Jon Morrow wrote a rather in-your-face and very direct analysis of How to Be Smart in a World of Dumb Bloggers. Smartness and dumb-ness are often in the eye of the beholder, and although Jon makes some summary judgments, he does not get closed-minded or condescending in inspiring us to “get smarter” and be better writers as a result.
Although the site puts a premium on ads for marketing one’s writing, Jon actually writes about the importance of being, well, you, and not necessarily being smart like other people, but in your own style.
I personally think that being an engaging writer means finding your own passionate interest to give voice to. Made all the difference in the world when I was taking a public speaking class many, many years ago. Topic I didn’t care much about = boring speech. Topic I loved = riveting speech. That simple, really.
As for Jon’s take, he has three cool points of advice (I’d take the first two with a grain of salt, but he has good points about them), but the last one is best. Don’t forget to pause to think, to be in reverie even. It’s just as important as the “doing” phase. Definitely. And that can mean stepping away from the screen to look out the window or even close those ever vigilant visual aids, the eyes, to give your mind a chance to breathe deeply (and come up with something amazing!)
Check out Jon’s article here, then, and go make yourself smart.