I attended the first meeting of a new local Christian Writer’s Group last night. Even though I am not a writer in a traditional sense, I wanted to attend and join this JoyWriters group. I enjoyed the stories and encouragement that Christian author Nancy Hoag shared. But last night made me ask the question, “Is blogging the same as writing?” The answer may not be as clear as you think.
I view blogging as more of a spiritual journal of my journey through life. For the last several years, I have chronicled the ups and downs of my life. I have written about leaving the engineering world to move into full-time ministry. I have shared about the use of technology in church. And I have shared my struggles and successes along the way. I hope I have grown in my writing ability.
As a student, math and science were my best subjects. But I always enjoyed writing stories. When it came to reports and essays and poetry, my heart just couldn’t get excited. But when it came to writing short stories, I always felt I had a story to share. Maybe that is why I love teaching so much. When I preach and teach, I share stories from my life. People don’t want to hear illustrations from people they don’t know or can’t relate to.
But back to the question. While blogging is definitely writing, it does have differences. Writing for a blog forces you to be concise, not detailed. There are many different ‘styles’ of blogs, but most bloggers post often. Typically blogs are full of ideas and unformed thoughts. It has been interesting to see people like Seth Godin and Tony Morgan develop these ideas and thoughts into books. But blogging can make you a lazy writer. Since you are writing frequently, it becomes easy to skip the proofreading. My desire is to grow in my skills as a writer, communicator, leader, and preacher, because I know that as Christians we have a message that the world needs to hear. As 1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us, whether we write with pen and paper, or keyboard and screen, we should do everything with excellence to the Lord.