Blogging

does blogging really improve your writing?

March 26, 2019

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been thinking really hard about blogging in general, and my blog in specific. I started blogging to grow as a writer (and other reasons, but that was foremost).* I was told that “blogging will improve your writing through practice” and I’m here to ask, does it really?

Doubtless, everyone has their own experience, so I cannot speak for all – but I think I can safely say, YES and NO. Yes, blogging can improve your writing skills, but NO that does not mean it will.

Why?

WELL, FIRST OF ALL, BECAUSE IT’S MORE ABOUT YOU THAN ABOUT BLOGGING.

*the other reason was because I wanted to be like the Cool Kids who blogged and now that most of those Cool Kids I followed don’t blog anymore I’m feeling like, “maybe I should stop.” Just kidding. Sort of.



Let me explain.

HOW BLOGGING AUTOMATICALLY IMPROVES YOUR WRITING SKILLS:

  • You get the practice of putting words down on paper (or on the computer). This seems simple enough but IT REALLY ISN’T. Sometimes, if you’re a newer writer, or unfamiliar with writing constantly, it takes a long time for you to put that draft down. Blogging helps to free you of your apprehensions by giving you the chance to PUT WORDS DOWN OFTEN.
  • Blogging helps you to think of your audience. Identifying an audience is such a huge part of writing and blogging really reinforces it! As you grow a readership, you’ll automatically start thinking of them, what they like reading, and what you can write to help them. It’s really great.
  • You get into the CONSTANT WRITING habit. Everyone agrees that if you want to be a writer, you need to write a lot, constantly, even if not every day. Blogging is a wonderful motivator for this – at least, it used to be for me. Setting a blogging schedule is really encouraged, so most people come up with “I’ll post once a week/twice a week/once every two weeks”. When I started, I did it twice a week and at first it was such a hassle! It felt like I was cramming for an exam all the time, but that was just because I had not been writing that regularly before. In no time I got the hang of it. So blogging is great for creating a writing habit!

ALL OF THESE STILL DEPEND ON YOU, OF COURSE. If you’re serious about blogging, then these should follow automatically. Of course, if you get lazy or give up after two months –  these benefits will not be yours. Obviously lol. BUT IF YOU REALLY WANT TO BLOG AND STICK WITH IT, you’ll start to notice how you get better at putting words down quickly, thinking about your audience, and writing more constantly.


NOW.

HOW BLOGGING DOESN’T AUTOMATICALLY IMPROVE YOUR WRITING SKILLS:

  • BLOGGING WILL NOT DEVELOP YOUR WRITING VOICE OR STYLE. The thing is, we are mostly concentrating on GOOD CONTENT and BEING ON TIME so we kinda forget the writing style. The sentence structure, the essay layout, the prose. We don’t pay much attention to that. It doesn’t help that most bloggers write very, very casually – the way they’d talk.
  • It won’t really improve your grammar. This goes along with the former, but my grammar ABSOLUTELY SUCKS IN BLOGGING. I write run-ons and fragments as if that were what I was taught in school. And throw in a bunch of texting slang like lol brb hahahahahaha tbh XDD aka all the ***** hashtags and adkfjdsahfdshfauhfsdjkahfd. My elementary school English teacher (aka my dad) would be so so horrified. If I still were his student he might delete my blog. Yeaaaaah.
  • Due to your binding schedule, you may easily fall into the trap of WRITING ONLY WHAT YOU’RE USED TO/COMFORTABLE WITH. And this means – only those posts you’re fast at, only your dreadful grammar, only things you can whip up in one day. I fell hard into this rut and I’m trying to pull myself out. They say that if you aren’t stretching so much that it hurts you aren’t stretching enough – and I mean it in regards to writing. If you’re comfortable for too long and having it easy where you are in your writing journey, it means YOU NEED TO MOVE ON. 
  • Blogging may take time that you could use for your other writing practice. For me, blogging has turned into a thing separate from writing. I have writing and I have blogging. And is my blogging real writing, in my opinion? No it isn’t. Because I’m being far too casual at it. But does it get my priority? Oh yes. Blogging takes priority because you all are waiting for my posts.

As you can see, blogging will NOT AUTOMATICALLY MAKE YOU A BETTER WRITER. It seems to aid you in the basics, and THEN IT STOPS. You get comfortable and you stop stretching. At least I did.


In the end this is what it really boils down to.


BLOGGING WON’T MAKE YOU A GREAT WRITER. ONLY YOU CAN DO THAT.

Blogging is a tool, and you must make sure you are using that tool well. You decide whether you’ll use it to improve your skills or not. Blogging CAN improve your style, your grammar; it can widen you horizons - but only if you intentionally decide to do so. All improvement and growth and learning is intentional and takes work! Writing included. And blogging can become a crutch – but only if you let it.

So, what I’m trying to say is – blogging can help you, or hinder you, but that’s up to you to decide. What are you going to let it do? What are you going to use it for?? I’m going to use it to improve my writing, starting NOW. With this post.

^^ (Which, btw, I typed in a Word document, not my blogger draft, because typing it in blogger felt so stifling and restrictive suddenly)

YOU DECIDE WHERE YOU ARE GOING.

And I’d just like to point out that if you are blogging just for FUN - and your intention is just to put words out and you don’t really care about your style because either a) you are really good already or b) you are improving elsewhere or c) right now it’s just not a priority – THAT’S 100% OKAY. It's about what your purpose is and I’m just writing this post for those writers who want to grow their writing through blogging.

Be honest with me, are you using your blog to stretch your skills or do you feel you’re just doing the same old thing? Do you think blogging improves writing? Give me all your feedback below!!

xx lisa

Recaps

quick update for you all

March 01, 2019

HEY friends, I know I've been very absent lately, and that's due to five weeks of both being sick and having crazy amounts of schoolwork to catch up on. I literally had three months worth of posts planned but never had a chance to finish writing them.

So ... I've been rethinking my blog a lot lately. I started some three blog drafts in the past week (or two) thinking I could put them out but no. I couldn't finish. I guess I have blogger's block?

The thing is - I don't want to get stuck in the rut of churning out new posts every week just because that's what I've been doing, because that's what I do. NO. I want this blog to be a tool to grow myself as a writer.

I started my blog for that purpose - to grow my writing. And I've realized that while I have learned self-expression to some extent, stylistically I'm going nowhere. All my posts are what I'd call quick casual writing. They sound exactly the way my speech would. I'd type them out in one or two days, proofread for typos once, and post - because, hey, I have a schedule to maintain.

Well, I've decided to THROW MY SCHEDULE OUT THE WINDOW for a while, while I figure out how I'm going to do all this. I need to rethink my subject matter/content because when I began, I said "I WILL WRITE ABOUT BOOKS AND WRITING."

So have I written about books? YES I HAVE. 
Have I written about writing? NO I HAVE NOT. (the only time I do is when it's about MY writing and hey that's not helpful to anyone.)

I want to write posts that are helpful for both ME and for YOU. I don't want to keep on doing the same old thing just cos I need to stay on schedule. 

SO THERE'S THAT. Got the big words off my chest. Now it's your turn. 

You guys have been so amazing and stuck by me through all this so I really want your opinion on things too! I know the blog is "my space" kinda and I "can do what I want" but ... you all are so important that I want to do what you want as well.  I'd appreciate all the feedback you can give on my blog, namely ...

what do you like about Inkwell?
what do you think I should keep (can be anything ... style, content, catchphrases that I did not know I had)?
what do you think I can do without?
and whatever else! your feedback means so much to me!!


love you guys. stay awesome.
I'll be back at some point soon-ish.

xx lisa.


© Lisa Elis 2017-2019. All text mine unless otherwise credited. Please do not steal. Thank you.