Tag Archives: rules

Writing – Am I getting it right?

I read several blogs about writing and blogging, and many of these occasionally include lists of what one should and shouldn’t do. Some days I read these with interest, take on board what I think is useful, and ignore that which is less so.

Other days, I can read just one article, and obsess for hours over something I do regularly, that a writer/blogger supposedly ‘shouldn’t’ do. This says nothing about the blogs I read, but plenty about my state of mind at the time of reading.

Today, I stumbled across an old blog from Fuel Your Writing, about becoming a writer. The message is simple – Don’t complicate things. To be (or become) a writer, all I need to do is write. If I were to have a list of rules for writing, this would certainly be first thing on that list. What else would be on it? Not a lot – it might look something like this:

1. Write

2. Live – do stuff you enjoy, spend time with people you love, maybe take some pictures. Enjoy yourself

3. Write some more

4. Read as much as you can. Work out what you like, and what you like less

5. Write. Read what you’ve written. Maybe get someone else to read it

6. Ignore any rules that let you hold yourself back

7. Write.

Can you see the theme here? If I had a list, it would look a little like this, but who am I to set the rules? I’m just here because I love to write.

How do you feel about your writing? Do you ever wonder whether you’re ‘getting it right’?

One space or two?

I don’t really remember learning to type, like many of my generation, I just started typing and became better over time. What I do remember clearly is being told that it’s always two spaces after a full stop, and one after a comma. I never questioned this and, until recently, I would always automatically include two spaces after every full stop. I understand that the reason for the old two space rule is to do with the old typewriter (and early computer) fonts, which are monospaced. Two spaces were needed to improve readability. I don’t know much about typography so please do correct me if you know otherwise.

You may have noticed that my earlier blog posts always followed the two space rule but that, more recently, this has changed. Typing with two spaces after a full stop is automatic for me, and when I edit posts I have to remember to go back and check that I have amended this to one. The reason I started doing this is because I have been hearing that the two space rule has become outdated, and I wanted to see if I could change the way I type so that the new way becomes automatic for me.

Since I have started trying to change my ways, however, I have asked several people what they think about this. Of those I have spoken to, many feel that whether to include one space or two has become more of a personal choice than any hard and fast rule, and I am now wondering whether to just go back to the way I used to type…

What do you think? When writing, do you automatically include one space after a full stop, or two, and why? Do you think having two spaces improves readability? Would you have even noticed the different between this post, and this one, which followed the two space rule? I’d be interested to hear your views, and the reasons behind them, especially if you have a strong opinion either way.