writing vs. blogging

Andy Crouch has a blog-powered website, but dismisses the power of blogging in this excerpted sound bite that is probably taken out of context, from this L.L. Barkat article on whether anyone survives as a freelance writer:

Anyhow, Crouch added that every writer needs a website. And, I would agree–not just because I have one, but also because the marketing director at my new publisher tells me it was this site, along with a good proposal, that sold him on my first book.

“A blog is a waste of time,” Crouch also suggested. This quiet comment drew loud cries from the Riess-Winner side of the panel–which said to me that they both have blogs.

Crouch pushed back, though. “You don’t develop an audience with a blog. Your writing is at its worst. And writing for a blog doesn’t improve your skill.”

But, it doesn’t have to be that way! There’s a growing number of bloggers who are getting book deals, because their blogs are what built the audience in the first place, like Robert Scoble‘s Naked Conversations, Glenn Reynold‘s Army of Davids, Anna Broadway‘s forthcoming Sexless in the City, and more. (cf. The New Yorker: “Suddenly, books by bloggers will be a trend, a cultural phenomenon.” + InfoToday.com‘s Blogs to Book Deals + The Book Standard’s Blogs and Bestsellers: One and the Same? )

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  1. L.L. Barkat says:

    Hey, there… thanks for this link!

    Just thought you should know that Andy read that article himself and enjoyed it. And, to my comment that I hoped he was satisfied with how I communicated his thoughts, he said, “You didn’t say anything that isn’t true!”

    The original context was a panel discussion at Calvin’s Festival of Faith and Writing.

  2. David Park says:

    That’s interesting. I was just reading a book on public speaking that said something to the effect that you should concentrate on improving your public speaking with every instance that you speak in public, to somone else, anytime…I can’t imagine that blogs would be any different in terms of whether or not it improves the skill of writing or not. Isn’t it mostly a question of intentionality?

  3. I think it all depends on how you approach the website. With my roots in journalistic writing, I’ve always viewed the blog like a column. To me the blog is essentially a website that’s streamlined for fairly regular updates. But at the same time, I’m loath to post when nothing really worth saying is in my head