Blogging vs Writing

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Image: Timeless Books by Lin Pernille.

Is there a difference between blogging and writing? Yes, there is. I’ve been blogging for several years now and I’m increasingly aware of the difference. Think about

what makes us read books by authors who have written them decades or even centuries ago.

Surely they’ve been writing not blogging when it comes to novels. Fiction seems to be written for longevity. At least good, great or rather outstanding fiction.

On the other hand there are newspapers. Who cares for yesterday’s news? This is a common idiom that shows the main difference. Blogging tends to be like reporting. It’s only relevant at a certain point in time.

We also tend to read letters or diaries by famous dead people. Isn’t writing letters or diaries more like blogging? Or do we read them just due to historical curiosity?

The main difference is not simply timelessness or quality but something else then.

When we blog we describe. When we write we create.

By writing like acclaimed authors do we try to be original. We want to say some unique. We attempt to offer an insight that stems from our own point of view. We do not try to describe the world, we try to explain it.

Why does it matter? After all it’s a blog here not a novel. So why don’t we need to write not to blog or at least partially write like novelists do? It’s the longevity from the first paragraph.

In modern literature theory we have the idea of intertextuality. Intertextuality basically means that everything has been said or written before. So trying to be original is a hopeless endeavor.

Whether you agree with this theory or not it’s certainly difficult like hell to write something original. What you can do instead is to add your own unique take on things. You can recontextualize what has been written in the past. You can add your two cents. If your lucky it will be more than two.

The SEO 2.0 just recently turned three. Already many articles are completely outdated. For example I have deleted a post lately about a service long gone. Even postings about services that still exist like StumbleUpon tend be obsolete by now. At the same time some posts from 2007 are still valid or more apt than ever.

You have to ask yourself: Do you want to write for the quick buck? Then blogging is OK. Do you want to be able to capitalize on your blog next year, five years or a decade from now? Then you have to start writing instead.

Don’t focus on services that come and go. Don’t cover trends and hypes. Write about universal values. Write about your own take on things that don’t change. The websites might change but the underlying techniques won’t.

I’m glad that most of the postings that deal with the philosophy of SEO 2.0 still ring true. The SEO 2.0 approach is still valid even after the 2.0 hype subsided because it was my own take on things. It was my own interpretation of ages old wisdom of human relations. SEO 2.0 was just a new context for what people have known for centuries. Cooperation is the key.

So try to adapt old wisdom to current times instead of adapting to hypes and tools.

The tools are just the tools, whether you use a hammer or a robot, you are trying to build something that lasts. The tools may change but the goals are the same. Likewise blogging is just a new tool for writing. Imagine Thoreau, Hemingway or Bellow blogging. Then write like them but not fiction. Reality is often stranger than fiction and offers daily inspiration. Your original writing stems from the time you live in but your take on it makes it timeless or universal when you apply it to timeless values.

Are you still blogging or already writing?