Maggie Gallagher, whom I agree with on many issues, wrote a line in her review of “Julie and Julia” that jumped out at me. And not in a good way. She wrote of the main character Julie, this line:”Julie is not even a writer. She’s a blogger.” (Her emphasis not mine)
Well, unquestionably blogging and writing are not mutually exclusive as Gallagher is a writer who blogs at NRO. So clearly, as she is able to assume both monikers a blogger by definition can still be a writer. So maybe it’s when they’re just a blogger that they no longer qualify as writers.
So I have to ask Maggie Gallagher ‘What pray tell is a writer?’
Someone who writes something that many people enjoy reading? I’d ask Maggie Gallagher how many people need to read someone’s writing before that person can be considered a writer. 100? 1,000? 10,000? Please help me out here. I’m looking for a numeric distinction so I can put this issue to rest and prevent thousands of bloggers from falsely considering themselves writers only to find out from Maggie Gallagher later that they are merely pretenders.
Or is it a matter of money? Do you have to earn a certain amount before you’re considered a writer?
Is it perhaps it is the lack of a gatekeeper that bothers her? Is it the fact that anyone can coin a domain name and start writing…oh…I mean blogging at a site and nobody can say no to them? On this world wide interweb thing, there’s no grizzled old J-school graduate deciding who gets to write and who doesn’t. Nobody decides who gets hired and who gets fired?
Blogging is Darwinian. You put your stuff out there and live or die on your merits. There have been plenty o’ pundits and writers who have ventured into the blogging world and failed miserably.
And some of the best things I’ve ever read have been posted on blogs by gasp…bloggers. Someone should inform them, I guess, that they’re not writers. They’re just bloggers.
Now, I’ve earned a decent living writing for all sorts of newspapers and publications and wrote press releases for all sorts of organizations but right now I enjoy writing on the blog more than I enjoy writing anywhere else. It doesn’t really pay so great but I enjoy it. I still write for money elsewhere but I really can’t see how my being hired or not hired by a publication that may very well be out of business in a few years (at least partially because of blogs) as a distinction worthy of seeking.
It’s like someone from the buggy whip industry mocking Henry Ford as not a real transportation expert.
Can anyone say with a straight face that IowaHawk is not a great writer? (This sentence is interesting mainly because it’s the first time “straight face” and “Iowahawk” were used in the same sentence.)
I don’t know why this ticked me off but it did and I just had to write about it…oh wait…I mean blog about it.