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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 Some folks question whether unknown writers should even have a journal, and wonder what those unpublished, unpolished storytellers could possibly have to share with the world at large, others caution that blogging can take over your life, that it consumes valuable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? 

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May. 8th, 2010 04:04 pm (UTC)
Hemmingway lost more time to booze and fishing
and Fitzgerald more time to cocaine
than anyone ever lost on the internet.

Furthermore, the time it would take to go to the library
and look something up still takes more time
than googling it and spending the rest of the day on LJ and twitter...

Everything I've written this year,
and most of what I've written in the last several years,
was prompted either directly (in most cases) or indirectly
by an exchange that occured on the internet...

all twelve books I've sold were sold over the internet...

it's been more than two years since I've had a face-to-face discussion
about writing with anyone...
May. 8th, 2010 04:25 pm (UTC)
Sorry - as a librarian, I felt rather hurt by this:

furthermore, the time it would take to go to the library
and look something up still takes more time
than googling it and spending the rest of the day on LJ and twitter...

Really? You can call us up, you know! Or even e-mail us your questions. But two things I love about the library are face-to-face encounters with other human beings, and serendipity. Libraries are great!
(But, of course, I'm biased, being a librarian.)
May. 8th, 2010 04:39 pm (UTC)
I use the internet for a lot of my research, but I have to say, browsing through the reference section of my local library is a joy in itself :)
May. 8th, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC)
I enjoy going to the library, and am on good terms
with most librarians I know.

Additional thanks to The Command and General Staff College Combined Arms Research Library, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the Willa Cather Library, in Omaha, for assistance in researching this novel.

Additional thanks to Charlie Hubenka, Kate O'Keefe, Melissa Neneman, Lori Peterson and Jeff Pospisal, of the Willa Cather Library, in Omaha.
May. 8th, 2010 04:47 pm (UTC)
Good save ;)
May. 8th, 2010 05:01 pm (UTC)
And now everyone who reads your LJ
will know how to comport themselves
if they ever commit a comparable gaffe.

Well worth the time spent here.
May. 9th, 2010 03:48 pm (UTC)
Libraries, a great many of them, also offer services to home-bound patrons as well. The local library here does, and I think quite a few of them, too. Not to mention, all the different books. There are a lot of these, that you won't find on the Internet, a lot of good ones.
May. 11th, 2010 03:28 am (UTC)
Yes - yay, books! (But I think everyone here likes libraries, really.:))
May. 11th, 2010 04:37 am (UTC)
Well, books are always "online", so to speak, and accessible, whereas web sites can go down, for many reasons, including hacking.

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there



Books by my writer friends - compressed

NJ Writing groups - compressed

NJ writing conference - compressed

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