Poetry and personal blog – Spilling my guts to strangers

Bloggers Are Writers

I don’t understand why some bloggers don’t consider themselves to be writers. Some bloggers post everyday, or damn near. They expend so much energy thinking of topics, finding videos and pictures to help illustrate a point, figuring out which angle will keep readers interested. That’s what writers do, right?

Recently, when I commented on a post by fellow blogger Debra, she asked me if I get satisfaction from writing here on my blog, knowing that a major goal of mine is to have my poetry published in a literary journal. And the answer is yes, blogging is quite satisfying (although holding back on the poetry is tough).

Blogging is a totally different beast from other forms of writing. It can be highbrow but it doesn’t have to be in order to be art. When it’s done well, the rewards are immense for both blogger and reader. I’m still a student, still tweaking, still experimenting.

Also, there’s this: While being “published” may give me so-called legitimacy, blogging  gives me the immediate rush whenever I manage to get even one person to read what I wrote.

In a previous post, I outlined why I write. There are some who don’t mind if no one ever reads what they put down and then there are those like me who at heart are exhibitionists, just as much as any performer on stage. Off-stage, we are soft-spoken and unassuming but on paper we release the closet freak. Or maybe that’s just me.

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2011

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Comments on: "Bloggers Are Writers" (71)

  1. Nope, it’s not just you. Great post. I agree with you, bloggers are writers, it is a rush to know someone read our blog and comments are the best. To know that one person out there can relate makes it all worthwhile.

  2. Thank you for this post… I have been blogging for for almost 6 years and I didn’t think of myself as a writer. Just a blogger. I appreciate your perspective. You really opened my eyes to the process and made me consider all that I have learned about myself through my writing for the past 6 years. Thanks again.

  3. You talking about me? I think so in every way… keep yourself out there I like ya mate!

    A

  4. Let your closet freak flag fly!

  5. Sweepy…I don’t know that I would consider myself a writer. Yeah, I write, but I guess in my mind’s eye I consider a writer as someone who makes money (however much) by writing.

    Of course, at one time I thought that was what I wanted to do…you know, the great American novel. That doesn’t seem as important, now.

    The older I get, the thought of being the definition of the writer that’s in my head seems significantly more stressful and way less important. What I write, I write for myself first…all the stupid criminal people? Yeah…they make me laugh and so I share them because I know there are people out there who’s sense of humor is as seriously skewed as mine.

    My actual posts where I write something for my blog, or someone else’s? While I don’t generally think my posts are funny, and am continually surprised and flattered when people enjoy them so much, I write them to make people laugh. In a significantly ill global society, laughter is a good start to living a healthier, happier life….I’m just trying to help. *shrug*

    There’s my $.30 worth of thoughts… =) ox

    • I used to think being published by a real live publisher was the definition of a writer, but that can’t be it. Who is it that said, writers write? I have felt very similar, with the passing years becoming frustrating with not achieving what I considered success. I had to realize that ‘nonsuccess’ doesn’t change who I am and because I don’t have it now doesn’t mean it’s not achievable. You are talented, you can always sell your self-published novel, check out online opportunities (can you get paid through examiner.com?) or research other avenues for you to make even $.30! Also, really take to heart that people enjoy your writing. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to touch people. ❤

  6. You are so right. Thats exactly what I feel. I have just started my blog and that rush of thrill it gives me even if one person comments. Its like an addiction.I dont write everyday, I cannot but when I do I keep visiting my blog just to see if someone has acknowledged it. Maybe we are exhibitionist. A lot of people I have come across have this feeling that we are seeking sympathy from strangers especially with my kind of posts while some feel it is just poetry from the heart. I do sometimes wonder if I am doing it to get sympathy but then I so enjoy every time I write something. Blogging is great way of expressing. Thank you for sharing this Sweepy Jean. At least I am not the only one who feel that way.

    • Rimly, there are a million reasons why we write the way we do, and sometimes the reasons change over time. I think that the main thing is we want to be heard, we want to connect, and we want to know we are not alone. The subtitle of my blog “what is it like to spill your guts to strangers” in some ways represents that feeling that I will open up to anyone who is willing to listen. Keep speaking your truth. There are many of us listening. ❤

  7. I think the paradigm of what a writer is is shifting. I think bloggers ARE writers, whether they realize it or not. If we measure the success of our writing based on the money we make from it, well, then no none of us is probably THAT. But some of the greatest writers that ever lived either never made a dime or dies penniless. Whatever the genre is of the blog if you can and do gather a following, then your voice is being heard and you are doing what many people only dream of. You are putting words out that affect others. Excellent thoughts, excellent post..but you ARE a writer whose voice I love ❤

    • I think you are so right about the paradigm shift, what with all the new technology and new publishing possibilities over the last few decades. Everyone can be heard now if they want to be. Love you, Lisa, thanks for weighing in! ❤

  8. As a blogger I feel that I am a writer, most days not a great one, but every now and then that great post is created and it’s created by me! Do I care if people read my blog..heck yeah! I love getting comments, either on the design, the post, the book I review, etc it means that others appreciate what I do, like how I put it together, and solidifies my attempt at writing.

    Great post!

    • That;s the great thing about writing, it’s creating something where there was once a blank space! My motto is that not everything can be a masterpiece, but it could be practice for one in the making.

  9. Brilliantly said. I feel the same way. I believe bloggers are writers. Blogging gives me increased courage every day to be myself, to no longer hide it under this shell. Im with you!

  10. I agree with you wholeheartedly but the one reason don’t necessarily equate my blogging to writing (or photography) is that I don’t want to be a writer or photographer. I want to be me but I want to share the world through my eyes.

  11. ”… the rewards are immense for both blogger and reader… still tweaking, still experimenting”

    Being new to blogging short poem and prose ‘bites’, what you said was reassuring and could relate to it! Thanks!

    • Thanks for saying so! It doesn’t matter how much experience one has, there is always something to learn. Just make sure you always have fun with it! 🙂

  12. Very good point. I consider myself a writer, but the concept of blogging was actually frightening to me. haha now I do both well enough I think. The difference I find is in the ability to spin a story or write an article. Both are writers but writing very different things.

    Thanks for commenting on my website.

    Anna

    • My pleasure, Anna! Blogging is very different from other types of writing and it is scary at first. But we eventually figure out the different skill needed for each type of writing.

  13. I agree that everyone is a writer via their blog while there are obvious differences in the skills levels, reasons for writings, and the target audience. I’m amazed that some folks can write as much as they can, it’s hard for myself working so many hours and trying to have a life away from the computer lol. It would be nice if I had a million followers but that’s not my objective, I write as it’s good therapy and hopefully, I can educate people on the special life of Erin. Great blog!!!!

    • Thank you so much, David! And so agree about the time factor. It is hard to keep up with blogging, non-blog writing, responding to comments, and visiting other blogs. I can’t help but fall behind sometimes. But I think you are on the right track with keeping in mind why you blog and getting what you need from it. We should all strive for that.

  14. You’re not just a blogger, a writer, a poet – you are a sensational woman full of bountiful amounts of creativity and inspiration. Let that flag fly high, when you’ve got it flaunt it and you have most definitely ‘Got It’ 🙂

  15. Thoughtful. I think we are writers, if only because we are called to write, no matter what our outlet. I’m also guessing a lot of bloggers write other things as well – or at least we would more often, if we weren’t so busy blogging ;D

  16. …. but on paper we release the closet freak – love this line!
    If being published gives us a sense of so-called legitimacy, blogging gives us that and more. Anthology, journal, magazine, and book publishing may give us the satisfaction of being recognized in the literary world – which to some is a big deal – but it never affords us the opportunity for much interaction with our readers.

    Blogging, on the other hand, is a venue for two-way communication, which I’ve found to be more satisfying than more conventional publishing since I at least get to meet other interesting writers. Plus, I appreciate the feedback. Like you, Sweepy Jean, “blogging gives me the immediate rush whenever I manage to get even one person to read what I wrote. “ Inspiring post.

    • You’ve been on both sides of the equation, so I’m taking your perspective to heart. It’s good to know that you, I and others have some shared thoughts!

  17. Right on! I think bloggers (esp mommy bloggers) get a bad rap for not being recognized as writers — hell, mommy bloggers (by some) aren’t even considered ligit bloggers. you are one of the most eloquent writers I’ve come across….very fluid and graceful with your words – many of us can only strive to be as talented as you 🙂

    • Thank you, now I’m blushing! You know, that is so much crap, this thing about mommy bloggers/ Back in the day I was a stay at home mom for a while, so I know how some people devalue it…don’t get me started! Lol! You’re smart, funny, and talented; just keep what you’re doing, I love your blog!

  18. We must be by defination writers as we write! i yearn to be a writer and blogging gives me a quick easy fix. I recently started posting a short story I am writing on my blog and was so nervous dont know why, never am when just poeting so maybe its because like you say when blogging dont see myself as a writer!

    • Hi, Chaz! I think whenever we do something that is outside of our norm, it cause a bit of anxiety. But that’s the only way we can grow and expand out talents. So good for you! I’ve been meaning to check you story and will do soon.

  19. The closet freak is your key to greatness. Conformists don’t change the world.

    And yes, bloggers are writers. Let’s not forget that writing is not synonymous with “writing fiction.” Whenever a blogger goes about their writing systematically — whenever they ship a polished product, something they clearly care about — they are definitely writers.

    Writing with intent is what makes you a writer.
    Imagine someone who wrote nothing but epitaphs and eulogies. He or she would still be a writer.
    Imagine someone who wrote nothing but car reviews for trade magazines and blogs. I would call that person a writer.
    A poet is a writer.
    No reason why a focused blogger shouldn’t be one, too.

    Writing is materialized intent.

    • Wow, that probably is the best definition of a writer that I have ever heard so far, and it really is true. Take a look at Nelieta’s comment below and I think that what you have said here helps me put into words something that I sense and recognize but could not pinpoint before. You’re freakin’ smart, that’s your key to greatness! 😉

  20. I’ve gone off the idea of using the word blog to a certain extent. I think article sounds a bit better.

    • I think “article” sounds good too and it many cases it’s a better description of the piece. “Essay” even. Thanks for your comment, Marty!

  21. Bloggers can be writers. Some bloggers are writers, but not all. If a blogger is doing the work that you describe then yes they are a writer. But if you’re just getting information from other sources, and posting it on your blog, the way many news agencies these days are doing, then you’re no longer a writer. Your content needs to be original. Or if not completely original in your own words at least.

  22. Personally I think blogging is an art. We are all artists but I think very modest when it comes to claiming the title “writer”. I can speak for myself because English is not my first language and I have difficulty at times expressing myself. Maybe the grammar or punctuation is not perfect and that does not qualify me to be a good writer. I am not sure if my view is shared my other people?

    • Hi! I was telling you earlier that I never knew English was not your first language. I wish I was that fluent in another tongue! But even beyond that, I don’t think that grammar or punctuation is what defines a good writer, although it really helps. I was going to say it is the ideas and word choice that makes a good writer, and now with the help of J Bell above, I do believe it is also the intent. Grammar and punctuation can be edited, but the rest has to come from the writer.

  23. When I first started blogging I did not consider myself a writer. Then recently I noticed that in comments if my photos were mentioned but my writing was not mentioned I would notice it. I started feeling like a beautiful women who is only wanted for her beauty and not her brains lol. So I guess I do think of myself as a writer …now!

    • There it is again, the care that you put into your writing has taken you to another level. I, for one, love your photography but enjoy your writing as well. Welcome to the dark side, Jim! 🙂

  24. Yes, blogging is definitely writing!!! While we are not holding paint brushes or modeling clay, we are creating 🙂

  25. Absolutely! I’m trying to get used to calling myself a writer even though my long-neglected novel is currently just a file on my computer. I have three blogs and a monthly newsletter. I’ve been doing the newsletter for over 6 years and blogging for about 5. I think that makes me a writer. Thanks for echoing some of my thoughts here.

    • Wow, that’s a lot of writing you do! So indeed, get used to thinking of yourself as a writer. As it’s been said, it’s not all about fiction. But when you’re ready, maybe you will pick up that novel again!

  26. I have never seen myself as a writer and I don’t think I ever will. You do raise some great point in this post. I write to release. It is simple and to the point I hope! A writer is someone who can take you from start to end and engage you as a reader and that quality you have!

  27. Great post Sweepy, you are a gifted and talented writer… ” )

    Lisa

  28. Great thoughts! I think bloggers can definitely be writers…maybe even “producers” in a sense, those who come up with multi-media ways to keep their blogs interested and traffic and comments coming. It takes a lot of energy and creativity to blog..something that also is required for writers too 🙂

    • I really like your idea of the producer. Blogging requires some additional skills than writing does. When I started this blog, I would just write and post. But that’s not taking advantage of all that the internet has to offer, such as sound and visuals. I’m really just starting to get into it more, but I marvel at what interesting images and videos other bloggers are able to come up with. I still have a lot of work to do on that front!

  29. Hello, I must admit that I am driven by the response. I need readers and I need followers but there is no greater need than that of my commenters. I try to comment on blogs everywhere I go. I have other aspirations when it comes to writing but yes, I am definitely a writer. And a comment hoe…lol

    • Lol! It is nice to get the feedback. For me, it is a way to connect with people and just learn. I’m probably a step or two down from a comment hoe, but I am pretty loose–or in denial! :p

  30. SweepyJean, writing keeps me sane in this topsy-turvy world,it’s the only constant in this ever-changing world.I love writing and will die if I can’t anymore.

  31. Sweepy my lovely, if you are not a writer, I don’t know who would be. Yes, bloggers are writers of a different kind. Short, sweet and to the point. I love your posts always. Hugs.

  32. that’s exactly how i feel..i feel so down every time i get no comments at all-and i only have two followers..i’m feeling like no one’s interested of what i write..so i will really appreciate it if you read mine..thank you 🙂

    • I’ll be happy to return the favor. Don’t give up. Keep engaging with other bloggers, keep writing, and read as much as you can! It will all come together.

  33. Hi from London! I found you on Janine’s blog. I love the design of your site… I am a blogger but I don’t think of myself as a writer. Maybe that’s because I happen to be an engineer!

    • Thanks for stopping by. Coming from an engineer, I really take the compliment about my site design to heart! 😉 Influential poet William Carlos Williams was a medical doctor–food for thought if you change your mind about being a writer!

  34. […] hard to really tell which one is my most popular post, but judging from the amount of feedback,  Bloggers Are Writers may have been at the top of the list. I think it was a topic so many of my visitors could relate […]

  35. I’m one of the ones who doesn’t consider myself to be a “writer” I blog for fun, for the people I meet, and to record some of my experiences to entertain others. I have no desire to write a book.
    But it all depends on what our definition of a writer is. Yes I put words on “air” so technically I’m a writer. However in my head a writer is one of note, one who writes beautifully. I discovered I’m secretly snobby about who I read or consider to be an author. One day a friend spotted a “chic lit” book in the back of my car and asked if that was a ……..book. I embarrassedly admitted to the fact it was. I was profoundly relieved when she asked me if she could borrow it.
    I totally enjoyed this particular book, it was pure escapism and served its purpose at that time. But I did not consider it to be a good book or the writer a good author. A wake up call!! Of course this author was a good writer. She had engaged my attention and allowed me to escape into another world. So I think it boils down to what an individuals perception of what a writer is.

    • So true Mary, and ultimately, it is up to each person to define what he or she is, also to determine what has merit and what doesn’t. Every type of writing has a purpose, even if it is just to entertain. We need that, too! 🙂

  36. I’ve never really considered if I am a writer, I just enjoy doing it. But like you, I do enjoy seeing others read what I have written. I guess that helps to keep me going. I think there is a little hedonist in all bloggers. 😀
    ~cath xo

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