Re: Blogger or Writer?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Do you label yourself as a blogger or a writer? An interesting question for me to stumble upon on Sunday night. One that has caused me to question myself more than I thought it would.


I've been working on this post on-and-off since Sunday, and my thoughts have been a little all over the place. It has turned into a more elaborate jumble of thinking out loud than I intended. Essentially, I think I can break it all down into three parts: what I label myself as, how that affects me, and what I want moving forward.


PART 1: AM I A BLOGGER OR A WRITER?

Almost instantly, I internally responded that I am a writer. How do I know? I've always enjoyed writing, from personal journaling to essays in school. I was (am?) good at it. In fact, that's why I started this blog in the first place; I wanted a way to keep my writing skills sharp. When I was still in school, I was constantly writing papers for classes and articles for the newspaper. Now, as a college graduate who never has to take a class again, nobody is making me write anymore. But I still do because I enjoy it.

I'm a writer who blogs. That's how I label myself.

The main difference between being a writer and being a blogger, in my opinion, is where you find your reward. We all want our blogs to affect people in some way. We want to publish something relatable or moving or powerful. The difference is that bloggers gauge success by how much interaction or response they get from their audience, whereas writers gauge it by how they feel after posting something. Bloggers/blogging has a stronger focus on other people. Writers/writing focuses more on the author.

I do want to interact with people through this site, and I would love to make connections of some sort with different people from different places. Comments and feedback on my posts to spark a discussion would be great. The difference, I think, is that making these connections is not my main intent. Even if nobody read this, I would keep it going (not to say that bloggers would not), because while interacting with others would be a nice bonus, this site is mainly an outlet for me. It's a place where I can freely express myself.


PART 2: THE WRITER LABEL

After realizing that I so confidently viewed myself as a writer, I felt a bit of pressure. Suddenly there were standards and expectations — some of which I may not meet.


Is my writing good enough for me to actually be classified as a writer? My posts have to be good, because if they aren't, what kind of writer am I? Am I still a writer if I publish simple posts about my life instead of complex poetry filled with hidden meanings? Am I kidding myself?

This is not meant to suggest that identifying as a blogger is worse or bad in any way, or that it doesn't come with its own stigmas and pressures. But I view myself as a writer — and I want to be a writer — so I have to fill those shoes. I have to live up to the label, which brings me to part 3...


PART 3: MOVING FORWARD

I view myself as a writer and I feel slightly pressured to live up to it, so where do I go from here?

First, I need to remember that as long as I am happy with my writing, that's all that matters.

I haven't had this blog for very long, but reading through my posts from the last couple of months, I can already detect a change in my writing style; the process, the angle. The first couple of posts almost sound forced. Initially, I felt obligated to be writing as a blogger, with the intent of enticing a response. I wasn't writing for me; I was writing for you. And while that sounds nice, the words almost sound stiff. Since then, I've gotten more comfortable, and I think it shows through my writing.

My only intent now is to publish posts that I am happy with. I would love it if that meant that others are happy with it too, but again, my own feelings toward them are my priority.

Second, I don't want running a blog to keep me from truly living.

One response in the #LBloggers discussion that stuck out to me was from Scarphelia. (I recently discovered her blog and am already in love with it.)

As a 'writer' I perceive the world as magic as fiction. As a 'blogger' I perceived the world as 'content'

What a way to put it. (You really do have a way with words, Katie.)

I never want to look at the world as content. I don't ever want the fact that I have a blog to make me feel like I can or can't do something because of it.

The world is not content waiting to be written about. The world is opportunity waiting to be experienced; it's beauty ready to be noticed and appreciated. Capturing that and putting it into words is just a bonus.

I want to be sure that I am always looking at the world as magic.


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