I’ve read a few posts recently on other blogs that seem to be questioning whether or not blogging counts as ‘real’ writing, and it’s definitely a question that’s been running through my head lately. Personally I’ve always loved writing – whether through crafting essays, poems, private journal entries, emails, snail-mail letters to my oldest friends, and now blog posts – I love finding the right word or phrase or sentence structure to say exactly what I want to say at any given time. Not that I always succeed, but I do always try!
Unfortunately for me I’m not an off-the-cuff blogger who can dash off a post at a moment’s notice, I always need to think carefully about what I write, take my time to get the words just right. I know this from experience, because sometimes when I’m commenting spontaneously on other blogs I write something that feels right at the time, but on reading it back later, it sounds completely different than I’d intended – I suppose I suffer a bit from a written version of ‘open mouth, insert foot’ kind of thing.
So for me, blogging is just as creative and inspiring as any other mode of writing, because I go through the same process of thinking about what I want to say, writing it the way it feels, leaving it for a while, then editing it as necessary before posting. And most importantly, blogging gives me the same sense of satisfaction as any other writing – it fulfils my long-held desire to see my words in print, on the page, on the screen. I always write something, somewhere, every day – I always have done – and for me, it’s all grist to the mill in my life-long quest to become a true wordsmith, a craftsman of all things written.
My hope is that someday, through sheer quantity – and with all that lovely practice, practice, practice – will come the quality I so crave. I used to think I’d love to write fiction; I have the imagination but I honestly don’t have the level of ongoing commitment required to keep up the pace required to succeed – I guess I just don’t want it enough. I do a bit better with writing non-fiction, as I love the research part; collating information, taking it all in and putting it together, processing it all then regurgitating it again in my own words, adding my own ideas to the mix. But again, it seems I just don’t want it enough to be in it for the long haul.
But blogging feels different. Blogging allows me to express myself in my own way, on my own terms, on whatever topic I choose, any time I like – and not only through the written word but also through using my own images from my love of photography. People might read what I write, and people might not – but it doesn’t really matter too much one way or another because my words are now out there to be read, and for me that is a worthwhile achievement in itself. For now, at least, blogging is enough.
So in a way for me the discussion separating blogging from ‘real’ writing is somewhat missing the point – writing to me is simply the act of putting one word in front of the other and forming a sentence, then putting one sentence in front of the other and forming a paragraph. For clarity, read what you have written so far, then repeat the exercise until your piece is complete. Writing can be approached cautiously or with carefree abandon, can be formal or informal, using big words or small words, can be paid or unpaid. For me, writing just is, so I guess my question is – how can blogging with words not count as writing?