Saturday, January 29, 2005

Does blogging make for less "real" writing?

My student Jordan worries that now that I have a blog, I will be doing less "real" writing. This is interesting. Not long ago I cautioned students about blogs, for this very reason: "Watch out," I said. "You may find yourself blogging more and writing less." So I appreciate my student's worry.

Yet, what I've found is that in these few short days since I started my blog, I've actually been writing more--maybe as a reaction to the fear that blogging might mean less real writing.

For example, yesterday morning, when I assumed rush hour would be over at Starbucks, I packed up my iBook and mosied up the street. I ordered a latte venti, nonfat, sat at a small round table against a persimmon-colored wall, and transcribed pages upon pages of fiction from my Moleskine notebook. Now, you might say I wasn't actually writing. But I was doing what I advise my students, and anyone else who will listen, to do: I visited with my work. I spent almost two hours transcribing. Then I came home and printed out those pages and found I have more than 300 pages of a very rough first draft that I began one year ago. So much of this novel came from freewriting. Those pockets of time we all have. Visiting with my work connected me with the story again.

But getting back to my original question: Does blogging cut down on writing? It does, and it doesn't. I mean, all of us who blog probably emai at least one lengthy email to at least person on any given day. So why not blog?

So, my sweet worried Jordan, it's too soon to say, but I'm hoping that instead of cutting down on real writing, blogging helps inspire it. I'll report more in days to come. In the meantime, what about all of you who blog--does it help or hinder your writing?

7 comments:

Without Further Delay said...

I think blogging can take the place of writing if you're not careful, but if harnessed properly it can encourage writing. Blogging, for me is mostly off the cuff type spewing and that's all, whereas writing's final product will be edited, revisited, rethought about, and then rewritten. So I feel like blogging and writing serve two different functions.

I think the thing to keep in mind is time spent on either one. If your blog is an unrelated subject and you spend all your time on it then your writing will suffer. But if there is a crossover subject-wise between the blog and your normal writing then it's all going to come out in the writing in the end.

Good topic.

Navelgazing Midwife said...

Blogging, for me, is cathartic. I write non-fiction... observations... a writing storyteller. Blogging allows me to use ellipses ad infinitum (and I do!), using my "voice" that is less formal, friendlier, and more conversational.

I blog feelings more than observations. How's my life going, what did I think of that meeting, why is that chick bugging me so much... that sort of thing.

I write more about social commentary. Why are women being raped during their childbirth experience? Why do women in this culture insist on being numbed for rites of passages? What it feels like to lose my hair... like that.

Blogging adds to my writing, offering a space to process and develop ideas for writing. Several of my article ideas began as a notation in my blog. Blogging has merely allowed more trees to live since I don't write on every scrap of paper I can find anymore. I still have paper *everywhere*, but blogging aids in my writing process.

I should have done this years and years ago.

And, I was at the Conference and would like to suggest you offer to sign books after your speech or during the day when they find you. Accessibility is so vital to our sales, don't you think? Thanks for being there; it's important.

Scone said...

When I was in school, I always had to do a couple of "warm-up" (freewriting) pages before I could really launch myself into writing an essay or paper. It got my words flowing, and no matter whether the freewriting was on any topic even vaguely related to the paper, the process helped me. I've found that blogging serves a similar function. It's been terrific for my writing.

ifiwereawriter said...

I am new to the "blog" world, therefore limited in my frame of reference. But I was intrigued by your phrase "visit your work". It definately does cause one to reconnect with something you have written. Thanks for putting a name to it.

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett said...

Please post your blog addresses here so that I (and everyone else) can visit.

furiousmuse said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

My name is Kiril Kundurazieff.

I live in Costa Mesa, Ca.

I've posted on the Pen on Fire website, and love the book.

Welcome to the Bloggerverse!

My Blogs are:

Sneakeasy's Joint ( Since May 2002 ): http://www.sneakeasysjoint.com

The Cycling Dude ( Since January 2003 ):
http://www.cyclingdude.com

Blogging does so much for ones writing, and its developement, if you allow it to do so.

The essays, reporting, stories, and personal writing found on blogs is a testament to the intellectual strength of people all over the world.

Some folks earn a living doing it, or have begun paid writing careers because of their blogging.

Some, like me, have opened up their lives to new possibilites, through their blogging.

Admittedly there are people so obsessed with blogging that they let it rule their lives, but they are not in the majority.

Most folks know how to balance their blogging, and "writing" times, and balance their blogging & "I have a life" time to the benefits of both.

Sincereley yours,

The Mad Macedonian
Huntingport Mesa's #1 Blogger!
Putting the ING in BLOGGING since May 2002!