Today I finally broke down and applied for a credit card at a local bank. I knew that the guy behind the desk (I didn’t think to ask what his actual title was, so “guy behind the desk” will have to do) was trying to make conversation in a somewhat false manner in order to keep the sale going. I don’t know if my answers affected my eligibility or not but I felt like I was on trial in a way. Either that, or he always spoke that way when dealing with customers. I projected that I went in there knowing what I wanted and I got exactly that.
I didn’t think much of the questions but one of my own answers to one of them bothered me. The subject of my writing came up and somehow I mentioned that I maintained a blog… “if that counts.” He quickly said that it definitely counted as writing, although whether or not he said that simply to feed my ego or if he really meant it, I don’t know. But why did I feel the need to add that qualifier in the first place?
If somebody else tries to downplay blogging as real writing, I’m the first to defend it. Yes, of course, different people use it for different means. But certainly there are those of us who use it as a means to express ourselves in a written manner, sometimes in lengthy articles, sometimes on professional sites. So why, in certain situations, would I not think of blogging as writing?
One reason would be that when I was in that situation in the bank, the guy behind the desk (see? It works nicely) held the dominant role over me. That right there could be fodder for another blog post entirely. However, I want to remain on the topic of why I would still have even the faintest notion that blogging wasn’t “real” writing when talking to him.
Perhaps the fact that I don’t make any money doing this might have something to do with it. I may have thought that he was looking for answers related to my financial situation. I do, of course, use this blog to promote any sort of writing that I self-published on Amazon. I haven’t done that enough, though. It doesn’t feel like it when I’m looking at my sales figures.* Even if I left my sentence at “I maintain a blog,” though, my point would still have gotten across.
It could also be that I’m unsure if this blog is improving my writing any. I have over two hundred followers now, which is great, but that alone doesn’t tell me that my writing is any good. Please, I’m not fishing for compliments. I’m simply trying to figure out why I got self-conscious of this blog all of a sudden.
Whether or not I’m making any money at it yet, I still consider myself a writer. It’s too much of my identity to deny at this point. Lately this blog has been my primary outlet, as I’m spending more time editing my creative work than actually creating. (Note to self: that’s probably the wrong way to look at editing, too.) If I’m not taking the blog seriously, that could be a sign that I’m not taking myself as writer seriously, either. I really need to change that.
*Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to shame people into buying my book. I only included that sentence because I felt it was relevant to the topic.