Is blogging really writing? Or is it, as some Hollywood scriptwriter suggests, “Graffiti with punctuation?” Over the months since completing Nanowrimo, I have made about 30 blog entries or roughly one every two days. On average they have been between 300 and 500 words each, so lets say I have conservatively written 10 000 words on this blog in the last two months. Not really that much (and I am a little disappointed that it is not), but it’s still 10k more than I would have written without somewhere to spew my random rumblings for total strangers to read. But is this writing? While procrastinating today, and doubting my commitment to be a writer, I stumbled on and reblogged an article about the mythical million words you need to write until you truly find your voice (something I have been impatient to find). In it, the author suggests:
Our million words need to be intentional, focused, unflinching writing in our most creative moments. A million words of fiction, a million words of memoir, a million words of poetry.
Assuming we can take that definition as “true writing”, does blogging really qualify? Let’s break it down. Intentional. Did I want to write this blog entry? Sure, it was intentional. Focussed? Yes, I was focussed on writing this and had to spend a little time thinking about what I was doing. I do however have trouble with putting aside remarks in parenthesis all the time. (Really need to stop doing that and distracting the reader from the main point). Unflinching? Hmm.. “Not showing fear or hesitation in the face of danger or difficulty” Can’t say as if I was facing down a rampaging lion whilst writing this entry but I was steadfast in my resolve to complete it – I want to got to bed. Was it my most creative moment? Ah, there it is. I could lie and say that I am feeling creative, but lets face it, I’d be trying to blow smoke up your arse. When I blog, I feel either like a journalist writing an opinion piece or editing a dairy entry enough so as to not seem a total loon. I sometimes feel like I’m chatting to a friend or telling them about something that I have strong feelings about. But do I feel truly creative when I blog? As I do when I am working on my novel idea or trying to pull a short story through a straw? Nope. Not a chance. Thinking about it now for the first time it’s obvious – that feeling you get when you are creating something from nothing. It’s absent when I blog.
I am sure that if I posted some creative writing pieces I’d feel differently and I am willing to accept that those people who use their blogs for that singular purpose would be able to confirm their “most creative moments” – so far, based on what I have written on the blog, I cannot.
So if what I am writing on this blog is not helping me write, then what is it doing? I originally stated that this blog would help me to write (in any form) and help build some sort of an on-line presence. Has it? I don’t think I can answer that just yet. The blogs a baby, still filling nappies with excrement. I am still liking changing nappies but sometimes it’s tricky to know what to feed it.
So how has the blog been? Well, the stats (lies dammed lies) say that I have 40 odd wordpress followers and quite a few more random ships passing in the night (thanks guys & gals). My most liked page is a bit of a rant about interior designers (surprised me) and a close second is about a beggar in a coffee shop. Again, very surprising. The one thing those two posts have in common is that I felt like saying something when I wrote them and based on the response, people seem to enjoy my writing when I do.
People enjoying my writing is one of the most surprising things about this blog. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that am not one for in-your-face recognition or praise but the simple act of someone liking a post or following this lowly blog puts me in a good mood almost instantly. A total stranger liked something I wrote? Hell yes, it’s like a quick bite right in the middle of a slab of Lindt. I figure it’s some sort of acceptance or confirmation that I may actually be able to string a sentence together – and it may just be worthy of a few moments of someones precious time. Thanks all you strangers out there, you are saving my waistline – I really appreciate it.
Writing this particular blog may not count towards that million creative word target but it sure as hell scratches an itch.
ps. Oh yes, I know we are all strangers, but a comment or two with a like would be nice. Lol