Defining ‘blogging’ is like explaining ‘God’ (without the likelihood of ensuing bloodshed) – every blogger and non-blogger has their own idea of what ‘blogging’ is (and every believer, non-believer and fence-rider has their own idea of what ‘God’ is), and they’re all wrong about both.
When you can’t agree on what something is, it’s time to agree on what something isn’t. Here I sense that we will agree – God is not man (and therefore should not be anthropomorphised with human attributes) and blogging is NOT writing.
I’m a writer and I’m a blogger. I write; unless I say what my mind is screaming at me, I cannot rest at ease. I have felt gripping pain before writing and euphoria afterwards. At times violent and pinching, especially when I don’t write for a long time. Other times it’s numbing, usually when writing has become a habit. You can become used to the numb pain and ignore it, but after a while it eats you up, chews you mercilessly until you summon the courage to sit down and write again.
I blog because it’s pays the bills. There’s no desire to share, no victory at the finish line. The joy comes in the paycheck, in the ad revenue, in the traffic numbers as I whore away words and time to increase the distance between myself and the gutter.
Absolutely no comparison between the two.
What’s more, blogging is a platform – a blog makes it easy for you to publish content online, blogging makes it possible for people without plush 6-figure salaries or graduate degrees to earn a living. If you love what you do, great. If you don’t love it, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that it puts food on the table and pays for the roof above your head.
Writing? I write because I am who I am, and because until I write life is incomplete and without purpose or direction.
I’ll leave you with two quotes from a 1960 Harlon Ellison essay, when the respected author in turn quotes two of his influences:
There is no use writing anything that has been written before unless you can beat it. What a writer in our time has to do is to write what hasn’t been written before or beat dead men at what they have done.
Produce, produce, produce…for I tell you the night is coming.
Write. And Blog. But not at the same time. Remember, one writes out of necessity. One blogs out of choice. Don’t confuse the two, because blogging cannot take away whatever is kicking inside you and fighting to get out, and writing won’t always keep you away from the gutter.