Recently, I read a post called A Duel of Words on Blogging at Bottledworder.com. I enjoyed the blog and the conversation. I thought more about the post and wondered, Is blogging serious writing?
By way of background, I’m primarily a fiction writer. I’ve had short stories and poetry published. A novel is underway (I’m working, I’m working). And along the way there have been contests won. Fourteen months ago I added blogging. And I’m definitely serious and curious about the art of writing.
So … to help me sort things out, I decided to compare and contrast the writing of a blog with the writing of fiction. Under likenesses, I use the term writer. Under differences, I use the terms blogger and author.
1. Each writer wants to develop a readership – the more, the better.
2. Each writer wants to create a good title that catches and resonates with readers.
3. Each writer needs to be familiar with the particular type of writing and its conventions.
4. The work needs to be well-written and coherent. The writer needs good mechanics, grammar, punctuation, vocabulary.
5. Each writer strives to create a good voice and a unique style.
6. Research on the topic is often involved.
7. Writers have to use paths necessary to get their work out to readers. e.g. traditional agent and publisher, self-publishing, Amazon’s CreateSpace, blog space such as WordPress, website, etc.
8. Writers use marketing and social media to promote interest.
9. Both blog and fiction writing are creative endeavors, whether a post or story or chapter, whether whimsical or fact driven or plotted.
10. Pieces have a beginning, middle, and end. They are written and revised.
11. The writer’s thoughts are shaped and voiced through writing.
12. To give value received, it’s work.
Writers serious about their writing have a lot in common.
1. Bloggers use the internet to put their writing before a reader. Authors have varied avenues: booksellers, literary journals, on-line journals, e-books, e-stories, talks, signings, websites, and blogs.
2. Blog content can be anything: essay, short story, novel excerpt, poetry, lyrics, lists, diary. It can be serious, humorous, informative, political, inspirational, satirical, on any topic or passion. A blogger wears many hats. An author writes content per the genre.
3. A blog is posted regularly, from daily to weekly to monthly; whatever the blogger chooses. Authors release their work at its completion and less often.
4. Blog posts by their nature are shorter, but posted more often. New ideas have to be found for each post. Authors have months or years, but it’s the same project over that time.
5. Bloggers are responsible for all visuals and lay-out. Authors have designers and book services to use.
6. A blog has certain writing practices such as shorter paragraphs, a closer voice, white space, less formal, not too long, visually attractive, immediate. Authors writing in traditional genres have established formats.
7. A blogger interacts with readers through conversations. Authors don’t have immediate feedback.
8. There is no filter for the blog post. The blogger simply posts it. Some authors also self-publish, unfiltered. Other authors choose to work with writers’ services, book shepherds, agents, editors, publishers.
Whether writing a blog or a piece of fiction, writers will find the work requires skill and style, knowledge and perseverance.
My conclusion? Putting together a successful blog requires writing skills, significant content, creativity, a good voice, style, technical skills with the site, and conversation. Yup. As far as I’m concerned, bloggers are writers, serious writers, working in an ever evolving, unique, and fluid medium. Is it a genre? I think so. A blog is just less boxable because of its fluidity … its greatest strength.
What say you? Agree? Disagree? Something to add?