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July 23, 2008

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jennifer youngblood

I disagree, like you, with the "getting paid" part. My sister-in-law is an artist, but she doesn't get paid to make her art. She has another job that pays the bills. The doesn't make her art less art. Her paintings are amazing.

I think "traditional" (if you want to call them that) writers may be threatened by blogging as a new medium that may not interest them or that they may not understand.

Sylvia B

Blogging not writing? How very uppity. Writing is defined as the use of visual symbols to represent words which act as a code for communication, and that's just what you're doing here in the blog. You express thoughts in words. Others read the words, ponder them, and sometimes respond. Of course this is writing. I've been a writer for many years, and have published numerous articles in scholarly journals (bet your classmates would see that as writing!) but I've never even wanted to sell what I've written. It's the process that's important, and you're a very good writer. Keep it up!!

Cheryl

Pretty limited thinking. It's like they're holding onto some sense of writing being something that George Eliot did but not something that's changed fluid and changing. If Mark Twain were alive, I'd bet donuts to dollars he'd be a blogger.

Retired Syd

All great comments! Especially the Mark Twain part!

It's funny, someone in my class did mention a statistic (not sure whether it's really true) that right now there are more people writing books than reading them. And I wouldn't be surprised if it were really were true. Sad really, but I think books are possibly being displaced by TV and movies. But probably also because of the other distractions and entertainment on the internet--including blogging.

Kevin

It seems like this distinction that blogging isn't Writing is elitism providing cover for insecurity. To be fair, I can understand where the insecurity comes from. We only have one word, "writing", to cover everything from prescription chicken scratch to the life's work of committed artists. Most creative vocations have a separate word for utilitarian work -- cook vs. chef, tailor vs. designer, technician vs. engineer, and so on.

I don't think pay is a worthwhile litmus test. Anne Frank wasn't paid for her diary, is she not a writer? I'm sure there are many other celebrated writers that were not paid.

Eden

Interesting that people would still think that way about blogging. Obviously your instructor doesn't actually read any blogs. He/she is missing out on a lot of great (and free) knowledge!

Canadian Dream

I think most classic medium writers tend to be confused by blogs. For them the old equation is do writing then sell to publisher. For bloggers we are the publisher, so writers really don't get how you could make money at it. They don't understand why we give away free content and in fact they feel threatened by that fact (like some how extra content in the world is going to drive down prices).

Bloggers are actually leading the way towards other means of making money with writing/publishing with ads, ebooks, and print on demand publishing of paper books. We've cut out the middle man most of the time and took that profit margin for ourselves (which isn't much).

Syd,

By the way, would you be up to doing an interview some time? If so drop me an email.

Thanks,
Tim

bongo

How gauche of your instructor to poo poo blogging. And then for the rest of his brown nosing students to poo poo along with him/her. Writing seems to me to be an extension of one's thoughts and feelings, tangible evidence of a sentient being. Where this writing ends up is not important. Everything is transient, including our writing. So from where it eventually evaporates, newspapers, blogs, books, etc., is inconsequential. By the way, I agree w/Sylvia B. that you are a good writer, I enjoy very much reading your blog (writing).

Ray

I've got a few blogs before my current one (not all of them are about money and retirement).

Before I had found this post by Jeff Atwood: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/001160.html, I thought I always had to write something GREAT that is worthy of being published.

But turned out that quantity _is_ quality!

Quoting from Jeff's post: "It seems that while the 'quantity' group was busily churning out piles of work - and learning from their mistakes - the 'quality' group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay."

I suspect your instructor is in the 'quality' group--although I understand where he's coming from. There are too many blogs out there of some princess89 or icegurl17 or toughdood19 that, well, have the properties of diarrhea :)

(But it should be "Diarrhea of The Fingers", no?)

Retired Syd

I like your point about quantity. Basically if you write something every day, you probably learn a lot more than if you spend a lot of time just thinking about writing. And there are an awful lot of bloggers out there that are managing to do it every day.

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