Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Turning your Critics into Coaches (or, why I am writing with caps)

Have you ever noticed that I write my blog posts in all lower case letters?  Maybe it bothers you.  Maybe you barely notice.

To be honest, its something I barely notice.  I've been writing all blog posts, facebook posts and most emails/messages (to friends... not important messages!) in all lowercase for at least 5 years now.  I don't really remember when it started, but I do know that I have been doing it at least since I lived in Germany, because that was the first (and until recently, only) time someone told me that it bothered them.

Why did I start writing like that?  I can't say for sure since its been so long.  I guess partially because its just easier that way (fewer typos if you never have to push shift!) and also partially because it feels casual and informal and unique.

Like I said, I barely think about it.  Its just a habit.  Until a couple weeks ago when someone left a rude comment on one of my blog posts that basically said "Don't you know that you are supposed to capitalize the first letter of a sentence?  How can you expect anyone to take your writing seriously if you don't do that?" It was a little bit more rude than what I just wrote here, but I can't remember for sure what that person said since I deleted the comment. (side note: I don't delete comments from people just because they disagree with me in some way.  I have had more than my share of negative comments on this blog, since I don't shy away from controversial subjects.  But I do delete comments that are unnecessarily rude, especially when someone I don't even know attacks my character.)

But the comment did get me thinking.  And since I do think it is important to listen to your critics, pray about what they say, and repent or change if necessary, I have wondered if I should reconsider my writing style.

And long story short, yes, I do think I should change. I have decided to do so for two main reasons: first, because I will likely be home schooling our children at some point during my motherhood career, and I should be practicing what I plan to teach them, which is to use proper grammar, punctuation and capitalization.

Secondly, I do in fact want people to take what I write seriously.  I write about serious subjects: about spiritual life and death, about knowing God and following Jesus.  And I write on more lighthearted subjects as well: posting recipes and updates on our family life.  But whether serious or light hearted, I don't want my lack of capitalization to be a distraction to anyone reading my writing.  And since I know of at least two people who have said something about it, how many others have thought the same without speaking up?

So, from this day forward I am going to start writing blogs (and FB posts, and emails) in all caps.  I already have several posts over the next few weeks scheduled, and those were not written with caps, so there will be a time of transition until everything is written properly.  But certainly within the next month, my writing will be normal.  And I hope that you find it more enjoyable and easy to read. :)

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