A blog is to writing as a speech is to talking. Which is to say, one form of communication is labored over and refined and one is not.
When I started this five years ago, I didn’t overthink it. I just jumped in, wrote something everyday, and moved on. Even when I started writing fiction, it took a while before the penny dropped and I understood what I was missing.
Editing? What’s that?
Ignorance is bliss, I guess.
The thing is, though, spontaneously writing down your thoughts into cohesive sentences exercises a very specific muscle. When you do it a lot, the process begins to feel quite natural.
Writing short stories or long-form fiction, on the other hand, would seem to be an entirely different animal. Or is it? The first draft is similar in the sense that (at least for me) there’s not a lot of pre-meditation. After that, the disciplines diverge. Rewriting and editing are slow and laborious, requiring significant left-brain engagement. Iteration after iteration, the thing slowly begins to take shape. The more you do it, the more you realize how crude the first draft was.
And if that’s all you did, one might be left feeling quite insecure about one’s ability to write anything worth reading. It’s not a good place to find yourself.
But after writing and posting well over 500,000 words on my blog, that’s not where I’m at. Is everything I’ve posted good? Probably not. Am I ashamed of any of it? Hell no. Do I think some of it is really interesting, maybe even better than good? Yes, I do.
At the end of the day, this is where I became a writer. And the whole glorious mess is there for the public to see.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.