Blogging IS Real Writing
Written by AWB Blogger of the Month, Miss November 2012, Angie Albright of A Growing Season.
I wonder how many of my fellow bloggers the world over have been part of a conversation like the one I had with Well Meaning Woman:
Angie: I can’t wait to write about this! What a great story.
Well Meaning Woman: Oh yes, you should.
Angie: This is perfect for my blog.
Well Meaning Woman: Oh no, I meant real writing, not your blog.
What exactly constitutes “real writing”? Writing is words strung together with the intention to communicate. Isn’t that what a blog does?
After many years in academia I was a writing snob also. Unless you had been in a graduate writing program of some sort or had a natural genius, you couldn’t possibly be a real writer. Then I went and taught college composition for 17 years. Guess what? I have thousands of former students writers whom I worked hard to convince that they were writers. Those writers changed my mind. They were writing papers, emails, notes to their friends . . . They were writers.
I started my blog because I had stories to tell, and I could see that blogging was where it was at in the 21st Century. It combined my love of technology and fooling around on computers with writing. Blogging kept me coming back in a way that “real writing” did not. I have lots of that real writing in computer files, in notebooks in boxes, and it’s not doing a dang thing. My blog, on the other hand, and your blog, dear reader, is doing something. It’s communicating with people. We have something to say and for whatever reason, the blogosphere is where we find our voices every day.
Lots of bloggers are also “real writers” in many ways, but convincing them they are is not always easy. Kyran Pittman, of Planting Dandelions fame, offered the bloggers at the Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged Conference this sage advice: “Give yourself permission to be a writer.” This is hard to do! Her words had an effect on many of us, including my friend Jody who blogs at Mindless Wanderings and for Single Parent Scholarship Fund of NWA. She’s a great writer, but has said over and over that she’s not a writer. Now she knows better.
Lela Davidson just published her second book, Who Peed on My Yoga Mat?. She is a blogger also and understands about as well as anyone I’ve ever known the power of internet marketing and how to use a blog to build a platform and establish her voice. Heather Davis, author of Minivan Momma, made a recent appearance on the Dr. Oz show and has a book coming out soon as a result of her blog.
Many of my readers are readers of “real books” as well as blogs. So when Beth Stephens at The Little Magpie tells me she’s a fan of my blog, I know it’s coming from an experienced and avid reader of all kinds of literature. This kind of support that bloggers offer each other also stands out from what I’ve seen among the “real writers.” Bloggers are a generous bunch, and Arkansas Women Bloggers is a perfect example of that. Julie, Stephanie, Beth, and Fawn push us all to go farther and do new things while also promoting our work. I have a couple of local writing/blogging groups that I adore and who offer me support on such a regular basis. Stephanie McCratic, who blogs at Evolved Mommy, is one of those supporters. She brings bloggers together in all kinds of ways.
The next time someone questions whether blogging is real writing, ask Well Meaning Woman how many readers that “real novel” sitting in the desk drawer has had. Ask her if writing isn’t about communicating, and if it is, then isn’t blogging doing that? The answer, of course, is YES!
You, my blogger friends, are writers. You move me, make me laugh, teach me things, and show me the world every single day. Thank you for being brave enough to put your words out there and for being generous enough to share them with the rest of the whole wide world.