Sunday, April 19, 2009

Blomance And Training

By way of Jen Robinson's Book Page, I found The Trouble With Blogging at Sarah Miller: Reading, Writing, Musing...".

Sarah raises a couple of interesting "con" points in her discussion of the pros and cons of blogging. For one thing, she wonders if the kidlitosphere is less dynamic than it used to be. Personally, I think that what has happened over time is that we've become less wild and woolly. Kidlit blogs are no longer a ground-breaking idea. The frontier aspect is gone. What's more, when the kidlitosphere first began to explode, there was a lot of excitement because bloggers were finding each other. Let's call it...blomance. Now we've all known each other for a while. We know what to expect from each other. But we're missing the wildness of our youth.

The second interesting point Sarah makes is about how fragmenting the number of Internet opportunties have become and what a problem that is for writers. (Probably for people in other fields, too.) Blogging and social networking do take time from a writer's work, and then if you're keeping journals of some kind, as Sarah mentions, that's another activity that takes from the big writing project.

There are solutions to that problem. The one Sarah is trying is to take a break from blogging for a while. My solution is that I've made the decision that I won't do social networking.

Why am I sticking with blogging instead? In addition to believing that it has helped market my writing, I'm continue to blog because it is writing. I've been listening to Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. In that book, Gladwell says that it takes 10,000 hours to achieve mastery in any field. By that he does not mean 10,000 hours cranking out manuscripts that are immediately embraced by publishers and turned into books. He means 10,000 hours of grunt work, rehearsal time, practice, study, and learning the ropes before you get to the point of succeeding in a field.

That just happens to fit in very nicely with the training model I've been thinking about in relation to writing. You never stop training, you never stop honing your skills, you always expect that you need to improve the most elementary things you know about your field. Training is and always will be a part of your life, you train for the sake of training, you train because you want to train.

Blogging is nonfiction writing, and I'm interested in writing nonfiction. Blogging, therefore, is part of my training.

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