Blogging IS Writing

Blogging IS WritingI 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.

Happy Writing,

Candace

If you enjoyed reading this and want to improve your ability to self-edit and revise your work, please subscribe by entering your email address on the right side of this page. And please know that I’ll never sell, share, or rent your contact information—that’s a promise!

And if you want more great writing and publishing information, check out my Facebook page at Change It Up Editing and Writing Services, where I share all kinds of interesting articles and links.

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.

IMG]http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a98/CharRob/shakespeare-blog-cartoon.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

25 thoughts on “Blogging IS Writing”

  1. Hi Candace, thanks for including me in your blog post. And yes, I totally agree – you don’t have to be writing fiction to be a writer, nor is one type of writing better than another. You just have to find what fits you and quite often, it’s a very changeable thing! I’ve gone from business writing, to (marketing) copywriting, fiction writing and of course, blogging. All have developed my skills in unique ways.

    1. Hi Belinda, and thanks for stopping by. I too engage in various types of writing, and as you wrote, they all develop one’s writing skills in unique ways. When I think about just the cover letters I’ve written to author/clients in the past few years, I bet they total the word count of a novella!

  2. This post along with all of the wonderful comments I received on my most recent post makes me believe, yes, blogging is writing. Thank you for this and the links to some wonderful articles, Candace!

    1. I’m glad you found the links helpful, Jill, and of course I’m happy to know someone agrees with me. 😉 I calculated that if you blog twice a week and your posts average 600 words, you’re writing more than 60,000 words in a year. That’s nothing to sneeze at!

  3. Blogging has helped my writing because it makes me think of my audience. I don’t write selfishly anymore, instead I ask myself if what I’m writing in a blog post will be entertaining or useful to someone.

  4. I’d say that blogging is ~%60 of the writing I’m doing right now. If that doesn’t count, I’m going to be really sad 🙂

    But really, I think as long as you’re putting your best effort into it, trying new literary techniques and really stretching your brain, any and all writing is beneficial. No one type is “better” than another as long as every sentence teaches you something, and improves your craft.

    1. Of course it counts! Writing is writing; I remember a grade-school assignment to obtain and correspond with a pen pal, which was a much better way to learn how to write conversationally than filling in worksheets. But I digress. The best news for those of us who love to play with words is that there are so many venues for playing with them.

  5. Yes, I do think of blogging as writing. It’s different than writing fiction, but I enjoy it just for that reason. I have found that as I follow more blogs and more people follow me, I find myself struggling to keep up with all reading and commenting and replying that I want to do. I really do like this community of bloggers I’m connected with, though, so in the end I want to keep up with everyone out there, and so far I have.

    Thanks for another great post, Candace. You are lucky to be doing what you love for a living. Hope I get there someday 🙂

    1. I agree with you, Dave–it’s difficult to stay on top of reading all the blogs as well as commenting on the ones that resonate with you. I too enjoy this community of bloggers, and I’ve learned so much from reading them that I really do look at the time I spend here as educational.

  6. I’m not sure that people who blog out how miserable they are and how much their lives suck are ;writing” in the sense that you mean it. The rest of us who are seeking to inform or entertain are certainly writing. I don’t put as much effort into a blog post as I do into a fiction passage of the same length, but I do pay attention to the rhythm and flow of my words and sentences and strive to capture attention with humor or with crisp phrasing.

    Every once in a while I come up with something that sounds like a real writer did it.

    😉

    1. So glad you stopped by, Eric–your comment is one I always look forward to! I know what you mean about the Negative Nellies, and I’m not sure the trolls who tell bloggers that the expressed opinion is wrong or narcissistic are “writers” in that sense either. But for the vast majority of bloggers, this is a wonderful venue for self-expression in many forms, whether or not the blogger is a “real” writer. (Don’t tell anyone, but I heard it rumored that a real writer checks your blog for ideas.) 😉

      1. As I said on another blog recently (you had left a comment too, by the way), interacting with other writers on WordPress is absolutely its own reward. The breadth of talent out there is humbling and also reassuring.

        My apologies for spilling a random semi-colon in my previous comment. If there’s one blog on which I want to avoid typos, it’s yours!

        1. No apologies necessary, Eric! Did you see the big “oops” I posted on my Facebook page yesterday? I meant to type “hired” but instead typed “fired,” and I didn’t notice it until much later. So the spilling of random semicolons is a no biggie here. I don’t EVER want anyone to feel they can’t comment because they might make a mistake–especially someone with such thoughtful comments (like you).

  7. I have to agree with the other commenters — blogging is definitely writing! As with any piece, each post I compose takes me through the complete writing process, from idea to drafting, revising, editing and careful proofreading before I click the ominous “post” button! It holds me accountable to write something every week, even when the fiction side of my wring life is temporarily stagnating. And best of all, I connect with and learn from other other writers who also blog. Thanks for another great post, Candace!

    1. Thanks, Gwen, and I agree that blogging holds us accountable to write. Each post is like a miniature essay, isn’t it? And I love the learning part; I wonder how I’ll feel in ten years about the blogs I’m writing today (scary thought!). For me, the community is the very best part, and I just wish I could invite you all over so we could meet in person!

  8. I LOVED this. Thank you for saying “blogging is writing.” I often wonder. Is it horrible that I consider it practice for my short story and novel? I didn’t think I would like reading “writer” blogs as much as I am. I have feel like I have been given permission to say, I AM A WRITER! Not just a mom, or wife, or substitute teacher, or volunteer. Thank you!

    1. In my opinion (and the opinion of many writers), blogging is a great way to “practice” writing. Some writers use their blog for their warm-up, some for improving their writing skills, some for sharing their writing journey, some for challenging themselves to try new things–the list goes on and on. If you’re writing, you are a writer, and don’t let that little judgmental voice inside of you tell you anything different.

      1. The first line I ever posted on my site was, “I am afraid to blog.” I didn’t have a magazine editor’s seal of approval on any particular essay, after all. It was “just me,” offering my thoughts — for no other reason than I had them.

        I made myself a deal. Four times a week I’d share something that people might find interesting. Four times a week I risk being wrong about that! Can you imagine the character building exercise this is? Stay interested in the world, and share what you’re learning. How can that not make you a better person?

        It’s made me a better talk show host, because many of the anecdotes I offer on the program are stories I’ve already told on the blog — so I’m not fumbling around trying to find the words. It’s made me a better public speaker for the same reason. (part 1 of 2)

  9. And in a best-of-all twist, it’s given me and my daughter (who’s 22 now), the sweetest thing to bond over when she edits it. I examine slices of life we wouldn’t otherwise get around to talking about, and suddenly we’re passing notes back and forth like best friends in school. We are best friends, and of course the school is life itself.

    Some of the most successful people I know (or know of) credit blogging with changing their lives more thoroughly than anything else. You probably know people who say that about a journal. To me a blog is a journal, but with a point. It makes you a better writer than a journal does, because you’re trying to make it useful (or at least, entertaining) for someone else.

    It took a literary agent a whole year to talk me into blogging, Candace. I didn’t think I had that much to say! Can you imagine? Now I wonder if I’ll ever shut up. I hope not! Though I should probably give you your comments section back. (part 2 of 2)

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: