My favourite writing site on the web, Yeah Write, has this fascinating tagline on their Facebook page: ‘For writers who blog and bloggers who write.’
This got me thinking (I mean, I’m always thinking, because well I am human, but I digress), about which category most of us would fall under.
Here’s my analysis; feel free to add your comments and thoughts too.
Am I a blogger?
As I see it, blogging is a very interactive process, one that helps you grow within the worldwide web, nurture connections, find fellow bloggers that resonate with you and move forward together.
If you are a blogger, you probably (not necessarily) have a niche blog or an all-inclusive personal blog. Now, bear in mind that what that I am talking about in this post refers to personal blogs.
No matter how much we may deny it, a blog thrives and runs on traffic; this can be counted by stats/ views/ comments/ likes/shares and other word-of-mouth appreciation that garners more traffic, mostly through social media.
While it isn’t ideal to get hung up on the number of comments, likes and re-shares that your content generates, there is nothing wrong with figuring out why some blogs get better traffic than others. There’s enough written on this subject so I won’t bore you with that.
The more fascinating question for me is, are you blogging for yourself or blogging to say something that people would want to read? There is a difference. It helps to keep in mind that people come to read you because they believe that you can offer them something of value. This brings me to the next question.
Maybe I’m a writer?
A few months ago I consciously started looking at the purpose behind my blogs. What was I doing and why was I doing it? This is a question I’ve raised on blogging groups and seen on social media discussions too but naturally, the answers vary from one person to the next.
When I stumbled upon yeah write and a few other writing sites, I discovered a side to myself that I’d never know existed: the side that nurtured a writer of fiction and poetry. And so I wrote, faltered, wandered, picked myself up, rewrote, went back to the drawing board and wrote all over again.
Without realising it, I found myself writing, not just blogging. I was making writing a habit. As time went by, I began focusing more on tweaking my technique, honing my craft, editing words here, sprucing up sentences there and generally enjoying the process thoroughly.
So can I be both?
But it’s not that simple when you try to mix blogging and writing. For one thing, blogging is a mixed bag. We have the people who blog because they want to and we have the ones who blog because they are honing their craft as a writer.
Writing is something you do in the quietude of your mind. Not everything you write sees blogging daylight and not all of it gets read.
Here are the key challenges when I think of the two:
- Writers (mostly the serious ones) can take critique; bloggers find it much harder.
- Bloggers get used to instant gratification thanks to comments and shares; writers tend to wait for their feedback.
- Blogging is a very collaborative process between the blogger and the readers; writing is a lonely path, intensely so.
Having said all that, writing today on a blog does give me the best of both worlds. I get the feedback I value and the readers that look forward to what I say. There is a hope that if I were to ever stop blogging in the future, I’d still have my readers coming back to my writing.
Do you ask yourself this question?
Are you a blogger or writer?
Do you switch roles from one to the other?