religious teachers of his period. In turn he was ridiculed and rebuked by the priesthood of his period. They waited for the moment to pounce on him. See Mark 11:27-33 and my post in my blog Inspirations titled “By what authority?”

We should not forget the fact that it was religion that crucified Jesus for teaching against their way of teacching.

I am reproducing below an article posted by Felix O’Shea (@GrumpyComments) titled “An attack on the religion, and not the religious…” that conveys my thought in essence.

An attack on the religion, and not the religious…

Posted on April 10, 2012 by @GrumpyComments

There’s a little rant that I’d like to get off my chest, but I certainly don’t want it to misunderstood, or misinterpreted.

I hate religion.

Now, this is a very bold statement of course, and any initial presumptions you might have for my meaning need to be set aside for a moment. I don’t hate religious people; I don’t hate people who believe in god, or worship him, or put their faith in Jesus, or believe in a higher power or a creation theory. I don’t hate any of these people much in the same way as I don’t hate an owl for eating a mouse, a cloud for blocking the sunshine, or my girlfriend for using a Mac instead of a Windows. Every life form on Earth operates in the way they believe to be in optimum equilibrium with what they want, what they need, and what they perceive of the world around them. If a person wants to find their strength and faith in something supernatural or religious, then I’ll gladly march for their right to do so. No, I don’t hate any religious person, even to the level of zealots and extremists taking lives and terrorising people. They too are simply trying to live in accordance with what they have been taught to, or chosen to, believe.

Religion itself however, as a singular entity, is something I can hate.

It is a single idea that exists on a plane free of logic or observable fact, amidst a sea of denied philosophies and repressed ideas. From the extreme, to the conservative, no religious denomination has been able to fit itself into the modern world without some degree of a needless logical leap or an unessasary suspension of disbelief. The apparent answers provided by religion pose no benefit to humanity that a person can’t find for themselves via a more appropriate passage; and as such, the anger and the hate and the racism, the misogyny and the homophobia, are in no way an acceptable counter-balance for the negative reapercussions of many of today’s modern religious organisations. I accept the good that many of these groups do for the world, but as I said, these are not deeds that need to be applied to religion, but actions that man is perfectly capable of rationally deciding to undertake, for the benefit of those around them

If your god tells you that it’s wrong to be gay, or that women should be subservient, or that people who believe in something that contradicts your own views should burn in hell, then that’s fine. I accept that you’re only following the beliefs and ideals that you have been raised around or have stumbled upon, and while I hope you decide to some day walk a different path, I understand that you have the right not to. I don’t hate you, nor do I harbour any ill-will towards you.

Religion itself however, I do hate. I hate that this is a world in which it needs to exist. I hate the notion that people need it, and willingly perpetuate its existence in the face of all the bad that it has done and will do to the collective people of this world. I hate the concept that there exists something that after over one hundred thousand years, still controls people’s thoughts and actions despite no credible proof of its validity.

One day, I like to think that it will be gone, and then at least people will have a little bitless to fight about.

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