If I had to pick out the most common criticism I receive, it would have to be the remark that I am not a writer, but a blogger.
The insult usually goes something like this, “You should be ashamed to call yourself a writer. You are just a glorified blogger who’s in it for the clicks.”
It’s interesting how many people seem to believe that there is some great distinction between the two professions. Not to mention how many of these folks type out b-l-o-g-g-e-r as if it’s a dirty word.
It leaves me feeling puzzled.
Blogging and writing are not adversaries.
In what reality is blogging not writing? Sure, you might say that writing online is inherently blogging, but you still can’t adequately define blogging without putting “writing” in there somehow.
Blogging? It’s not necessarily any less important than writing for a printed newspaper or publishing a book.
We live in an exciting time for writers where there are now more ways than ever to practice our craft.
It’s absolutely heartwarming to not only make a living as a blogger, but get feedback from readers about how your words have impacted them.
You can’t manufacture that warmth.
We don’t need to be so fixated with labels.
Who are we to say that one writer’s art is less real than any others? Who are we to decide what makes a real writer at all?
If you put in the effort to type out your thoughts in a reasonably coherent way, I am happy to call you a writer.
And if you happen to write about topics that aren’t my thing, you are still a writer to me.
If you happen to write exclusively online, I might call you a writer or blogger, but you certainly wouldn’t lose your writer status in my book.
And if, for whatever reason, I just don’t like you as a person? (Hey, it’s rare but not impossible.) That still doesn’t change the fact that you write.
I would never try to take writing away from anyone.
I call myself a writer with zero shame.
I earn my living by putting my thoughts into words and publishing them online.
No, those words are rarely perfect, but writing is never really a perfect art.
Writing is special because it exists to do so many different things. Our words may inform and educate, entertain, resonate, commiserate, nurture, heal, and so much more.
There is no one way to be a writer. So if you do happen to be a blogger? Let’s be honest. You’re a writer too.
Nobody needs permission to label their own work or selves. Not me. Not you.
Bad or boring writing is, of course, subjective.
That’s not to say that bad writing doesn’t exist. It’s just never been the writer’s job to point it out among their peers.
Are you a writer or a critic? Sometimes, it’s hard to be both and far too many writers who call themselves critics don’t actually critique. Instead, they criticize other writers' work in an effort to build up their own writing.
But we don’t have to do that.
We do get to have it all.
It’s perfectly possible for bloggers and writers to coexist, because bloggers are still writers. And some writers are even bloggers.
Sure, some bloggers are super promotional and maybe spammy. And some writers are overly verbose.
But for the most part, there is a reader out there for every kind of writer and it will never be a writer’s job to police who can or cannot exist and call themselves writers at all.
Whether you call yourself a writer, blogger, or both, there is zero shame. Or at least, there should be zero shame when you are proud of your work and your words.
Writer, blogger… call yourself the word that feels right to you. And if someone happens to call you out for being “just a blogger?”
Smile and remember that sometimes blogging pays the bills. And then feel free to remind them that blogging isn’t a dirty word.