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View Full Version : Do you think that Blogging makes you a better writer?



Marilyn Braun
02-13-2006, 09:21 PM
Do you think regularly writing in your blog makes you a better writer?

veinglory
02-13-2006, 09:33 PM
Frankly, no--probably not. If anything it just eats into my proper writing time. Oh, well.

Dawno
02-13-2006, 09:37 PM
I think it depends on a number of factors. If you are composing and editing your blog carefully, as if it were an article or column and the blog is your 'magazine' or 'newspaper' then perhaps it might help improve your writing. If you pretty much extemporize and don't really edit, then, I'd agree with veinglory.

For folks not in the habit of writing something regularly, I think a blog can be a kickstart, but if it takes the place of other writing time I can imagine blogging might be a detriment.

huntwriter
02-13-2006, 10:02 PM
It's rather interesting that I come across this topic here today. Just last night my wife and I have had the same conversation. I am still struggling with English and thought that blogging would cure two of my pet problems, grammar and rambling on. But I have found that while blogging helped me to be more to the point because of the space restriction it also has led me to just write it right down without editing and then post it.

Having come to this realisation I will have to pay more attention to this in the future. A blog can be a window for others to see your writing talent, or lack of it, so yes it should be well written and edited. Oh, well something else to work on it.

aka eraser
02-13-2006, 10:04 PM
I think anytime your brain is engaged in the process of writing, any writing, it can only help you improve. You certainly are unlikely to see any notable improvement from post to post, but you should after a year, or three or 37.

JenNipps
02-13-2006, 10:34 PM
Everyone who has posted has very valid points, IMO. I think if it actually helps or not is highly personal and probably has a lot to do with what Dawno has said.

As for mine, no, I don't think it helps me be a better writer. Nor does it precisely cut into other writing time because
1 - I don't update that often (especially not as often as I probably should unless there's stuff going on).
2 - I write and post my blog entries at the end of the day when my writing is done for the moment or at the beginning of the day before I get started. In that case, it's probably a warm-up of sorts.

Marilyn Braun
02-13-2006, 10:36 PM
I think it's made me a better writer and now I'm more conscious of editing and tightening what I write. If I didn't have the blog I don't think I would know where to begin in order to improve. There needs to be some sort of a forum or outlet. If anything, its certainly helped me to take my writing more seriously.

Richard
02-13-2006, 10:39 PM
Potentially, but I don't think the atmosphere is that great - it's unedited, the writing usually going uncommented on (although possibly not the opinions expressed using it) and it's very easy to slip into bad habits and call them a style.

Marilyn Braun
02-13-2006, 11:04 PM
Potentially, but I don't think the atmosphere is that great - it's unedited, the writing usually going uncommented on (although possibly not the opinions expressed using it) and it's very easy to slip into bad habits and call them a style.

Maybe this is off-topic but how do you know when you've developed a style? Is it a comfort level for the writer? perfecting the craft? or is it when someone objectively recognizes it as a style?

Richard
02-13-2006, 11:21 PM
However you write, it's your style. When you focus on writing in a particular way for your audience, you're developing a style. And I guess when you get to the point where you're comfortable, and it's consistent, you've developed one.

Unique
02-14-2006, 12:29 AM
I don't think it makes me a better writer, but it's a lot more fun editing a blog than a grocery list so I think I'll keep after it. :)

huntwriter
02-14-2006, 01:23 AM
I don't think it makes me a better writer, but it's a lot more fun editing a blog than a grocery list so I think I'll keep after it. :)

:ROFL:Now that's the funniest thing I heard today.:ROFL:

emeraldcite
02-20-2006, 08:07 PM
I'm a firm believer that practice makes perfect. If you play a video game every day, you'll get better. If you stop for six months and come back, you won't be as good as you were.

I think some of it depends on whether or not you take your text seriously. If you treat it like a chat, then it'll help you only with your conversational English. If you at least give some thought to structure, grammar, and meaning, I think it helps quite a bit.

The more you write, the more you solidify your voice. I count my blog as practice, adding to the whole of my skill. Then again, when I post, I make an attempt to make it clear and error-free (it's not, but I give it a once- or twice-over).

L M Ashton
02-22-2006, 01:43 PM
I think it can help a person become a better writer, but I also think it depends on how you treat your writing and your blog. Or, you know, how you use it.

I've seen some blogs that were barely coherent - no capitilization, bad punctuation and grammar, poor word usage, sentence fragments, run on sentences. All the stuff that would get you a failing grade for junior high English.

I've seen others that had entries that, not only was the structure all there, but were thoughtful, cohesive, and easy to understand.

I've also seen others that were more of a collection of photos with little writing at all.

There's all kinds out there. The question is... What do you want out of your blog?

SeanDSchaffer
02-24-2006, 12:09 PM
I think it can help a person become a better writer, if the blogger in question does with the blog what they do with their regular written works. For instance, if a blogger is also a novelist, and they have a certain way of writing their novels, then writing their articles in a similar fashion can help them to sharpen their skills, in my opinion.

But it has been pointed out (and I agree with this assessment) that if it's just written out and published, without any editing, etc., it could very easily become a problem and possibly dull a person's writing abilities.

I think it's all a matter of how the blog is prepared and written.

Dawno
02-25-2006, 10:25 PM
All very good points - so let's look at the other side - do you think that blogging might somehow be detrimental to writers - take some time to read blogs by published authors and read them critically - are they becoming lazy or sloppy? "It's just a blog, why get worked up" or do they, knowing it's their public face, take the time to be careful? Now that Amazon is publishing writer blogs that might be a great place to look. I'm sure we also know other writers blogs out there - anyone interested in that discussion?

ETA: we've got a sticky thread in the Announcements forum with writers' websites (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8031) listed. That might be a place to look as well.

Just remember - respect your fellow writers - anything you say should be constructive and courteous.

DebbieOhi
02-26-2006, 06:57 PM
My personal blog (Blatherings (http://www.blatherings.com/)) has definitely helped me become a better writer. I've been writing it for nearly 10 years now. I do incorporate graphics, but most entries focus on the writing more than the graphics.

Forcing myself to write regularly about SOMETHING has helped me learn to write even when I don't feel like it.

Writing my Blatherings is like my morning cup of coffee in terms of "warming up" for my other writing.

I rarely pick a topic for a blog entry before I sit down to write it. As a result, my archive have a very wide range of topics since I usually write each entry off the top of my head. Later on if I'm looking for magazine articles ideas, I sometimes go through my archives and pick out ones to polish for full-length articles, or to use as query ideas.

I've gotten paying writing and illustration assignments because of my Blatherings. Some of these are because editors happen to be reading my Blatherings for personal enjoyment but then see something they'd like to have turned into a feature article. Sometimes an editor is doing a search for a particular topic they'd like to have an article written about and they find one of my entries (see below).

The accumulated content seems to have attracted the attention of search engines, especially Google; I've been told my Blathering entries have a lot of "Google Juice." I've found this useful in PR/marketing for my writing projects. I know PR/marketing isn't necessary for the craft of writing (which is probably what you were talking about when you said "better writer"), but it certainly does help in the business of writing.

Having said the above, however, I know that blogs aren't for everyone.

Dawno
02-26-2006, 08:40 PM
Debbie, thank you for sharing. I'm guessing that the editors you mention already knew about you from working with you in the past - it's probably not the case that someone relatively unknown out on the long tail of the blogosphere would get an offer of an assignment simply from their blogging, right?

Squidgygirl
02-27-2006, 01:59 AM
I'm hoping blogging will help me to become a better writer. I hear all the time how keeping some sort of a journal will improve your writing, but it's just not something I can get into.

I've tried and tried to do it - the worst attempt being trying to write in a nice, expensive journal, because my handwriting goes to **** as soon as I start flowing and getting excited about something and I hate to have messy writing in a lovely book!

I religiously kept a diary and wrote poetry as a teenager, but I can't seem to do either now, so blogging is just my latest attempt at keeping a journal. Couldn't say if it's made any difference yet, because I only started it this week! :D

DeniseK
02-27-2006, 02:02 AM
I have the same problem with the handwriting. Computers are the best thing since sliced bread.

And I think blogging, if nothing else, will help me with the habit of editing.

Dawno
02-27-2006, 02:03 AM
Hi Squidgygirl! Welcome to the Blogging forum. Don't forget to introduce yourself and tell a little about your blog up in the Absolute Writers' Blogs (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22139) thread. We look forward to your contributions to the conversations here. Good luck with your writing and your blog.

Marilyn Braun
02-27-2006, 04:56 AM
All very good points - so let's look at the other side - do you think that blogging might somehow be detrimental to writers - take some time to read blogs by published authors and read them critically - are they becoming lazy or sloppy? "It's just a blog, why get worked up" or do they, knowing it's their public face, take the time to be careful? Now that Amazon is publishing writer blogs that might be a great place to look.

Amazon is publishing writers blogs? How/Why?

Dawno
02-27-2006, 05:16 AM
It's called Amazon Connect (tm) and if you go about halfway down a book listing page you'll see a little blog type area with author posts and comments.

Not all authors have them yet - Here's a link to Anita Diamant's (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0743225732/qid=1141002838/sr=2-2/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_2/102-4127234-1008927?s=books&v=glance&n=283155) (she wrote The Red Tent and Last Days of Dogtown)

BlueTexas
02-27-2006, 05:52 AM
Sometimes blogging helps me distill my thoughts, and leads me in a new thought direction. Sometimes it's just news. Rather like a journal, really, which I also keep, more religiously than my blog.

WordSoup
02-27-2006, 05:47 PM
I only been blogging for a month. I started for the same reasons some of you did: getting the creative juices flowing, at least write something every day, to journal random thoughts, etc.

As far as it making me a better writer - here's the added bonus about blogging that snuck up on me: My writing is a lot less stilted. (And that's beginning to carry over to my work) My inner editor/critic is a nit-picking evil little woman who makes me delete gobs of words before I even post on here. On my blog, however, it's just me. The critic doesn't seem to mind that I'm just letting the words flow and the sentences pile up. After I push the Publish button, she does step in to add her 2 cents "Ya know, ya still gotta typo in that 3rd paragraph."
But that's OK. It's just for me.
I'll let her step in again before something important goes to an editor.

- Jen

DTKelly
02-27-2006, 08:56 PM
I do think blogging helps--- if for nothing else to get everything else out of one's head....

Granted, I haven't been blogging much, but it seems when I have trouble with what I'm working on, if I shoot of a short blog entry it relieves some of the frustration of not 'getting it down on paper'.

Maybe that's just me. :Shrug: