Blogger or Writer: What say you?

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.

Blogger or writer, are you a writer, are you a bloggerAm I a blogger?

Come January and I would have been doing this thing called blogging for a little over 8 and a half years. This blog itself is less than two years old, of course.

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:

  1. Writers (mostly the serious ones) can take critique; bloggers find it much harder.
  2. Bloggers get used to instant gratification thanks to comments and shares; writers tend to wait for their feedback.
  3. 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?

26 thoughts on “Blogger or Writer: What say you?

  1. Wonderful perspective Shailaja….yes, blogging is a mixed bag and it needs audience. I have so many friends that write but only few like to blog. And yes, they thrive on the shares, comments and likes.

  2. Hmm…this is really interesting, and, points (challenges) you have made are thoughtfully correct! I would consider myself a Writer. I write for magazines, and I find it fascinating, magazines and writing for them. But, yes I love my blog. It has helped me to improve as a writer. To explore different kind of writings. To learn from fellow bloggers, and to connect.

    There was a time when I was almost obsessed about my blog updates, chasing those writing prompt sites, and participating, like I would miss something if I didn’t. Now, I blog when I actually want to write.

    Writing is indeed different from blogging as you have mentioned above. Writing is more professional, and for me, blogging is personal.

  3. Hmm…interesting question. I guess I was a writer much before I started blogging. But blogging gave me freedom to explore some new ways of expressing my thoughts. I suppose i would like to think of myself as a writer honing her skills through blogging. But I do other writing also from time to time.

  4. I feel, I am not a good writer, but enjoy writing. Started blogging to express myself to the world. My blog became an outlet for me. In the process of learning about blogging, I realized that I enjoy writing too when I tried flash fiction, writing for sentence and phrase prompts and 100-word prompts. So, still unsure of the answer but blogging comes first for now.

  5. I really liked that term ‘closet writer’. At some level we all are. There are pieces of ourselves we release slowly into the world, hoping that something will resonate somewhere. How wonderfully expressed, Varsha!

  6. That is a wonderful question and a wonderful post!
    If you ask me, I think I’m a writer, mainly because traffic or no traffic I’ve been writing as and when I please and mostly for myself. It makes me feel fulfilled creatively. Expressing our true feelings through words is very difficult, according to me.
    My blog, on the other hand, has helped me get feedback on my writing. From a closet writer I’ve become more open and confident now.

  7. I’m a blogger – turned – writer; I still blog as such and reciprocate with comments and all – but the way my writing has improved and how my ‘posts’ have now evolved into ‘articles’ – I guess speaks for itself 🙂

  8. Some time back I asked my husband, “What would say, that your wife is blogger or a writer?” He said, blogger. I was writing way before I had a seen a computer. I created a blog only to gather all my poems at one place. (I had lost a lot of poems over the time.) Now I love blogging for the connections and interactions it gave me. I feel comfortable here than anywhere else. 🙂 But my wish is to become a writer. I have a long way to go. Writing poems, stories, personal anecdotes and blogging about it doesn’t make one a writer. Even if I stop blogging now I am sure I will continue writing and will continue with my attempts to become a writer. 🙂

  9. Interesting dilemma! I guess blogging is a form of writing but with different dimensions. While blogging is interactive, writing is a journey alone. I am a blogger and have no writing aspirations!!

  10. I have been thinking about this a lot these days. I started to blog because I wanted to open up my writing. My writing earlier was very personal and in diaries or folded papers tucked beneath clothes or hidden between books. Now that my blog is close to two years old, I want to be read and I want to be called a writer. Blogging is a part of writing in my mind but at the same time I write on my blog. Confused? 🙂
    Loved your post as always and I recently received my first letter from Yeah Write. I have so much to learn and I feel confident to say that I can take criticism.

  11. It has taken me approximately 2 years of blogging to confidently call myself a blogger. I have not yet reached the ‘writer’ stage. Even if I write poems, those are amateur and come from the personal life. I believe if I stop blogging today, I will lose majority of the connections I have made in the past 1 year in the blogging world.

  12. Your post has set me questing after this dilemma. I am new to all this, in the infancy of both blogging and writing. I started writing casually for myself and found it a rather enjoyable hobby. Trying to take my hobby more seriously, I have started blogging. And like you say, I find it a gratifying platform, a meeting ground for like-minded persons. I am still fumbling and trying to grasp the nuances of this world…and I find it rather fascinating and exciting. This post gets me introspecting on how important is writing/blogging to me!

  13. Yes you are unique and a part of that subset of bloggers who don’t mind criticism/ don’t thrive on comments. I know folks though who say what you did and do the exact opposite. We are indeed a mix, so it’s fascinating for me to explore this. You are a brilliant writer, by the way 🙂

  14. Interesting. I tend to agree there. Writing gives personal satisfaction.Blogging gives satisfaction only when you get engagement. Thanks for reading, Gowtham!

  15. That really is wonderful, isn’t it? I started writing poetry only 6 years after I started blogging. So I admire those who have been writing forever :)I adore the social support that comes from blogging. Definitely.

  16. Try as I might I find I cannot figure out what I am. Blogger definitely – but I do not thrive on comments or mind criticism too much. For years I blogged in complete anonymity and enjoyed it too. Yet I cannot totally discount the writer in me. I guess we are all different mixes of the two.

  17. Blogging is a subset of writing, I agree. You do a very good job of both, if I may say so. There are bloggers though who would rather just blog and not worry about writing, if you get my drift. That’s okay too. But I do wish people would step out of their comfort zones and work on their writing, a bit.

  18. I switch over between blogging and writing. Its a good thing to do so. Writing given hearty happiness soon after completing an article whereas blogging gives happiness only when it is engaged.

    Good post. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Definitely no easy answer. I think I am a writer who blogs but sometimes the blogger in me takes over and yearns for that connection that only blogging brings. So it’s a journey and I find myself taking different forks on the road at different times. As for critique, very few bloggers can take it. When I suggested critique on a blogging group, most of the bloggers rose up against the idea, saying I cannot impose my idea of what is right/wrong on another’s writing. So I stopped saying it.

  20. interesting question, but there is no easy answer to this.
    I stared to blog mainly to express myself, but also to connect with like minded people in the virtual world. So, at this point, I guess I am more of a blogger than a writer. But I can take criticism, and very well (I think). Especially well-intentioned critique.

  21. I think its a great opportunity that blogs provides us to b best of both ie Blogger & Writer..Perhaps would go a little and say that..its the dimension of time in which the responses are manifested from those who read blogs or the creations of writers…the time for response from readers to writers are reasonably long that that of bloggers…nice piece keep writing

  22. I think of myself as a writer who blogs, writes online articles and does other content. I think blogging is a subset of writing. Writing is bigger. Though the two seem to overlap a lot these days.

  23. I think of myself as both a writer and a blogger – I was writing journals, poetry, articles, etc. long before blogging came along, and would continue to do so if blogging went away. But I love the social support that blogging offers over solitary writing, so I don’t see myself giving that up anytime soon!

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