In the pretend world of the blogosphere, where nobody really lives and everybody likes to visit, as an author, a reader, a pokey looker-arounder or what-have-you, there is a constant thrumming undertone.
Is blogging writing? Are travel bloggers writers? (or journalists?) They write, but are they writers? Their work isn’t juried. Nobody edits it. If I had an editor I’d sound better, too (they say). There’s no accountability. They’re not (for the most part) getting paid. It’s not writing. Writers and bloggers far greater than I have pondered the question, and sometimes uttered truths, or even cleverness, here here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. You can find this debate argued-til-blue all over the net, should you wish.
In addition to the fact that the undertone completely lacks a baseline and has really annoying lyrics like a scantily-clad popstar (sorry, I must sound off, they are showing that Shakira video where she’s dancing in a flesh-colored unitard in a cage in the metro in Santiago. I can’t even hear the lyrics because of all the “why are we watching near-p0rn in the metro” that is going through my head).
But I digress. As is often the case.
I am sick of the blabla about whether or not bloggers are writers. Are we magazine writers? Some of us are. Are we journalists? Some of us are. Published authors? See above. Is what we write any good? Well, what is “good” anyway? And some of it, yes. Very much, lather and rinse optional. There are some incredibly talented people out there who give away their writing for free (or sponsorship) for the love of the art or because when asked the question, “do you ever worry that you’ll run out of things to write about,” they answer, “No. I’m worried I’ll run out of time before I say everything I need to say.”
I’d like to spin this are-bloggers-really-writers on its head. Don’t ask bloggers what make us think we’re writers. Ask major magazines, businesses that sell stuff or any of a host of other wannabes (NYT, NatGeo, anyone listed here, I’m looking at you) what makes them think they’re bloggers?
Why should we share a platform that individuals and groups of individuals have claimed for themselves to talk about what makes us sing, about what we’ve seen and what we need, how we educate our children, and deal with loss, and the photos we take, and the food we eat and the places we go with corporate entities? Don’t corporations have enough real estate already? Call them informal news snippets, PR, facilitated discussions. In my game of pedrito paga doble (3 card monty) they always come up losers, sleight of hand be darned.
I am hereby unchecking the box on my itunes that corresponds to the “are bloggers really writers” song. I’ve got “are corporate entities and businesses and anyone who updates their webpage periodically really bloggers?” on an endless loop. I encourage you to do the same.