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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Is posting on forums/blogs writing or avoiding writing?

   
Author Topic: Is posting on forums/blogs writing or avoiding writing?
Smaug
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So yeah, I'm avoiding working on my novel this morning, but I'm writing responses to posts, etc. The question is, is that really writing? Or am I just using one of many ways to avoid actually working on something that needs to get done?
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Robert Nowall
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To a certain extent. However, it's still practice at writing, of a sort. (I don't figure what I wrote here in my daily notes on what I've written, though.) Framing your thoughts and putting them into a concise response---well, some of you are concise---seems an okay way to waste time.

Provided you get back to writing at some point...

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enigmaticuser
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So the answer as always is both yes and no =)
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Yup!

[Smile]

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pdblake
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No, it's done between bouts of furious writing. Sort of, a change is as good as a rest. [Smile]
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Smaug
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Good to know I can rationalize it. However, I did work for a few minutes on my novel this morning--after that earlier post. I'm editing what's already written on it for now, which is basically about 40,000 words, and fretting about what I'm going to write when I get to the end of the edit, which should be in the next day or so.
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MAP
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Any type of writing is good practice.

I do find that responding to threads and blogging about writing makes me think more deeply about the process. Hopefully that will make my writing stronger.

But writing the actual stories is the most important part.

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Pyre Dynasty
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Yeah it counts as writing but it's writing that doesn't have a chance to net you anything. (Unless you have a monetized blog.)
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Tiergan
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Yeah it counts. BUT, ye have to watch out, asking that question alone might mean you are leaning towards the procrastination side.
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Smaug
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quote:
Originally posted by Tiergan:
Yeah it counts. BUT, ye have to watch out, asking that question alone might mean you are leaning towards the procrastination side.

You think? I agree with you 100 percent.
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Robert Nowall
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One shouldn't confuse "procrastination" with extending effort in another direction. In the past month, I've written up something like a dozen grievance statements for problems at work---I'd explain but it'd be libel and slander---I did make a count of the words for the ones I wrote at home, but I dont count them as literary effort and I don't add them to my notes on my writing.

Sometimes---not this month, which was fairly productive, but sometimes---I'm so worn out from something like that, that I don't get around to writing anything fun...

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Owasm
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Since I'm still in a learning phase, I still participate in forums (3) and I have a generally-neglected blog. That activity has helped my writing a great deal. I don't think you can learn to write in a vacuum.

I admit to being more comfortable fiddling with comments and writing challenges, but I also write pieces for review and think any writing, if you approach it properly, is practice.

As with everything else, too much of anything or obsessing on other matters will take away from your writing.

But if you're an aspiring writer trying to build a brand, you've got to participate with others on some level in order to do that.

If you're on the boards to avoid writing, and I will admit to that from time to time, then you need to bring a level of self-discipline to your writing and pull yourself away. If you are unable to exercise that discipline, you'll always be an aspiring writer and won't be able to make the leap to writer.

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LDWriter2
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Hmm, thought I had posted a note here must have just done it in my head.

So much for mind over matter, umm, or that is electrons a not so solid matter.


I agree with the first couple or responders. It is both. These days I tend to reread my notes and correct things in the same manner I do with stories and novels; taking out too many words, checking commas, changing words if I used them too close together, even though I do usually keep -ing words and long compound sentences. And notice I said tend to, sometimes I get in a hurry and forget to edit a post. It usually shows.

And sometimes the boards-not just these- and my blog are a nice break when I am in-between stuff but it can also be used for procrastination. But at the same time sometimes I learn things about writing, see that others vent about the same things I do about writing and find new markets, so it's also a needed exercise.

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Smaug
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Well, I think coming to forums such as this one actually stops the procrastination sooner, than if I was posting in sports forums, or any other type of forum. If you're hanging out amongst fellow writers, it's hard to keep from writing for too long.
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KayTi
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It's "targeted procrastination." It's not a total waste of time like playing a mindless game like Bejeweled Blitz or Freecell, but it's definitely not quite writing. [Wink]

Good luck getting back on the wagon. I'm trying to find mine under the piles of paper and coffee cups and digital cameras and random business cards and scraps of paper with little ideas written on them....

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Wordcaster
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is it writing? That isn't a question I would ask myself. Perhaps a different question is if commenting is helping you accomplish your writing goals.

I've heard time and time again that commenting has a poor ROI if you are trying to generate blog traffic. If you are enjoying the social aspect of it, that is another deal.

Nothing wrong with being social.

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Merlion-Emrys
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I guess for me mentally it's a borderline non issue, but that's because I, from what I can tell, view writing a little differently than most writers do. Since for me my stories are just an extension of my desire to understand the world...and share what I understand with others...discussions here, blogging about such things etc are extensions of the same concept.

Generally, if I have a story and characters that are demanding my attention, they do just that, largely to the exclusion of, or simultaneous with, everything else.

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Daniel_W
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Personally, I have to be quite firm, and say to myself, 'no. Blogging is not writing. Forum posts are not writing. Conversations about writing are not writing. Only writing stuff down, in the .doc file of the story, and hitting the save button, counts as writing.'

That, however, is because I am the king of procrastination, and I have to make things black and white if I'm ever to get anything done.

In actual fact, I think that blogging is extremely useful. It helps you develop a style of writing. Gets you to practice expressing yourself, orders your thoughts, and begins to shape your 'voice' as a writer. But blogging is also the devil - the absolute devil, complete with horns and trident. I can wax on almost indefinitely about absolutely nothing, in a blog. I can talk about the fact that I have nothing to talk about, and about the fact that I feel the need to STATE the fact that I have nothing to talk about, and about about the fact that BY stating the fact that I have nothing to talk about, I have compounded two separate nothings, and created a blog post that is comprised of layers of absolutely nothing at all. And I can continue on in that vein, as I'm sure most of us here can, for a disturbing amount of time, and even convince myself that I feel like I'm achieving something - that I'm delving deep, and putting introspection to good use.

The same applies to crits. It is universally accepted that critiquing the work of others is a surefire way to improve your own writing, but that street runs both ways. If I'm too daunted by the mess of my own prose, or by the size of that block I'm struggling with? I'll go poke holes in somebody else's efforts, and go into extraordinary detail about it, all in the name of being thorough and helpful.

In essence, I think you answered your own question: you were avoiding your novel, and therefore, you were not writing. All the forum posts, blog entries and crits in the world didn't add one word to your story, and so ultimately, it wasn't writing. But that doesn't mean that blogs and crits don't have their uses. I think it's just a case of prioritising. Novel before crits; crits before blog, or however you want to divvy it up.

Of course, it is only fair to point out, after this gargantuan reply, that I haven't written a damn thing today either [Razz] .

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Merlion-Emrys
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quote:
All the forum posts, blog entries and crits in the world didn't add one word to your story
Unless of course a blog post or forum discussion helps you figure out some plot-snarl you were trying to get past, or the reason why some character would do a thing you need them to do or such like.


I'm not trying to contradict you and definitely, there is a difference between words added to a story and other related things, but I think there can be an awful lot of crossover (realizing also that it's even more true for me, since especially with some of my work, I have to figure a thing out to my satisfaction in order to proceed anyway.)

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Daniel_W
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quote:

Unless of course a blog post or forum discussion helps you figure out some plot-snarl you were trying to get past, or the reason why some character would do a thing you need them to do or such like.

Very true; perhaps it is a little glib of me to say that blogs and crits don't add words. Personally though, I can't count any of that stuff as 'writing' (even if it does lead to more words down the road), because otherwise I end up with infinite stacks of notes, and no more prose than when I started.

I guess my point was that it's necessary to find a balance (so that the 'core writing' doesn't get overshadowed), but I absolutely take your point that there is a lot of crossover [Smile] .

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Smaug
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quote:
In essence, I think you answered your own question: you were avoiding your novel, and therefore, you were not writing. All the forum posts, blog entries and crits in the world didn't add one word to your story, and so ultimately, it wasn't writing. But that doesn't mean that blogs and crits don't have their uses. I think it's just a case of prioritising. Novel before crits; crits before blog, or however you want to divvy it up.
Yup. No wonder I feel guilty when I blog or post in forums. Then again, some of the other things I write about, like politics and world affairs, seem to call to me, like they seem so much more important that I try and make a difference in the world with the things I write. So that too has to go into creating a good balance...and it's probably individual for everyone.
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Jess
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I think as writers networking is absolutely essential. I would go bonkers without my writer friends. We need to establish connections with other people who love books. People who will cheer us when we are down. A strong base of friends to get feedback from to help us grow and learn. People who, once we get published, will blog about our books and give us the opportunity to share their books.
Of all my favorite authors right now, the majority of them are ones I've met through conferences or as part of writers groups and forums. Those are the stories that I share with my friends in excited tones. Those are the stories that I look for in the library.
If I meet someone and think they're cool, I search out their book. If I read an awesome book, I search for the person's blog. Being connected is essential for me.
While I don't necessarily count the networking as writing time. In fact if I spend to much time networking, I furiously scrabble to catch up to my wip like a mother remembering her neglected children.
Balance in all things [Big Grin]

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babooher
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I've actually written entire posts on here, long drawn out things, that essentially were just attempts to ask for permission to do something. I've caught myself doing it several times, or postponing the writing of something until I could ask about it here. Thankfully, I normally delete these meanderings before I can post them. Instead of just taking a risk, I want permission which is stupid. I'm the writer and I can write anything. So even though I don't post a lot, I have caught myself delaying writing and wanting to turn here as a crutch.
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LDWriter2
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babooher Maybe you need a blog, just change it a bit from asking to permission to I wonder if this is a good idea. [Smile]
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