Authors discuss if blogging is real writing and my head explodes

In Writing Inspiration by Kate Mayer | | 14 Comments

Originally Published On Kathryn Mayer - Writing Out Loud

Authors discuss if blogging is real writing and my head explodes

Authors discuss if blogging is real writing and my head explodes

Twice, (okay, maybe three or four times) recently I have been insulted to the level of despair, which is in part, why I got my blogging ass to a BinderCon NYC (a serious writing conference for women and non-males), and why I committed to doing #NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) to post one blog a day for 30 days of November (this is #5).

Here’s how one such insult went down.

At a small local writers panel of published authors in a local library, the question arose what was the difference between a writer and an author. The panelists concluded that an author is a published writer, and discussion ensued. The moderator then asked: what about blogging?

Is blogging writing?

The silence from the panel was palpable, followed by eye-rolls, and even one elbow nudge evident to the audience of about 30, especially this blogger right here. It was like an inside joke, and bloggers were the punch line.

It was like an inside joke, and bloggers were the punch line. Click To Tweet

“I guess I’ll take this one,” the first panelist resigned, as if she were letting us know Facebook memes are not a reliable news source. What follows are other random responses (paraphrased cuz the blood was rushing in my ears and my brain was about to explode):

“Blogging, is well, less professional.”

“Sorry to say, but it’s an on-line diary. Nobody cares what you ate for lunch.”

“To be honest, I’m worried about the quality – the quality of the writing.”

“It’s for amateurs really, it’s not what we do.”

“Most readers don’t want to hear about your kids.”

Could I have been the only person insulted? I doubt it, but being that I’m not a real writer, or journalist, only a blogger throwing up personal guts on the internet for no one to read, maybe I don’t have the neurons to understand why words on a page vs words on-line, or storytelling bound and sold at Barnes & Noble vs storytelling shared on-line or around a campfire are that drastically different.

Can a blogger consider themselves a real writer?

Can a blogger consider themselves a real writer? Click To Tweet

I happen to believe anyone writing is a writer. Maybe the stories are great, maybe just so-so, maybe they are awesome and go viral and become a home run, or nobody reads them but your mother and the person you’re writing about.

Doesn’t really matter.

It’s writing. It’s all writing.

Writers write, and nobody on a panel anywhere will convince me differently. On-line, on a cocktail napkin, on the back of the CVS receipt, written in a journal and tucked under a mattress, tapped out on the notes of a smart phone. Ideas spark stories, and those with a larger life need to be told.

Sometimes those stories grab hold, and can change the world. Or just one person in it.

That’s enough.

Perhaps those “authors” on the panel that day have the means to reach more ears, and it’s likely most bloggers want to one day be a published author of a printed and bound book for sale at a local bookseller. I know I do. Or think I do.

But in the meantime, I along with others, will continue to write on little known blogs, even those “silly mommy blogs” as one real writer said to me recently in disgust, in order to share, laugh, complain, and connect little pieces of life as I live it, to anyone who happens to click.

Small truths have large ripple effects and are a powerful means to create conversations, build relationships, and touch hearts when a reader, even if just one, says:

“Me too! I thought I was the only one.”

Writers reflect life in little moments. So do bloggers, and sometimes, inspiration ensues. That’s the essence of good storytelling. That’s the result of writing and reading. That’s what we all want to do, and it doesn’t matter how we do it or where the story finds a home, as long as someone is home when it gets there.

BIG FAT DISCLAIMER: NaBloPoMo is about consistency, posting daily for November, not 100% dedicated to quality. Pleases don’t judge too harshly, as typos and errors may in fact happen, when of course, this would never occur if I were a real writer.


About the Author

Kate Mayer

Writer, humorist, activist Kate Mayer writes all over the internet with humor, wit, and misguided wisdom, and is often, but not always, funny on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. When she can’t sell her essays, she publishes them on her blog at www.KathrynMayer.com for her mother, rather-attractive-husband, and four and a half semi-adult children to read.

14 Comments on “Authors discuss if blogging is real writing and my head explodes”

  1. Wow, those people have probably never even read a blog. Talk about a superiority complex! You are right that all writing is writing and if it touches even one person, then it’s meaningful.

  2. We [bloggers] can have the last laugh, because many “writers” are unable to capture the unique voice of blogging. Perhaps the word “blog” only inspires them to think of personal blogs, but I, and many others, make a good living blogging for businesses. Write on, bloggy friends!

  3. I come here from Beyond Your Blog. My blog does not have very many personal stories. It is about my faith and about Jesus. I have written it for almost eight and a half years. I have some very faithful readers. I would have been offended had I been in that group.

    1. Reaching just one reader makes writing worth our while. Beyond Your Blog has helped me reach even more, as I’m sure it has you! Thx for the comment!

  4. It’s hard enough for a beginning writer to develop confidence in the process without the snobbery of the self-appointed gatekeepers of the acceptable avenue of worthy words. To me, if your message reaches someone and stirs emotion, it’s valid. I dare say there are enough readers in the world to go around. What are they so afraid of? That we haven’t gone through the proper editor/agent/publisher machinery? Paid our dues? Been sufficiently flogged with rejection?

  5. This is exactly why I always refer to myself as a writer (even though I have a blog). Maybe it is self-justification or simply in defense against the judgments listed above.
    I also think that many “traditional writers” are hanging onto antiquated ideas about the writing world.
    Blogs, from what I am seeing, are not what they were originally. Which was a web log, a regular personal journal type posting in very loose format about what is going on in your every day life.
    My blog, for example, is really a collection of essays with an overall theme of creating a saner life. How does that not make me a writer? What is the difference between my collection of essays on my website and your collection of essays in a book?
    What is the threshold for considering myself an actual “writer?” Is it writing a book? Or publishing an essay in a major publication (where perhaps it will sit directly next to theirs)?

  6. It’s like working mothers insulting stay at home mothers, and visa versa–– writers throwing other writers under the bus. I work hard on my posts for my own blog and other sites. My work is featured regularly in HuffPo, but as we all know, I’m not paid for that. So, what does that say about me as a writer?

    Like Sane Mama, when I’m asked, I say I’m a writer. If someone’s interested, I fill in the details. But owning that statement: I’m a writer, is key to being taken seriously. It’s taken practice!

    1. I’m a writer. Damn straight! Love the SAM vs working mom comparison. Perhaps much of the discrimination is due to on-line vs. in-print; however on-line has potential for much greater reach than most in-print (if indeed, they are still in-print!)

  7. I am a writer because I write every day. It doesn’t matter whether I’ve “sold” anything to a print publication or give it away for free on the blog that I author. Writer’s write. I don’t think this kind of snobbish distinction exists in other artistic professions. What do they call a singer who doesn’t have a record? A singer. What do they call a painter who didn’t sell a painting? A painter. The dictionary doesn’t distinguish the word author as someone who is published in a magazine or actual book, just someone who publishes a piece of writing. I publish on my blog every week, therefore, I am an author.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *