Is A Blogger A Writer?

I am going to stray from cottage and camp related things tonight and ask a blog related question. Do you think bloggers are writers? Do you think bloggers are journalists?

Is what we do with these little websites, whether they be fiction or non-fiction stories, self-help articles, product reviews, daily journals, photo-blogs, news commentary…whatever your blog is about, do you think we are writers? I am asking this question of both bloggers and non-bloggers.

I am posing this question because of an article I read on WebProNews by Jason Lee Miller.

Jason was reporting on two recent bills before the U.S. Congress that would ban the government from forcing journalists to reveal their sources, who are whistleblowers. There are actually two versions of the bill before Congress, and one would exclude bloggers from this protection. Why? Because they don’t consider bloggers real journalists.

Under this bill, to be considered a legitimate writer, it sounds like you have to sell your work, or be paid for it, which means one of the fundamental reasons why blogs are so popular, ‘the expression of individual ideas and opinions’ is not going to be considered legit unless someone pays you to do it…substantially…

The House version of the bill adds a line that essentially says, to be considered under this rule, you must make a substantial portion of your livelihood from writing, or recieve a substantial financial gain….well…we all know that there are not too many bloggers earning a substantial financial gain from blogging, nor are the making a substantial portion of their income from blogging….some are…most aren’t.

So…I ask you, setting aside the financial considerations, do you consider what you do as a blogger to be writing, are you a legitimate writer/journalist?

Artist Vincent Van Gogh sold only one painting, Red Vineyard at Arles, during his lifetime. He was little known to the art world during his lifetime, but his paintings became famous after he died. He had a significant impact on Expressionism, Fauvism and early abstraction, as well as other aspects of 20th-century art.

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson may have written some fabulous poems, but she died without gaining any fame for them. During her lifetime, only seven of her short, haunting, innovative poems were published.

After her death, though, her poetic legacy made her famous.

Tom Thomson, one of Canada’s most famous landscape painters, was not famous during his life-time. In fact, because of that, no one even took his photograph.

Do we as bloggers have to wait until after we die to become famous and recognized for what we do? I’m not too crazy about that idea.

Tomorrow: Back to cottage stuff!

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2 thoughts on “Is A Blogger A Writer?”

  1. Interesting post Rob! I never thought about it – I do like to weave stories on my birding blog – so i would consider myself a writer there. On my northern michigan experience – that is more of an artist blog for me w/ my photography. And my log cabin blog – I think I’m just blogging – but would like to be considered a writer. Whew – sorry for the long response…still mulling it over in my head.

  2. Yes, I believe we are “writers.” My reasons for that belief are because I try to use correct phrasing and grammar, although I’m sure there are times when I’m not always correct,… and I have had several posts where I’ve researched the historical background on my topic. Of course I know I’m not famous, nor ever will be famous. But a writer, yes. Good question Rob! Thanks for making me think about that.

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