Robin Hobb wrote a very thought-provoking piece on why she thinks blogging is evil, at least for writers. The argument goes that there’s only so much creative output one person can produce in a day, so any creativity going into a blog post isn’t going into writing a serious work. Blogging is easy; posts are written in bite-sized chunks and can be dashed off in thirty minutes. Compare that to writing a novel, which takes months if not years. Blogging also offers instant gratification and feedback, whereas serious writing involves toiling alone in the dark with no immediate reward.
Blogging is thus kind of like the fast food of the writing world. Sure, it tastes good and it’s quick and convenient, but overall, it’s not good for you. John Scalzi, another author, agrees with this argument. I reluctantly have to agree as well. Since I wrote my novel for National Novel Writing Month in November, I haven’t touched any serious writing. Why? Because any time I’ve had the urge to write, which is often, I’ve simply come to this blog and dashed off another post. It’s like fast food for the creative mind. There’s a stark dichotomy that I must face: Do I want to be a blogger, or do I want to be a writer? I cannot decide.
Unfortunately I don’t have the luxury afforded to me of being both writer and blogger like John Scalzi, because he generates enough income from his writing to not need a full-time job. I’m not anywhere close to having that kind of freedom. My time outside of work is limited enough that I do have to make careful writing decisions, and I can easily see that all of this blogging is cutting down my time for other writing to non-existent levels.
I don’t know what I’ll end up doing in the long run. But for now, I am going to consciously decide to take some of my blogging time and use it for writing instead. Writing makes me happy, and if I ever am going to try to make a go of it, I will need some works. Thanks to Robin Hobb and John Scalzi for jolting me into awareness of the situation. I wouldn’t have wanted to go another three months without writing, but that’s the path I was heading on.