Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tip-toeing Into A Flavorful World And Grading My Own Writing

Talk about a busy day, I managed to crank out 6 posts yesterday and by my own estimation, they didn't completely suck. Writing has been a journey for me, and as either of my frequent readers might tell you, I'm not all that good at it. I frequently read through my posts and cringe at some of the sentences I put together, or the occasional spelling blunder or typo - and let's not even get into my grammar. Simply put, I'm just not that talented as a writer, and for those of you who are kind enough to read my work once and come back for more, thank you so much for dutifully suffering my inadequacies.

But in real life, as in baseball, the most important part of improving is acknowledging those flaws in the first place. Then working diligently on improving them. If I were to grade my writing abilities on the 20-80 scale they might read something like this;

Spelling: (40-55)
Vocabulary: (40-60)
Grammar: (30-40)
Color: (30-60)
Voice: (50-60)
Quantity: (60-70)
Subject Knowledge: (60-70)

I have a solid enough vocabulary that I can say I'm more verbose than breveloquent, but it still pales in comparison to that of others. My writing is frequently pock-marked with typos and hideous grammar. But I do think I have a plus knowledge of the AL Central and I'm positive that I write a ton. Needless to say, I have my strengths and I have areas in which I need to improve.

Beyond the general quality of my writing, which will forever be a work in progress, and likely always significantly worse than you'll get from other writers with better writing background, I also hope to improve the flavor of my writing. I think most understand what you'll get from me on a day-to-day basis. If my writing were a food, it'd be a steak that's somewhat tough, and poorly seasoned. But it would still be a steak, meaty and full of substance. In my opinion, it's still better than a well seasoned macaroni and cheese. For my steak to ever make it in a big time restaurant though (this is pretty deep hyperbole from me) I'm going to need to start tenderizing and flavoring my slab of beef.

To that end I've begun speaking with a lot of writers who are much better at the whole writing thing than I am. They've been kind enough to help me find some great resources where I can improve my craft. One of those things will be the simple act of trying to add the occasional color piece - like my take on the Indians payroll situation from earlier today - to my daily dosing of otherwise formulaic and drab profiles.

That doesn't mean I intend to stop writing those pieces. Dreary as they may be, they are still important and objective pieces that convey necessary information about a particular player. But hopefully with time and effort, I can begin to sprinkle at least some seasoning into my work.

Bon appetit?

Corey Ettinger is a proud contributor to both 612Sports.net, 312Sports.com, and 313sports.com. He also provides extensive analysis of the American League Central Division at his own blog, AL Central In Focus. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @Coreyettinger for the latest updates and random thoughts.


  1. I know what you mean about breaking it up. I've been doing these prospect rankings this month and it's usually not what I do on KoK...but I don't have nearly the output you do on here. Easily distracted/obsessed by the internal editor. How I long for a standard feature! But I set the goal to knock out the whole countdown in a month...

  2. It's tough. My initial goal was to do Profile's on my Top-20 prospects for all five teams - 100 PROFILES! That seems a tad unrealistic at this point so I'm going to try and just get through each teams Top-10 and then go from there.

    It's monotonous.