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Dawno
11-15-2005, 05:37 AM
In the "Your Sparkly Mod" thread is this from Jenna:


And the rest of you: Your job is to convince Dawno that she IS a real writer after all.

That got me to thinking. There are a number of writers who have blogs but are bloggers writers or are just a subset of them writers - and what makes the difference?

I find it very easy to say I'm a blogger but nearly impossible to say I'm a writer. I got to thinking about that today. Partly it's because here on AW I consider you folks to be real writers - whether you're published or not, whether you're novelists, freelancers, text-book authors, researchers, editors, and all kinds of etc., you're all writers to me.

I came to AW as a person who loves reading and is a huge fan of writers. I wanted to learn more about the art and business of writing and get a peek behind the scenes at real writers.

So, back to the question - bloggers as writers. If I decide to pour all my creative energy into writing a blog and making that the body of my work, am I a writer?

Tiaga
11-15-2005, 05:41 AM
Nope you are a blogger.

Dawno
11-15-2005, 05:45 AM
Pithy. Care to say why you have that opinion? (not that I'm disagreeing - I'm actually interested in your reason.)

unthoughtknown
11-15-2005, 05:47 AM
There are some really awful and poorly-written blogs out there...

Um.

unthoughtknown
11-15-2005, 05:48 AM
There are some really awful and poorly-written blogs out there...

But then again, I'm sure this applies to some published books out there too... hehe

Lady of Prose
11-15-2005, 06:42 AM
Dawno, I think you have potential to be a great free lance columnist.

Why not submit some short articles and get some feed back.

Tiaga
11-15-2005, 06:55 AM
Most blog writing is like writing in a diary or writing letters. There is such a vast amount of blogs that unless backed by creditable sources or a strong CV most are placed in the "Diary" category. Some lit blogs , journalist blogs and political blogs are exceptions to the norm.

Our work must for the most part be critiqued, edited and subscribed to. This makes writers truly writers.

A blogger friend suggests this. Make your blog only open to subscribers and track how many return. Then make a blog that you have to pay to read and see how many subscribers you get. Those that do are the real writers the rest of us are just putzing around as bloggers. It's fun but just having a blog doesn't make us writers.

Alphabet
11-15-2005, 08:15 AM
Well.. if you were looking for an 'occupation' to put on your passport would you put 'blogger' - you might if you made a living from it. What if you were 'unemployed' but blogged - could you put blogger as the occupation if you didn't earn anything from it? - you might not - but many entrepreneurial businesses wouldn't balk at claiming to be a business long before they actually made profits.. hmmm... so we've probably got 'blogging' isn't a profession, but maybe blogging is being an 'entrepreneur'

Now.. on to 'is blogging writing?' well yes, it unavoidably is - unless it is an art blog with only pictures in it... hmmm.. and what if it WAS a blog of pictures? would that blogger be less an artist just because of the medium used to frame the artwork? I think not... so we've got that blogging uses words so it must be writing - and from that we can surely say that if it is writing produced then the producer of said writing must indeed be a writer..

But, then we come back to the 'you didn't get paid' and 'you didn't get selected' argument - well, neither did Louise L Hay - she had to create her own publishing house and now Hay House is huge and she couldn't possibly not be called a writer - she got her public approval but only after going out there and getting the public herself and isn't that exactly what bloggers do? some of them, anyway.

There's something about this audience aspect, you know, I mean in as much as a person has a desire to write things down and acts on it, why, that makes them a writer - one who writes - you know, as opposed to a drawer or a footballer (although there are indeed overlaps) - but are you a footballer if you only play in your back garden, or only play in the school yard or alleyway - no, the audience is necessary!

how big an audience, though?.. that's all it is.. it isn't about what you write or whether anyone approved you or whether anyone pays you, it is simply about whether people read what you say and come and read some more of what you say a different day - and of course, how many do - how many would it need to be? Can the selected book author who only ever sold 1,000 books and only 10% of those ever did finish the book claim any seniority over a blogger who may have only 50 readers, but ones that keep re-visiting, 54 times in a year..

Well now it seems that blogging is writing, and it can be considered entrepreneurial activity, bloggers could indeed be termed writers in many cases and revenue acquired isn't relevent - but quality is.. so that's what it is.. you can say 'I write a quality blog' or 'I'm the writer of a popular blog' and now I think maybe 'blogger' is indeed short for 'writer of a blog' which if we'd remembered that from the beginning could have saved a lot of pondering.

What REALLY is the 'deal' here, though, and a difficult deal for a writer to manage, is that much as writers love words and agonise over them some words just aren't important - and the most not important words of all are on un-necessary labels - labels like 'writer' 'blogger' 'comedian' 'actor' - isn't it horrid how its the arts that get so label obsessed and contentious - you'd never see two painters quarelling whether using gloss or matt made a real difference to whether you could call yourself a painter or not.

Tiaga
11-15-2005, 08:33 AM
But if you only paint your own house or garage or a friends house are you a painter? Not as most people understand it.
If you play football in the park with friends you are not a football player. You are an amature that hasn't passed any tests or benchmarks to signify otherwise.

The best gauge to measure whether you are a "real writer" is peer acceptance of your skill level.
It is one undisputable way to seperate the hobbyist from the professional in almost any endevour.

Medievalist
11-15-2005, 08:54 AM
Most blog writing is like writing in a diary or writing letters. There is such a vast amount of blogs that unless backed by creditable sources or a strong CV most are placed in the "Diary" category. Some lit blogs , journalist blogs and political blogs are exceptions to the norm.

Our work must for the most part be critiqued, edited and subscribed to. This makes writers truly writers.

Blogs are merely containers, presentation devices for text.
Books are other containers for text, as are scrolls, and cuneiform tablets.

People who write are writers. People who are paid to write are professional writers.

Bloggers are writers (and artists, and photographers, some of them).

And blogs are also subscribed to--the underlying technology of web services, with protocols like Atom and RSS make stats checking less than useful as a way of checking the numbers of readers.

September skies
11-15-2005, 09:16 AM
So, back to the question - If I decide to pour all my creative energy into writing a blog and making that the body of my work, am I a writer?

I say YES. There are different kinds of writers - and blogging when taken with such seriousness and creativity, is writing!

When I applied for a position at a large newspaper, the editor (in my third interview) was so nice. I had been writing for a small paper for a year but had no degree. When he saw that I had no journalism degree, he said, "The nice thing about being a reporter - once you've been published, you're a journalist and you don't need a degree to prove it."

Dawno - you're a writer. Plain and simple. :)

Dawno
11-15-2005, 09:27 AM
Thanks, September skies, I appreciate that! And everyone else who's joined in with their opinions - thank you, too.

I see the blogging as practice writing. I don't edit it very thoroughly (yet) because I'm more interested in just getting the thoughts "out there" than crafting and agonizing over what I'm trying to say. The blog will evolve as I evolve as a writer. (there, I said it)

A. Hamilton
11-15-2005, 10:33 AM
I'd say you're a writer as a hobby, but obviously not as a profession. You still write and others read it.

Dawno
11-15-2005, 10:48 AM
I completely agree, Peyton, so far it's just a hobby - but I don't want this thread to be about Dawno (tempting as that is). Generically, do you think that about bloggers as writers?

JennaGlatzer
11-15-2005, 11:47 AM
Generally, no, I don't-- if that's all they write. But it also depends on the quality of the writing and the goals of the blogger-- does the blogger just want to write stuff down to share with friends, or is this blogger trying to reach a wider audience and write skillfully?

Whether you blog or you don't isn't my criteria for calling you a writer, Dawno. I'm calling you a writer because you're a damn good writer. You're a fantastic humorist. I don't care why you came here initially; I care that you recognize your talent and put it to use! :)

Lady of Prose
11-15-2005, 01:19 PM
Thank you, Jenna! You speak the truth. Hear that Dawno?

Unique
11-15-2005, 04:59 PM
Dawno's a writer; Dawno's a writer, :wag:nyah, nyah

I think some bloggers are writers and the rest try to be. I mean, I could get my cat a blog and let her run across the keyboard...and as much as I love her, sorry - she'll never be a writer.

But at least the humans can have hope their skills will improve and they, too, can become writers. ...like you, Dawno...:hi:....A STAR is Born!

Marilyn Braun
11-15-2005, 06:29 PM
I think that blogs give an outlet to people who might not otherwise have some type of forum for their work.

Yes, most blogs are very personal in their 'theme', almost self-indulgent online therapy sessions. I'm not diminishing the content of those blogs but I don't think they are intended for a wider audience.

I do have a blog and I love it. Writing about British royalty doesn't tend to have many outlets, especially the type of royalty that I do - satirical, biographical, commentary.... The commentary probably is the most common type of royal news..which I did a lot of for the wedding of Charles and Camilla. I tend to miss the boat on submitting this work, 1) because I'd just started the blog when it was happening, 2) I didn't really have the confidence in my writing - although sometimes even that's debatable.

Submitting a piece of work to a newspaper, whether you've written it on a blog or not, doesn't make a difference - at least I don't feel it does. The work is what's important, not where it came from. Why are we defining being a writer by being published? Was Van Gogh not a painter because his success came after his death? Prior to her success, was Madonna not a singer because she didn't have a record contract?

Of course I'm biased with the blog thing as I have my own and I do consider myself to be a writer because that's what I do all day. I don't get paid for it, I would like to, and I'm trying to figure out how, especially as I think I have a niche with writing about royalty. My work is intended for a wider audience, and I try to publicize it as much as I can, in any way that I can - mainly on royalty sites. One site did find me and asked me to write on their webpage about royalty, so what I'm doing does work.

I consider myself to be a writer - I may not be a professional, I may not be published in newspapers and magazines, but I'm published on the web. Isn't that where most people get their news and information from? How can being published on the web be minimized then?

Dawno
11-15-2005, 07:57 PM
Great posts! Thanks for participating.

I also greatly appreciate the words of support, even the 'nyah, nyah' :) I'm researching markets and writing small pieces - who knows? You'll be the first to hear if I do get published.

Medievalist
11-15-2005, 08:36 PM
The more I think about it, the less I like the concept of a "professional writer."

It's not that solid a concept; Chaucer made money as a Customs inspector, and wine importer, not a writer. Shakespeare made his most of his money as a theater owner and landowner, not as a playwright. Spenser and Milton also depended on alternate sources of income, as did most of the other "greats."

Increasingly I think writers write. Heaven knows I never ever in a million years planned to depend on writing for most of my income; it's just luck (bad luck maybe!).

aka eraser
11-15-2005, 11:15 PM
People who care about what they write; who ponder, then select the right word or phrase to express themselves, are writers.

(And I'm officially coming out of the closet to declare myself a member of the Dawno-is-a-writer camp.)

Lyra Jean
11-15-2005, 11:25 PM
If you write and post it somewhere for others to read whether on the net as a blog or making your magazine (zine) then you are a writer. Whether you are a good writer is up for debate, I'm not calling anyone a bad writer here, quality is in the eyes of the reader.

gina
11-16-2005, 02:31 PM
I just found this sub forum. I blog, and I have three blogs. One is of the personal blog nature. The other is actually a review site in which I review items such as movies, television programs and music. I used the blog format to start this site because I wanted to see if I could do it, and if people would actually read before I jumped in and bought a domain and web space for the site. Seems like it took off because I have 20,000 visitors in just a little over two months. Also because of that site, I was hired on to maintain a blog for another site back in September. I'll be paid to write for this site at some point in the near future, and I cover mostly entertainment news of the day on that site. However, I'm listed as one of the site's bloggers.

I think bloggers definitely can be considered writer's. I know personally the type of reviews I write would be seen on websites usually, but they are still just on my blog. I've sold articles. I write fiction. I think the distinction needs to be if the blogger is only blogging for personal purposes such as in a personal diary or if there is more behind it. I've seen many sites labeled blogs that are much more than just a blog. They report news and have content that is not about themselves but about the world around them. If the latter is the case, then I'd say you're a writer.

Mike Coombes
11-21-2005, 01:03 PM
They aren't necessarily the same thing. Some writers blog. some bloggers write. Some bloggers eng up getting their blog piublished, some writers never get into print.

Being a writer, for many here, is a state of mind, rather than a career; If you decide you are a writer, then a writer you are.

MarkPettus
11-21-2005, 08:00 PM
Are bloggers writers?

Yes, if they write their blogs.

More important is this: Are chiropractors doctors?

Dawno
11-21-2005, 08:17 PM
I'd rather know if chiropractors have blogs. That could be some interesting reading.

MarkPettus
11-21-2005, 08:24 PM
http://new-york-chiropractor.blogspot.com/

Hey! Don't hit me. You asked.

maestrowork
11-21-2005, 09:25 PM
Somehow my post was lost...

My thought is that you're a writer when you write, even in the style of a journal. I think blogging is different than, say, posting messages on a message board. Blogging seems to me is about self-expression, and those who blog seem to at least like to write... so in my book they're writers.

Now, whether they're good writers is an entirely different matter.

Anatole Ghio
11-29-2005, 01:34 PM
If being published and paid were the only criterea for being a writer, than Dennis Rodman or Jenna Jameson (as the publishers would have us believe) were writers, but Kafka (who chose not to publish while living) wasn't a writer.

Now if Kafka could've only blocked shots like Rodman, or the rack of Jenna Jameson, he never would've had to rely on being a writer for his immortality... so there you go.

dlcharles
02-28-2009, 02:48 AM
In the "Your Sparkly Mod" thread is this from Jenna:



That got me to thinking. There are a number of writers who have blogs but are bloggers writers or are just a subset of them writers - and what makes the difference?

I find it very easy to say I'm a blogger but nearly impossible to say I'm a writer. I got to thinking about that today. Partly it's because here on AW I consider you folks to be real writers - whether you're published or not, whether you're novelists, freelancers, text-book authors, researchers, editors, and all kinds of etc., you're all writers to me.


I came to AW as a person who loves reading and is a huge fan of writers. I wanted to learn more about the art and business of writing and get a peek behind the scenes at real writers.

So, back to the question - bloggers as writers. If I decide to pour all my creative energy into writing a blog and making that the body of my work, am I a writer?


Anyone who puts an assortment/collection of letters together to form a language which is read and understood by others - or hidden away in private - is a writer. Be it blog, editorials, poetry, articles, short stories, novels, screenplays, etc. you are a writer. The accepted separations sometimes create a confusion - am I being paid for my words, are people recognizing my efforts in some way (awards, accolades), and do the readers consider me a 'writer'? There is also an 'accepted' difference beween a writer (endless variations) and an author. In my humble opinion if you are 'blogging' consistently and have followers then you are a writer. I, personally, am a 'writer', am an 'author', am a 'novelist', even a 'poet' - and I have a blog (even using the blog to allow interaction as a story unfolds in snippets). Yes, Virginia - you ARE a writer.

kristin724
02-28-2009, 10:07 AM
Neat question. I haven't seriously thought about it before. I mean you notice if you go to a blog written by a kid with a lot of slang and mistakes that its not a professional. Sometimes it annoys me, other times its understandable. Writers blog, but you don't have to be a writer to blog in this day and age, I think. I'd like people to speak and writer normal, proper, grammatically correct English online and in real life. People have such problems with accents and non American terms, if you just used the language properly, it would be a lot easier for us all!

virtue_summer
03-01-2009, 11:43 PM
I think bloggers are writers. Does this mean they're necessarily good writers? Does it mean they're serious writers? No. It only means that they are writers, usually writing on a regular basis. They can be really bad writers. They can be completely hobby writers with no intent to ever write anything that would get published by someone else. But I'd still say they're writers. I think the problem comes when we think of writing as a title. "Hi. I'm so and so and I'm a writer." The reason that would grate on a lot of people here is because people here are, by and large, serious writers who really work hard to improve and have set their own goals to reach when it comes to their writing. So they don't like the term "writer" used flippantly, whether it's technically correct or not. But I still think it's correct. It's even more correct when you have a blogger who, whatever the subject of the blog, takes it seriously and you can see is actually taking the time and care to create interesting and eminently readable content.

AlanS2323
03-18-2009, 09:52 PM
What does it really mean to be a "writer" anyway? I think the most common definition is that you write for a living, or at least if not professionally, you have a big platform. So if you're asking whether a blogger is a writer, I suppose that depends on how many people read her blog and how much money she makes blogging.

benbradley
03-18-2009, 10:03 PM
A blogger writes (even occasionally, as in my blog), so a blogger is a writer. A blogger might also be a reporter, and might also be an author, but not necessarily so.

What does it really mean to be a "writer" anyway? I think the most common definition is that you write for a living, or at least if not professionally, you have a big platform. So if you're asking whether a blogger is a writer, I suppose that depends on how many people read her blog and how much money she makes blogging.
Someone who earns a living (or has significant income from) blogging would be a "professional blogger" or even a "professional writer" as blogging implies writing.

AlanS2323
03-18-2009, 10:08 PM
A blogger writes (even occasionally, as in my blog), so a blogger is a writer. A blogger might also be a reporter, and might also be an author, but not necessarily so.

Someone who earns a living (or has significant income from) blogging would be a "professional blogger" or even a "professional writer" as blogging implies writing.

Well, I know that blogging is writing, and a blogger is a writer in the literal sense. But I assume that this question is not about the literal definition, but a more nuanced definition. In general, if someone calls himself a writer, it implies professionally. By the literal definition, everyone is a writer because everybody writers letters, emails, etc.

veinglory
03-18-2009, 10:21 PM
I am with Alan, if you say "I am a writer" to another person it implies that is your profession or vocation.

MargoWest
03-23-2009, 09:49 PM
I used to think that blogging was generally considered "writing" if you were doing it to an audience(versus a personal, diary-like blog), but the post about Kafka is an excellent point. Maybe you're a writer if that's how you think of yourself, and otherwise you're a diarist.