Don’t worry. Mine doesn’t get many either. But you don’t have a choice. A website is essential for a writer, just like a business card. You need a presence on the web, a storefront that is open around the clock, at any time to any employer around the globe. You need a website just in case someone is looking, somewhere, for a good writer. And a website makes that possible.
How else are you going to show off your work? Where else can you demonstrate your current writing? Not with a résumé. In fact, I no longer produce a résumé, instead, when asked, I simply point people to my website. If they like what they see and read, great. If not, well, at least I had a chance to show what I could do on a large scale, rather than being trapped within a single sheet of paper.
It’s true that you can point to your writing with links embedded inside a Word document. It’s also true that links go bad and need tending to. And it’s even truer that a blog can’t be part of a résumé. I have over 90 blog entries at this site. How can I work that writing into a résumé or into a standard job application?
Still worried about hits? Look at my page views for the two weeks or so. A high of 17 one day, a total of zero on two or three others. Don’t worry, you can always work on getting that hit count higher. For now, get building that website.
My efforts at relearning grammar (internal link) are stalling out. The instructions aren’t always clear and with no teacher to ask questions of, well, my progress has slowed down. I’ve been trying to reconcile questionable pages by looking through the net for more information. But since every course is taught in a different manner it is difficult to find specifically what I want.
For example, I am puzzled by the site’s lessons on comparing adjectives and by the one on adjective identification. Using another site to explain the lessons finds instructions that are too lengthy, not lengthy enough, or are just plain off-point. Perhaps I will look for an on-line course with an instructor. It might be a better use of time than constantly having to look up material that doesn’t fully answer my questions. It looks like I still need a teacher.
Update: I decided not to take the course. My command of English grammar is and was simply not good enough to take such a high level class. I’d need a college level grammar refresher course before considering the editing offering.
In my last post (internal link) I described how I was working my way through an on-line grammar course. It’s engaging enough that I am considering going further, by taking a certificate course in editing. U.C. Berkeley offers a course called the Professional Sequence in Editing (external link). Designed for writing professionals, it may be just what I need to help me with the editing and proofreading I do now.
Besides being a freelance writer, I am an on-demand worker for In Focus Web Marketing (internal link) of Vancouver. I edit other writers’ copy and I write material of my own. I would like to better understand my decisions. Why starting a sentence with the word “and” is acceptable in certain cases and why it is not in others. Using less rather than fewer, onto, rather than on to, unlawful, rather than illegal, and so on. Enrollment starts on July 6th, classes begin in September.
After another month I will have worked my way through the grammar lessons and be in a better position to decide what to do next. I feel I’ve learned my writing and editing style by ear, by what sounds right, like a musician who can play passably but who can’t read sheet music. I know what sounds right, but in many cases I am wrong. It’s time, perhaps, to learn the sheet music of my craft, to go further.
June 7, 2015 Update. I’m learning! I found this wonderfully informative quote in The Chicago Manual of Style, on why it is proper to start a sentence with a conjunction like “and” or “but.” It reads:
There is a widespread belief—one with no historical or grammatical foundation—that it is an error to begin a sentence with a conjunction such as and, but, or so. In fact, a substantial percentage (often as many as 10 percent) of the sentences in first-rate writing begin with conjunctions. It has been so for centuries, and even the most conservative grammarians have followed this practice. Charles Allen Lloyd’s 1938 words fairly sum up the situation as it stands even today:
“Next to the groundless notion that it is incorrect to end an English sentence with a preposition, perhaps the most wide-spread of the many false beliefs about the use of our language is the equally groundless notion that it is incorrect to begin one with ‘but’ or ‘and.’ As in the case of the superstition about the prepositional ending, no textbook supports it, but apparently about half of our teachers of English go out of their way to handicap their pupils by inculcating it. One cannot help wondering whether those who teach such a monstrous doctrine ever read any English themselves.” (Charles Allen Lloyd, We Who Speak English: And Our Ignorance of Our Mother Tongue (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1938), 19.)