Why blogging is not writing

(Blogging for authors) blogging not writingWhen I started this blog, on a dare, nearly 12 months ago, I thought blogging was just writing on the internet. If you read my first post (it’s here, if you haven’t had the pleasure), you can see my approach in all its glory. It’s like a truncated magazine story. Written, at the time, for no-one (except my ever-supportive family, of course).

I confess it took me a while to work out that blogging and writing are two different things. Not completely different. Blogging does, by its very nature, incorporate writing. But there is so much more to it. Six months in, when I caved and took part in my first meme, I talked about the fact that they were one aspect of blogging that confused me. To quote myself:

“So I did what I always do when confused, which was to ignore the situation in the hopes that no-one would notice. I figured I’d just keep on doing my thing on my blog, sending it out into The Great Wherever (TGW) and that would be that.

But the thing with blogging – the great thing about blogging – is that it’s not just about sending your thoughts into TGW because – and this comes as a surprise to a newbie – TGW writes back! What with all the popping into other people’s blogs that you do, and all the popping into yours that others do, you become, well, neighbours. And neighbours interact. Just like in the good old days when one, gasp, actually spoke to the people next door, so it is with blogs.

So I can’t be confused and ignoring people any more. They’ll think I’m snobby and stop asking me to barbecues.”

The Great Wherever writes back. It not only writes back, it invites you into the lives of people on a daily basis. You are essentially reading their diaries – some more personal than others, some more honest than others, some more touching than others, and some that make you laugh out loud. You hear their voices in everything they write. And they comment on everything you write.

When you write something for a magazine or newspaper, you might receive a ‘good job’ from your editor, and then never hear anything of the story again. When you write something for TGW, you know immediately how it’s been received. If you’ve hit the nail on the head, the comments will flood in. If you write a dud, there will be a resounding silence (to whit: this post).

No other form of writing is this immediate. So connected. Or, in so many ways, so satisfying.

Tonight, one member of my particular corner of The Great Wherever is hurting badly. My thoughts are with her and her family. That’s the thing with blogging. Yes, it’s about the writing. But it’s also about the people.

Who knew The Great Wherever could feel so small?