Are Bloggers Really Writers?

I was in Kindergarten when I picked up my first novel (Babysitters Little Sister – holla!) that a family friend had given me to save for when I was actually old enough to read it, and I never looked back. I knew that I could read picture books, so why couldn’t I read a bunch of words smushed together with no pictures?

After that point, I devoured books like it was going out of style. I read Sweet Valley High, the Babysitters Club, Goosebumps, pick your poison. I was always above my reading level by several grades. I remember walking through the grocery store with my mom, reading while trying to navigate the store. I read in the dark car, hungrily absorbing all of the words I could catch when we passed under a street light.

I remember as a tween a took a 4 hour bus trip and forgot a book. I was horribly lost without one, and read everything I could get my hands on; car magazines, the Globe and Mail, song lyrics, street signs; anything to distract me from not having a book.

My love of reading translated into a desire to write.

I wrote a whole bunch of short stories and even wrote my elementary school’s newsletter. They coined me the “news editor” *eye roll*. I got to take an hour after my recess every month or so to put together a column in the newsletter that went home with my peers.

wine-zag.com

At nine years old, I decided I was going to write a children’s book. I called it “Pigs in Peanut Butter” and it rhymed. It was actually pretty wonderful. I still remember most of the book off by heart.

It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to write a book. When people would ask what I wanted to do when I grew up, I’d answer that I wanted to be an author. I wanted to write something substantial; something that people would read all over the world.

As an adult, I haven’t even considered starting to write a book. After all, what would I write about? Sometimes, when I come across blog posts discussing how to become a better writer on a blog, I’m a bit taken aback.

I had never considered blogging writing. I mean, obviously it is, in the literal sense of the word; we, as bloggers, are expressing ourselves through written words. But as a little girl, dreaming of what I’d become when I was older, blogging wasn’t even on my radar (shouldn’t surprise you – was blogging even a thing in the 90′s?). Even into high school, as blogging gained popularity, it never crossed my mind that something so simple could satisfy my desire to write.

As I’ve began to read, and participate in, more blogs, I have found some beautifully written prose that blow me away. That make me thing “yes. That is writing” (in the figurative sense of the word).

The jury is still out for me. It’s not my traditional sense of writing, but I’m starting to warm to the idea. Maybe I’m the only one who has a weird definition of what “writing” is.

So, I’m interested, dear readers (writers?) – Do you consider blogging “writing”? If you’re a blogger, do you consider yourself a writer?


Comments

Are Bloggers Really Writers? — 65 Comments

  1. I think all bloggers are sort of writers. But as everyone agreed on above, I will not describe myself as a writer ever. As English is not my first language, I am still learning to express my thoughts in this language. Let’s also agree that there are really really good bloggers who I would proudly describe them as writers and you are one of them.

  2. Yes. But in my case, I feel like I’m a writer in the way that I’m a runner or a hiker. It is something I love to do and it is truly a part of me, but it isn’t my profession and I don’t expect it to be.

    Other bloggers lean more professional.

  3. Interesting topic. A blogger is definitely different than a traditional writer, but they are writers nonetheless. It is just a much more casual tone with less pressure to go over your work and edit it over and over to make it perfect. Some bloggers are great writers, but I consider myself just a half-assed writer.

  4. We do a lot of non-fiction writing for our jobs.

    We don’t particularly want to do more writing for money http://nicoleandmaggie.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/thoughts-on-scalzis-youre-not-fooling-anyone/ because it sounds like too much work.

    But yes, anybody who writes is a writer even if they don’t get paid for writing. At least, if that’s what they want to call themselves. It’s only professional when someone pays for it. But hey, everyone competing in the Olympics is an amateur.

  5. I definitely consider bloggers as writers. Some of them might be bad while others are outstandingly good. I’ve always had a knack for writing and grew up planning to become a published author. My dad is a published author (of over 10 books) and my mom was an English-Lit teacher, so for me it’s in my blood. While blogging is different than an award-winning author, it still takes just as much talent and courage, to put your thoughts on paper for the world to read.

  6. I was always a writer first. Like you I wrote a kids book around the same age. I also have an unfinished novel. Writing, I feel, is the only thing I’m good at.

    Blogging is something I had to learn, and am still learning.

  7. We lived the same childhood I SWEAR TO GOSH. I was enamored and totally engrossed in babysitter’s little sister books, and then SVH, babysitter’s club, boxcar kids, anything I could get my hands on. I was at the library all the time, and when it was bday or xmas I just wanted books and more books. For fun, I’d organize my book collection in alphabetical order. haha. I would read while eating breakfast and my dad would be like, how can you multi-task and listen to me too? Then I would write stories and I wanted to be a journalist, until my parents persuaded me not to. I forced them to read my fictional stories!

    Okay sorry, I just got excited cuz we are like separated at birth haha. I don’t think of myself as a writer, because to me…I evangelized writing (or the occupation of writing). Now that I think about it though, I do put my full effort into blogging…so maybe we are?

    • YES! THIS IS AMAZING. Little did your dad know that you weren’t actually listening ;) mwahahaha. But seriously, box car kids? YES. Little house on the prairie? Nancy Drew?! Loved them all. We were definitely separated at birth !

  8. I consider blogging writing — though some are definitely better at it than others lol

    It seems less professional because it doesn’t go through an editor the way a magazine article or a novel does, but I don’t think that means it isn’t as good. Plenty of bloggers manage to get published on sources other than their own website, and get paid for it too. I think that makes it legitimate writing. I feel like a “writer” because I get paid to write and my writing appears other places than just my blog.

    Some of my blogging is just a joke though and shouldn’t be considered writing..

  9. I agree with Sam, and from his definition I am one of those “others” lol. I write, but don’t consider myself a writer. Maybe more of a “jot my thoughts down” kinda of guy. I do think that some bloggers are great writers. I would consider Financial Samurai, you, and a couple of other blogs I read as great writers.

  10. Sure! I would say that bloggers are writers. They have to do the same type of preparation (creating outlines, writing drafts, editing, proofing) just like any other writer. So, I would most definitely say that bloggers are writers.

  11. I read your post and saw me (except I started with Trixie Belden and Hardy Boys books that belonged to my aunts…).

    I too wrote as a child – I still have several half finished novels I wrote as a teenager (good writing? perhaps not – but I was doing what I loved).

    Now, work, and kids, and life gets in the way, but sometimes I make myself sit down to write some fiction, just to try to find the passion again.

    As for blogging – I think lots of bloggers are great writers, but I do look at blogging somewhat differently. I blog because I love to write – but I don’t consider myself a writer. Strange? Maybe.

  12. I definitely consider blogging a form of writing. You’re publishing your work in hopes of attracting readers. However, if you write on a purely technical level with no thoughts of your own, then the line becomes blurred.

  13. I think blogging is writing in the same way that candy is food. It’s an easy quick win in the writing world. If you think about it, everyone with a blog is published already, but that doesn’t make every blogger a writer. Check out Jeff Goins’s blog — he argues that you are a writer the very moment you say “I am a writer”

  14. Even though I write and hit the “publish” button, I don’t consider myself a writer. I consider myself a blogger.

    But that being said, I do dream about seeing my written work published. Don’t we all? :smile:

  15. First of all, it’s like you were my twin when we were young. I was a voracious reader and read every single book in the series you mentioned (and more)! I still am a crazy reader but now my bedroom floor isn’t covered with books…haha.

    The writing bit is a mixed bag for me. Sometimes I write a post and think, “This could be MSN Money-worthy.” and other times I think, “I can’t believe people read this crap!” I love to read and write, but I feel like I have a more traditional view of “writing” that’s in the process of changing…

  16. In the traditional sense I would have to say no. My “writing” is not proper enough or anywhere near the level it would need to be. I guess I consider blogging more of speaking through words. I don’t worry about my grammar and such as I would if I were “writing” an english paper.

  17. WOW! Deja Vu! I love reading and always have even when I was little–I mean I was reading anything I could get my hands on. I remember aunts and uncles frowing at some of the stuff I was reading–it was “too grown up for me” but I read it anyways. In third grade, I started the Hamster Gazette in school and had a lot of fun doing it. I always wanted to be a writer and just never thought about that blogging could be writing! I actually have started so many books but just never finished them.

  18. I think of myself as a somewhat writer. I mean I write stories when I blog,therefore I am a writer. And a blogger. I have been doing a lot of catching up on pasts blogs this week and I have noticed a few that have I’d they dreamed of being a writer when they were little. The same is true for myself definitely. A writer at heart, but a blogger by title.

  19. Subscribing to the idea that anyone who puts pen to paper (uh…fingers to keys?) is a writer, then of course bloggers are writers.

    Blogging is harder to pin down than traditional forms of writing- because it’s part writing, part graphic arts, part social media (do tweeters “write”?), etc.

    I wouldn’t say that a blogger is an author…more like a columnist? But a writer? Most definitely.

  20. Doesn’t matter if we can write or not, as long as we can put together something that people are willing to give up their time to read, then we’ve accomplished something and should be proud of that.

  21. For me, I guess it depends? If someone introduced himself to me as a “blogger,” I wouldn’t necessarily think he were a good writer. A lot of times, being good at blogging doesn’t have anything to do with how well you write. Some write to entertain. If that’s your angle, I think a sense of humor goes farther than good grammar and proper sentence structure. Others blog to get things off their chests or to keep themselves accountable. Some write simply to express themselves. Do I consider myself a writer? No, although I can write decently. I don’t consider myself a blogger either, though. These are just not ways that I define myself. Maybe when (okay, IF) I start making money blogging, I’ll change my tune.

  22. Ooo good topic! I think it definitely depends on the blogger. I started blogging because I’ve always loved writing and wanted an outlet to share my writing with anyone interested in reading it. Plus, I find blogging is a great way to improve my writing chops! But I do feel like there are lots of blogs out there that don’t really put that much importance on their writing. Or maybe that’s just their writing style and it’s not my taste. All I know is if a blog doesn’t use proper punctuation or correct grammar, I have a hard time considering them a writer.

  23. I think bloggers are writers, but as everyone else said some better than others. I think that blogging is just a different style of writing.

  24. I think it depends more on the type of writing, than on the medium. There are certainly some great things being published on blogs — and a lot of drivel. I would liken most bloggers to someone who just keeps a diary, and then a few to people who keep a diary that happens to get published and reproduced and read by other people. It’s a tough line to walk.

    I do consider myself a writer because, well, I AM a writer! Haha. But I’m a writer by trade, because that’s how I make my living (not as glamourous as I thought it would be when I was eight, I promise!), and I usually consider blogging something separate. As in, I’m a writer who happens to keep a blog, but I’m not a blogger and therefore a writer. If that makes sense?

    When I meet people at parties and they ask what I do, I tell them I’m a writer. I would NOT do that if the only thing I wrote was my blog.

    Sometimes, though, I find it’s about ego. I can’t tell you how much it bugs when someone scribbles some words in a Word doc and declares himself a writer. If writer is a profession, and you’re not being paid to do it, you’re not a writer. (Some exceptions apply, obviously.)

    I mean, to put in crudely, I sing in the shower and in the car when no one’s around…but that doesn’t make me a singer, you know? Haha.

    ALSO?!?! All those books are amazing. I read them ALL! Still haven’t forgiven my mom for getting rid of them. Haha!

  25. Are bloggers writers? I’d say yes. I wouldn’t consider bloggers to necessarily be journalists, which is a common claim, but writer covers a lot of territory.

    That said, I don’t identify myself as a writer. Then again, I don’t really identify myself as a blogger either. I may describe myself as a “construction worker, cook, and blogger” but those are just the three biggest time sinks in my life.

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  27. You should try writing an ebook for kids. I was at a baby store yesterday and saw a “child proof” case for ipad’s and iphones alike. Make your dreams come true, you might even make a little money if you want.

  28. I sometimes refer to myself as a writer. But I’ll quickly correct myself. I’m a blogger. All writers aren’t bloggers, but almost all bloggers are writers. Technically, I think I’m a writer. Maybe I’ll feel more like a writer once I publish my first book. *shrugs*

  29. I think they are. They are not novelists. They are not journalist. They are bloggers. But all of them can be lumped into the broad category of “writers.” For the former two, there are general industry standards if you want to get published and taken seriously. For the latter, not so much. There are some kind of unspoken rules if you want to be respected, but they are far more loose. And you can gain internet fame without following them.

  30. Interesting… I should say some bloggers are not writers. Some are mediocre writers, and some are great writers. You don’t have to be a blogger to be a writer. Blogging is based on writing (we communicate through a written word, after all) but what type of writing? :) Great post, Daisy!

  31. I think my older sister read every one of the books you mentioned in the beginning :)

    I would say we’re all (wanna-be) writers. I may be getting ahead of myself, but I’d love to compress my blog posts into a book someday.

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  35. I would say most bloggers are writers, and like in all things, some are better than others. Y’know though, I would hesitate to call myself a writer, because if I try my hand at creative writing, it seems like a whole difference process than if I’m writing a blog post.

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  37. I’ll take a “no” on this one.

    Good writing is hard. Merely blogging about one’s shopping trip, or vacation, or monthly income does not a writer make.

    There are some bloggers out there with some talent, but they’re in the minority, especially in the PF space.

    Apologies in advance if this offends anyone. Just an opinion.

  38. As a professional writer and hobby blogger, my thoughts:

    Writing is writing. A love letter. An email that gets things done. A report. A memo. A blog. A journal.

    Some writing is more creative than other writing. More fulfilling. More compelling. But (like in my post about reading last week) I think that while not all writing is necessarily equal, we should celebrate it nonetheless.

    I don’t usually need to put a ton of thought or effort into the news stories I write – OTOH, while some of the features and profiles just seem to write themselves, others are a bit of a struggle.

    With blogging, some of the posts I write also seem to write themselves – they just flow out of me, and they wouldn’t take any more work than a basic, straight article. But some I labour over and spend aaaaages editing and rewriting…and generally I find I’m still not completely happy with! (Case in point – last week’s post on authenticity. But I got close enough.)

    Blogging, for me, really runs the whole spectrum in terms of time and effort put into crafting posts. Generally it’s less than I put into my professional work, but there are exceptions where the work that goes into a post is on par with the work that might go into a feature.

  39. Sure, I think bloggers are writers. I would consider myself both, a blogger and a writer. Like with books or other scholarly writing there is some good writing and some bad writing. It is however, writing, and it can take a good amount of effort to craft a well written blog post.

    I think bloggers as a whole tend not to take themselves very seriously, and the writing can quite often be more casual, but I don’t think that means we should sell ourselves short! Be a proud blogger and writer!

  40. Bloggers are writers in that they put words on paper. (Well, on a computer screen.)
    If you define “writer” as someone who earns money at it, then obviously not all bloggers are writers.
    I’m both: I write for a living (MSN Money, Get Rich Slowly) but I also have my own website — which, I must confess, I have trouble thinking about as a “blog.” Probably that’s because of some of the dismissive/pejorative notions people have of blogs and bloggers.
    As Bridget noted above, blogging doesn’t go through an editor. I disagree with her assessment that a lack of editorial oversight means that blogging isn’t as good. We ALL need editors. We really, really do.

  41. I am with Aloysa and 101 Centavos on this one. Bloggers (and blogs)vary greatly. Some bloggers are terrific writers; others are not even good diarists; and yet another group are fairly mediocre. There is a very large difference between ‘writing’ and ‘being a writer’.

    I want the latter but still don’t come veen close – not completed my 10,000 hours yet. Blogging is part of the practice.

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