I want to preface this post with the following disclaimer: I write a relationship blog. I consider myself a writer first and a blogger second. Technically I am a woman first, wife, then Mom, then psychotherapist then writer…I think you understand me now. Maybe…
The other day, my husband and I were listening to a panel discuss blogging. During this discussion, a question was raised in the audience which was filled with people who were either new to blogging or considering it as a fun venture. The question was simple yet seemed to rip a hole in the tidy universe the panel was creating. The question was, ‘To blog, do you need to know how to write?’ We thought the answer was obvious but one of the panel members (you know who you are) said succinctly, ‘No, you don’t’.
This sent ripples of dissent amongst the veteran bloggers in the room of which there was a handful. Then, a flash of light split the room in the form of a hand being waved wildly in the air. The panel moderator turned to this person and called upon her to ask her question. She said, ‘What do you mean a blogger doesn’t need to know how to write. I’ve been to your blog, you are a good writer.’ The Panel member chuckled and muttered something about hiring an editor or something.
The brave blogger was Miss Britt, of http://miss-britt.com, and her question and more to the point, the tone, was the important part of this discussion. Writing a blog as a means to keep a record of your life and that of your family means you are journaling. Writing a blog because with the intention of having people read it, enjoy it and come back to read more, means you are a writer. You are an artist and an entertainer. To believe that one could create an audience with mediocre writing and the imagination of a sponge is an insult to those of us who do this on a daily basis.
The Travel Consumer Advocate, Christopher Elliot, calls bloggers the new journalists. Depending on what you write about, you are reporting something, whether it was a crumby day or a failed attempt at making a soufflé. In my case, I write about relationships and the things we do to mess them up. I take the time to develop an idea with my writing partner. I read and re-read every post I write. I keep my eyes open for topics and draw upon my own experience as a human being, wife, mother or therapist to give examples to strengthen my arguments. I write posts with a beginning, middle and conclusion and hopefully with something interesting and funny in between. I am a writer who blogs.
And now for my analysis of this belief that bloggers do not need to know how to write: Many bloggers may not identify themselves as writers because they are still in the closet. Coming out as a writer is a big deal and often met with ridicule, pity and confusion. To come out as a writer is to tell the world that you believe that you have a modicum of talent. Sure, most literate people can string together a few sentences but they would never consider themselves writers. A self identified writer is proclaiming that they are, for the most part, artists. Many people can’t take that plunge or are unwilling to allow their withering self-esteem a little light.
I am out and proud. I am a writer and I blog. Deal with it.
What about you? Are you willing to come out?
Lee from www.coupledumb.com
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