26 Tips to Writing Badly

Writing badly comes naturally to most, but these tips will help you become awesome in your epic badness.

  1. Don’t proofe read .
  2. Who cares what the difference is between a semicolon and a comma?
  3. Use common terms over and over, such as “great,” “nice,” “awesome.”
  4. End a paragraph whenever the mood strikes you.
  5. Ignore word limits. Express yourself as need be.
  6. Don’t read “gifted” or “classic” writers who have endured through history. It might rub off on you.
  7. Write with many distractions going on around you. It helps you be creative. (I hear that this helps people with ADD, though.)
  8. Only fulminating fussbudgets care about the difference between em-dashes and hyphens. Innovate – yeah…
  9. Never risk going over people’s heads when you write. Go for the lowest common denominator—or lower.
  10. Use worn out, cliché phrases. First and foremost, everybody is used to them, so it’s cool.
  11. Mix metaphors. Everybody does it.

    In “Garner’s Modern American Usage,” Bryan A. Garner offers this classic example of a mixed metaphor from a speech by Boyle Roche in the Irish Parliament:

    “Mr. Speaker, I smell a rat. I see him floating in the air. But mark me, sir, I will nip him in the bud.”

    Isn’t that cool?

  12. Capitalization is UP to You. Don’t fuss over any Rules in the matter.
  13. Never consult style or grammar guides. Why cramp your expressive style with stupid rules? Instead read cool books about the new uses of language, which have been marinated in the internet.
  14. creative. with. periods. W.h.y. n.o.t??!!…
  15. Use commas, or, not. Up to you.
  16. Being fussy over complete sentences is a sign of anal-retentive fascism. Keep your grammar out of my bedroom!
  17. Imho, use text talk in writing, lol. U r entitled to it. K?
  18. Always be breezy, never serious, cuz, like, why be inhibited?
  19. Instead of finding the right work combination to articulate an idea, use extra punctuation!!! Why not??
  20. Throw in quotation marks “randomly” to express a knowing skepticism for no reason.
  21. Read Harry Frankfurt’s On Bullshit. Do everything he says not to do.
  22. Embrace obfuscation.
  23. For all intensive purposes, don’t fuss over getting sayings right. It will wreck havoc on your style and undermine the tenants of your writing.
  24. Never turn in a paper to Douglas Groothuis or any other curmudgeon who insists on obeying rules, developing an elegant style, or mastering documentation. These people are so 1970s!!! lol; omg.
  25. Any noun can be verbed. Example: The Governor smokescreened that issue.
  26. Boldface whenever you There are no, like, rules.

God and Writing

Writing for Publication is a course at Denver Seminary that I have been teaching and loving since 2000. We always use Elements of Style, “Politics and the English Language” by George Orwell, as well as other writing on writing well. Theology is also our concern, as it should be in all areas of life (Matthew 22:37-40). Thus, we reflect on the purpose and meaning of writing. It begins with The Word.

The divine Word of John 1:1 is the foundation for all rational ordering and communication. Men and women were created to listen, learn, speak, and create culture. God spoke to them, they spoke back, and eventually they began to inscrible their ideas. God wrote the Decalogue himself. The prophets spoke truth for life, and it was later written down, since it was the revelation of the Logos. The Bible is God’s writing for us as recorded by numerous writers at different places and at different times. “Living and active” is how The Book of Hebrews describes itself and the entire canon of Scripture (Hebrews 4:12)

Authors should take care, as did the biblical writers. Luke tells us in his prologue that he carefully investigated all the pertient writings about Jesus and set forth his account so that the reading might have certainty about the events described (Luke 1:1-4). The Book of Ecclesiastes commends the writing of Soloman by noting his care in composing the wisdom of that book (Ecclesiastes 12:9-12). I could go on.

Follower of the Logos made man (John 1:14, 18), must be people of truth in a world of lies. Character matters here and everywhere. Knowledge and clarity should be our aim in all writing, whether about the Bible or jazz or painting or literature. We all write before the face of God. This true and living God calls for our best at all times in his strength, so that he be honored and his glory become global. This can not be done on the cheap. One cannot fake it and keep one’s integrity.

With the Logos above us, before us, behind us, beneath us, and for us, let us think and write as if our words are inscribed in the mind of God. They are.