Guest writer Kelly Ray compares blogging to traditional writing, and argues that we should celebrate both…
On the surface it can be all too easy to dismiss blogging as a lesser art form than traditional writing.
Plenty of professional writers have already made arguments that blogging cannot be equal to writing, simply because it is less formal and regulated than many other published writing forms. However, this argument can only work if people accept the notion that blogging, by its nature, is inferior to writing and that writing is inherently better because of “standards.” Yet, not all writers adhere to these “standards” and not all bloggers have flagrant disregard for them.
As both a professional writer and blogger, I believe that both have positive aspects as well as drawbacks that have little to do with the format. Instead, these are more dependent on the writer or blogger and their approaches to conveying their information.
Blogs and bloggers according to naysayers
Here are some common complaints that are levied against blogging by professional writers. In general, they complain that bloggers are not subjected to the same rules, public scrutiny and regulation that a journalist or writer might face. However, this is simply not as true today as it might have been five or ten years ago. While there is the anonymity of the internet blog that a public journalist may not have, incendiary comments or a blog that has blatantly misconstrued facts can always face user antagonism in comments sections.
If enough people are coming out against what you have written in an article on your blog, you can easily lose your audience.
Bloggers are amateurs
Another argument against bloggers is that they are supposedly “untrained.” Yet, how many “untrained” writers have written best-selling novels and classic works of literature?
Here are just a few: J. K. Rowling, Franz Kafka, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Mikhail Bulgakov, the Bronte Sisters, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, etc.
From their lack of “training,” many writers assert that bloggers continually have problems with grammar and style. They believe bloggers just spell check and publish as quickly as possible to get their information out there before anyone else publishes the same news. While this may be true for less scrupulous blogs, reputable blogs that have the most traffic and viewers typically have an editor to oversee everything that is published. I myself have published on blogs for many years and I usually must submit my potential blog post to an editor beforehand. In fact, I never publish on a website that doesn’t seem to have any controls.
Bloggers are inherently worse writers than professional ones
I can’t tell you the number of book reviews I have written that have criticized so-called well-seasoned writers for their incorrect grammar use and punctuation. Bloggers are not the only ones who have writing problems and not all writers, even the professional ones, are that good. One only has to read a chapter from the popular Twilight series to see that professional authors do not always have the best command over the English language.
The illusion of unbiased writing
Another attack from traditional writers against blogs is that they are mostly based on opinion and are not grounded in reality or sources. Yet, it is nearly impossible for a conscious human being not to insert their personal observations, education, and experience into their written works.
The best historian could be writing yet another tome on Abraham Lincoln. However, the work won’t be completely devoid of their opinion even on such a straight-forward topic. Lastly, there are many quality blogs that do offer real news backed up by facts and investigative journalism. A prime example of this is The Huffington Post. Here is a website that offers both news and blogs in a seemingly intertwined mixture. Moreover, their bloggers are mostly comprised of experts from the fields they are writing on. Whether it’s a political blog post written by a former advisor to the US president or a medical expert blogging on a groundbreaking scientific discovery, The Huffington Post typically uses credible sources.
Crossing the divide between writing and blogging
While the lines of blogging in comparison to old-fashioned professional writing may seem fixedly defined, they aren’t always as rigid as they may seem.
Many young and rising journalists started out as bloggers and many traditional novelists enjoy writing for blogs. If you’re just getting started as a writer, leaving a short story up on your blog and asking for feedback is a great way to improve your writing.
Conversely, a professional writer has much to gain from continually writing for an internet audience every week to keep their writing in shape. Blogging and writing are not categorically different. They are two different branches of the same art that is the written word.
Hello everyone! I’m Kelly Ray and I’m going to tell you some interesting stuff. I’m a blogger and contributor, college ranking expert and energetic person. I hope you will find something interesting for yourself.