Friday, October 06, 2006

More on Blogging

So does Blogging make you a better writer? Certainly some people hope so. In my random browsing, many bloggers are would-be authors. It is certainly easier to blog than it is to submit one's work for publication. But does it improve one's writing? Here are my thoughts.
On the yes side: blogging makes one write more which must help. And because the writing is packaged for the public (even if no one ever reads the blog), it presumably adds pressure to do a good job of the writing itself. So for imposing an external discipline on writing, it must help.
On the no side (more points than on the yes side): one gets little or no feedback. Even if you can get someone to read the blog, iffy with a zillion bloggers out there, no one is likely to edit your work. Also, blogging discourages editing one's own work. It is hard to review a post on the little window Blogger provides. And once posted, the post is unlikely to be reread by the blogger. In addition, the pressure to post as often as possible discourages excessive care as to content. Finally, Blogging encourages a specific format. In my mind, this format is more conversational and shorter is favored over longer. The blog I am writing now seems a bit long which I guess discourages readers. And if I really pursued my thesis, I would definitely exceed the bounds of this writing form. So I may become a better blogger, but it is less clear if I will become a better writer.
Blogging reminds me of medical writing. Doctors often say that writing in charts ruins whatever writing ability they initially had. Brevity, abbreviations, and incomplete sentences are encouraged. The average chart reads (if legible, a rarity) like a singles or real estate ad. For example, to say that I assessed a 22 year old single white woman with major depression who would like therapy might look like this: 22 yo swf presents w/ MDD for tx. If I had Greek fonts the above might have been even less understandable. You take my point.
So the moral of the story? Beats me but if you choose to blog, enjoy it anyway.

1 comment:

iHanna said...

If you blog you should only do it for yourself, that is my oppinion. To save things that happened, to communicate or to become more fluent when you write. I think you'll become a better writer eventually, if you aspire to be one, but you can also write a diary under your matrass. The result might be the same as you say, it won't be edited or get feedback!