Twice, (okay, maybe three or four times) recently I have been insulted to the level of despair, which is in part, why I got my blogging ass to a BinderCon NYC (a serious writing conference for women and non-males), and why I committed to doing #NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) to post one blog a day for 30 days of November (this is #5).
Here’s how one such insult went down.
Insult #1: At a small local writers panel of published authors in a local library, the question arose what was the difference between a writer and an author. The panelists concluded that an author is a published writer, and discussion ensued. The moderator then asked: what about blogging?
Is blogging writing?
The silence from the panel was palpable, followed by eye-rolls, and even one elbow nudge evident to the audience of about 30, especially this blogger right here. It was like an inside joke, and bloggers were the punch line.
“I guess I’ll take this one,” as the first panelist resigned, as if she were letting us know Facebook memes are not a reliable news source. What follows are other random responses (paraphrased cuz the blood was rushing in my ears and my brain was about to explode):
“Blogging, is well, less professional.”
“Sorry to say, but it’s an on-line diary. Nobody cares what you ate for lunch.”
“To be honest, I’m worried about the quality – the quality of the writing.”
“It’s for amateurs really, it’s not what we do.”
“Most readers don’t want to hear about your kids.”
Could I have been the only person insulted? I doubt it, but being that I’m not a real writer, or journalist, only a blogger throwing up personal guts on the internet for no one to read, maybe I don’t have the neurons to understand why words on a page vs words on-line, or storytelling bound and sold at Barnes & Noble vs storytelling shared on-line or around a campfire are that drastically different.
Can a blogger consider themselves a real writer?
I happen to believe anyone writing is a writer. Maybe the stories are great, maybe just so-so, maybe they are awesome and go viral and become a home run, or nobody reads them but your mother and the person you’re writing about.
Doesn’t really matter.
It’s writing. It’s all writing.
Writers write, and nobody on a panel anywhere will convince me differently. On-line, on a cocktail napkin, on the back of the CVS receipt, written in a journal and tucked under a mattress, tapped out on the notes of a smart phone. Ideas spark stories, and those with a larger life need to be told.
Sometimes those stories grab hold, and can change the world. Or just one person in it.
Perhaps those “authors” on the panel that day have the means to reach more ears, and it’s likely most bloggers want to one day be a published author of a printed and bound book for sale at a local bookseller. I know I do. Or think I do.
But in the meantime, I along with others, will continue to write on little known blogs, even those “silly mommy blogs” as one real writer said to me recently in disgust, in order to share, laugh, complain, and connect little pieces of life as I live it, to anyone who happens to click.
“Me too! I thought I was the only one.”
Writers reflect life in little moments. So do bloggers, and sometimes, inspiration ensues. That’s the essence of good storytelling. That’s the result of writing and reading. That’s what we all want to do, and it doesn’t matter how we do it or where the story finds a home, as long as someone is home when it gets there.
BIG FAT DISCLAIMER: NaBloPoMo is about consistency, posting daily for November, not 100% dedicated to quality. Pleases don’t judge too harshly, as typos and errors may in fact happen, when of course, this would never occur if I were a real writer.