You’re not a writer, you’re just a blogger

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, and blogging since around 2002. I’ve watched the blogging world change and develop (and watched myself do the same). Even though blogging’s been around a long time now, I think we’re all still learning how to effectively use blogs for a number of things — to write, to connect, to advertise, to make money. They’re all legitimate uses, of course. And everyone’s got their own opinions on how to do it properly.

What I find frustrating, though, is the divide I’ve found between Writers and Bloggers. In the past, I was told that no matter how often I write, I was “just a blogger” until my work was in print. Ok, fine. So I wrote some articles and saw my name in the holy byline — was I then a writer? Turns out, nope. I have an English degree and focussed on creative writing and Canadian Lit in university; did that give me cred? Turns out, nope. I don’t have a journalism degree and I’m not in with the literary crowd, so does that mean I’m forever pigeonholed as Just A Blogger?

I write blog posts and articles, I do copywriting and general business writing for clients, and I’ve buckled down and started to write a novel. I make a living with my words, but someone else gets to say I’m not a writer, I’m just a blogger.

If I run, I’m a runner. If I paint, I’m a painter. Why, then, when I write, can I not be a writer?

I can be, of course. It isn’t someone else’s label for me that matters, it’s my own. And the same goes for you. Don’t let someone else define you — you get to choose who you are, and how you’re labelled. If you write, you have every right to call yourself a writer. Or a blogger. Or anything else you want to be called. It’s not an exclusive club.

And if you want to make money off your blog, do it however you see fit, don’t let someone else make the decisions for you. If you want to pitch stories to magazines, do it. If you want to write a book, then get to it. If you want to have a blog of product reviews exclusively, go for it.

You're not a writer, you're just a blogger.

You get to make your rules, and no matter how you do it, you’re never “just a blogger”.

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Alex

6 thoughts on “You’re not a writer, you’re just a blogger

  1. Word.

    I wrestled with this for a long time myself. I actually wrote about it a year or so ago (ironically? Maybe?). It’s a weird quirk of many good writers I know, this reluctance to adopt the label.

    For what it’s worth, you’re totally a writer in my eyes.

    1. That means a lot to me, thanks, Joe! Want to share the link so I can read your post about it, too?

  2. There are people who write quite poorly and have blogs. I admit I have difficulty thinking of them as writers, though technically even they are. I find the dismissal of blogging by those who consider themselves “real writers” to be petty and snobbish. Those same people likely feel the same about copywriters or others who write commercially.

    And then I wonder if there’s an element of jealousy – bloggers have their writing read. Pretty much everything they write is read by at least a handful of people, if not thousands. Getting published in a traditional sense is much more difficult. Or maybe I’m being petty now 🙂

    1. Sure, there are bad writers who blog. (There are bad writers who get published, too, I think, ha!) It’s the labelling I don’t support. I don’t care what someone else wants to call themselves, it takes nothing away from me. So nobody should care what I call myself, either. Nyah, nyah, and all that. :p

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