I recently reconnected with a writer I’d met before I became a full-time freelance editor. We met for lunch the other day, and I had a fun time catching up and talking shop. Reminiscing about the writers critique group where we met and several of the “colorful characters” we both know from the group made me realize how much I miss the camaraderie of meeting with other writers on a regular basis.
As I explained to my friend, I don’t write much fiction these days. Instead of writing my own work, I help other writers with theirs. Whether I’m line editing a novel or magazine article, evaluating a memoir, or coaching a writer on his self-help book, my days are packed with reading and writing—so packed, in fact, that I even find it challenging to write regular blog posts.Do you think of blogging as writing? #amwriting #blogging #writers Click To Tweet
The day after our lunch, I came across an article I thought my friend might find interesting, so I sent her an email, and I also told her how motivating it had been to talk with her at our lunch about her writing.
Her email back to me read:
“When next we talk, I’d like to hear you that you wrote something. Writing could become your hobby!!! You know, do it for fun.”
I wasn’t quite sure how to respond to that.
I love writing. I really LOVE writing. I’ve been a lover of words for as long as I can remember. That’s the primary reason I’m in the editing and writing biz. Finding just the right word, helping another writer clarify meaning, or unscrambling a great idea that got lost in poor structure are all ways to get my heart racing.
But not all writing has to be creative writing.
I’m at a point in my life where I want to spend time doing things that give make me happy and give my life meaning, and I’m trying to let go of the “shoulds” of life. As I wrote in You Never Know How Strong You Are Until Being Strong Is the Only Choice You Have:
We often beat ourselves up over what we didn’t do, what we “should” have done instead. I’m always reminded of my late mother when I hear the word “should.” She would remind me that, in her opinion, it is one of the most useless and debilitating words in the English language. Think about that for a moment, and ask yourself if the “shoulds” in your life are keeping you from being your best self.”
So while I don’t write stories “for fun” right now, I have a lot of fun doing what I do, and I get my personal writing fix through writing this blog—and as I see it,
Blogging IS writing.
But is one type of writing “better” than another? In her article “Is There a Right Way to Write?” author Scarlet Wilde puts it, “Writing is a deeply personal thing and I don’t think there is a wrong or right way. One discovers what works from experience.” And in “Why Writers Should Blog. No, Really.” author Belinda Williams writes:
If you are an athlete, how do you prepare for a big race? You keep fit and you work out regularly.
The same goes for writing: Blogging keeps you writing regularly.
That’s it. It’s that simple.”
Blogging IS writing.
Sometimes I have an idea that just can’t wait to make it onto the page; other times I struggle to pull together a blog post that seems (to me, at least) compelling, interesting, and useful. Sound familiar? Isn’t that what every writer experiences, whether the WIP is a novel, a memoir, or a short story?
So I must say to my friend, I’m one of the lucky ones—I do what I love for a living. Writing IS my hobby as well as my work, and I don’t think it gets much better than that, do you?
Do you think of blogging as writing? Has blogging helped your writing, or is it just another item on your “To Do” list? Have you ever used blog posts as the basis for a book, like author Victoria Grefer did with Writing for You: A Novelist’s Guide to the Craft of Fiction? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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Candace Johnson is a professional freelance editor, proofreader, writer, ghostwriter, and writing coach who has worked with traditional publishers, self-published authors, and independent book packagers on nonfiction subjects ranging from memoirs to alternative medical treatments to self-help, and on fiction ranging from romance to paranormal. As an editorial specialist, Candace is passionate about offering her clients the opportunity to take their work to the next level. She believes in maintaining an author’s unique voice while helping him or her create and polish every sentence to make it the best it can be.
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