I have been writing since I was about 11. I have been blogging for about 5 years of that, starting on LiveJournal and later moving onto Myspace before I finally made it to my own site. (Hint: You are here). Being on the debate and mock trial teams have fine-tuned my ability to devise an argument in less than 5 minutes, and the skill of making words work to fit MY agenda. I’ve written countless college papers from the criminal justice system to affirmative action to gay rights and the impact of the financial crisis in SE Asia on our economy. I can skim through articles to get the pieces I want and throw together a B+ paper in under two hours.
When I had to take a break from school, I thought that blogging was a good way to keep my writing going. I will say, right from the start, that I have no regrets about blogging. In fact, blogging helped me find my unique voice and helped me organize my thoughts but just like with everything else that comes too easy, blogging has had some negative impacts that I am noticing.
Blogging requires no thought…or rather, it is a purge of my thoughts. It’s my opinions, my feelings, my rants and raves. It’s my own twisted sense of humor put on a platter for my audience who is not required to even finish my blog all the way.
Blogging exclusively without writing articles has made me lose my journalistic edge. It’s a disturbing realization when a potential employer asks for a writing sample and I have to dig to find my college papers that have been sitting untouched. Reading through my college papers, I see potential but I don’t see the voice of who I am now.
With that startling realization, I’ve decided to work toward bringing the voice that I found through blogging to my article and the issues I want to advocate. I am a very opinionated person…I always have been and there is a lot that I have to say. I am a writer, I am an activist, I am a debater…and then I am a blogger.
So now my goal is to enter journalistic competitions until I am back in school in January. When I want to apply for freelance jobs or when I am asked for a writing sample from a potential employer, I will have a portfolio fit to represent the writer I truly am and the potential of the writer I will become with more experience.
How has the blogging experience changed who you are as a writer? Do you consider yourself a writer or a blogger?