Is blogging writing?
I have had some disturbing conversations with a couple of friends of late.
They are great bloggers. Passionate. Funny. Prolific. With a great relationship with their audience.
But when I ask them if they consider themselves to be writers, the answer is a humble and emphatic No.
Were they overtaken with a sudden case of modesty? Had words failed them in the moment?
Let’s look at the title of “writer.” In some circles, the writer is exalted, a man or a woman of letters, an astute observer of society and history and reality. The writer is smarter than most, getting away with the most outrageous statements through clever wording or simple wit. They have no need of their giant paychecks or book advances, but accept them for the good of humanity.
Who wouldn’t want to be one of them?
The title of “writer” brings another common perception to mind. This lowly scribe scrapes by to make a living, living in the margins of our world, preying on our basest urges to string together pulp novels and propaganda. They work all hours for their “craft,” they smell funny, and they are perhaps one notch above con artists and baby killers.
Yikes. Who would want to be one of … them?
Bloggers, of course, are both. Their pungent aroma announces their arrival well in advance of their actual presence. They are paid handsome sums to do nothing but conjure sentences from nothingness. They work all the time, they are lauded for their unique views on life and strife, and they are both loved and loathed, dissected daily yet often misunderstood.
I’ve been a writer all my life. I’ve been a blogger for 6 years. It took me a while to embrace the term “blogger,” but I have done so enthusiastically.
If you blog haphazardly and with reckless disregard for structure or logic, you’re a writer. If you’ve ever earned even but a penny from AdSense on your blog, you’re a professional writer. And if you sit in your ratty pajamas at a rickety table with a wheezing laptop while churning out your latest rant against the government, the other women in your book club or the Almighty, you’re a damn writer.
Shun not the title of writer, you bloggers of the Internet. It not only represents the best compliment and the worst insult I could ever hurl at you, it also reveals your true essence: someone who can scarcely believe they do what they do for a living.
Is blogging writing? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
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