Day 24 – Blog Writing

21 Jul

I made it a goal to write this summer for at least a half an hour a day; instead, I’ve been blogging for about a half an hour a day. Blogging is writing you say? Well, yes it is, but it isn’t really what I had in mind, in fact I think it is a bit of a cop-out for me. Here’s the thing…

I love to write, and I love to write and share what I’ve written. It is exhilarating to write for an audience, whether the audience is known to you or not. But, what I really want to do, and part of my longer term goal, is to write a novel. I’ve started it, barely. Now that I’ve started to blog every day this summer, I feel this compulsion to continue. However, when I set the goal to write for at least a half an hour a day, all summer, I envisioned drafting my novel. I thought I’d force myself to write for thirty minutes, and it would turn into getting really into it some days and spending the better part of the day writing. That hasn’t happened yet.

Blogging is fun, because some people comment on what you’ve written and then you know you have an audience this is enjoying your work. Even when there are no comments, the blogging software keeps track of how many hits your blog gets, so you can look at the statistics and see how many people have read all or part of your blog posts. It’s easy to tell yourself that you’ve got a readership, no matter how small, that is looking for your next blog post.

Blogging is different than other writing though. Of course there are several things that are the same, but the differences really matter. If you’ve noticed, when I post a poem to my blog I almost always say that it isn’t finished. I do this because it is usually something I’ve just written; it’s a draft. Most writing, and almost all good writing, requires revision. Blogs are a bit like diaries that you let everyone read. Diaries don’t require drafts; they don’t even have to be good or interesting. I think some of my blogs are interesting and mostly well written, but many of them are just drafts of essays that I post for everyone to read like they’re something special, but they’re not. Blog writing is different because there is no other context where I’d post my ramblings, my drafts for the world to read (and perhaps judge).

Last week, when my friend and colleague Pat Rogers began her own blog, she made a comment that it was scary. I understand why someone would think it is scary. I think it is brave, especially in our profession. We teach children to write, so whatever we post for the world to read ought to be exemplary. With a blog, it shouldn’t have to be.

If you’ve been reading my blog for weeks now, or even longer, and you aren’t blogging yourself, I encourage you to give it a try. Write your blog, post it to facebook or twitter and let the world know that you have something to say. It’s fun, and it’s fun to be a part of a community that is blogging and reading each other’s blogs. As for me, I better stop blogging now. I should see if I can spend at least as long working on my novel as I did sitting here blogging about blogging.

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2 Responses to “Day 24 – Blog Writing”

  1. derekberry July 21, 2011 at 3:43 PM #

    Writing is as much an art as a discipline. The novel I’m currently shopping for an agent, I wrote it bit by bit every day after school and work. For two years. Summer, too, is a great time I’ve found for writing and working on future projects.
    But I think the regularity of blogging every day has helped me regulate my fiction writing schedule as well. So I think once that same determinedness is focused on writing that novel… it will get done.
    Great post. Keep writing!

  2. Lori July 21, 2011 at 5:05 PM #

    Thanks Debbie. I’ve really been debating starting a blog. Maybe this post is just the ‘push’ I need. 🙂

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