Over the last month or so, I’ve noticed an increase in the number of journal entries which cover (or touch on) the subject of writers who blog. Some folks question whether unknown writers should even have a journal, and wonder what those unpublished, unpolished storytellers could possibly have to share with the world at large, others caution that blogging can take over your life, that it consumes valuable time which would be better spent on writing.
On the face of it, these are legitimate points of view. They certainly hit home with me. I spend a fair bit of time on the various social networks and I’d been blogging for six months before I sold my first (and so far, only) short story.
At one point, I became quite concerned. Am I doing the wrong thing here? Have I frittered away all this time on the worldwide web when I should have been writing? Then, I had one of those epiphany things, and realized I was worrying over nothing.
Unknown writers have nothing to offer? Piffle and poppycock!
Sorry for the strong language. I do understand that posting about which flavor yoghurt someone had for breakfast might not be of much use to anyone, but writerly type blogging can be of immense help to others. We share market news and writing tips; we encourage, empathize, congratulate and support each other. That’s an invaluable contribution, which everyone benefits from, I know I have. Besides, it’s great fun!
Does blogging get in the way of writing? Only if you let it.
On weekdays I average about an hour a day online (more at weekends) with another 10-15 minutes a day spent working on my own journal entries.
Since my very first Live Journal entry at the beginning of last year, I’ve made about 350 blog posts and fifteen thousand comments (most of them writing-related). At a rough guess, I’d say I’ve read/scanned in the region a hundred thousand blog posts, possibly more.
I’ve had a grand old time, made loads of friends and learned a lot of useful things in the process, but did all that social networking get in the way of my writing? I don’t think so.
Blogging and writing aren’t mutually exclusive. Sure, I could have spent all those hours working on new stories, but I could have just as easily sat in front of the telly, or gone to the movies, or played video games.
When people stop writing, it’s not because of their online journals, or book promotions, or American Idol, or family commitments, or any other great-sounding excuse, it’s because, at that point in time, the desire to write isn’t strong enough, and you know, that’s perfectly okay.
To hear some folks talk, you’d think the only way to become a ‘real’ writer is to dedicate every spare moment to ‘the craft,’ putting everything else in your life on hold. If that works for them, great, but it’s not for me. I’m serious about wanting a career as a writer, but I don’t see why we can’t enjoy the journey as well. I put myself firmly in the ‘We’ve a long road ahead of us, so let’s have fun along the way’ camp.
How about you?
Has your blogging interfered with your writing?