What’s a Blogger?

I’ve noticed that many people refer to themselves as writers and/or bloggers these days. I don’t, as I’ve always wondered how you define the terms. The problem I have is that I walk, but I wouldn’t describe myself as a walker. In the past, when I used to walk 20 miles for fun (I lived in a flat place) I still wouldn’t have described myself as a walker as I didn’t have proper walking boots, a compass or Kendal Mint Cake. Mostly I just had a packet of sandwiches and a pair of binoculars.

I feel you need lots of kit, and probably hills before you can call yourself a walker.

So, I ask, what is the stage at which someone who writes becomes “a writer”? Or when does someone who writes a blog become a “blogger”?

I have, in the distant past, been paid for things I have written, and had the odd placing in competitions, though I never won any. I may well have been “a writer” at that point. I don’t think I am now as I do tend to feel that it should feature regular attempts at publication Β and sitting round with a group of other writers talking of dramatic foreshadowing and story arcs.

I also think writers need angst.

Having made a decision years ago not to worry about things I can’t change, such as war, climate change and male pattern baldness, I donate money to charity, recycle and shave my head every so often. It doesn’t cure any of the problems but it doesn’t make them worse and it does keep my head tidy.

This stops me experiencing angst, which probably renders me unfit to be a writer.

There’s no special equipment for writers, as everyone has laptops these days, but I can’t see that sitting at home writing as a hobby makes me a writer. Nor does having aΒ hobby make me a falconer.

I’ve been looking for a home for that pun for years.

Becoming more serious, for once, at what point do you think it’s fair to call yourself a writer or a blogger? I know some of you have written books, and are therefore proper writers, so I’m confident of some high quality answers here.

No pressure though…


47 thoughts on “What’s a Blogger?

  1. learntoeatwell

    I have had 2 blogs for many years (learn to eat well and survivalguidefortheskint). Does that make me blogger? Not sure. I don’t use it like a diary so perhaps not. Should I share that my lunch today was left-over chicken, rice, cabbage and carrots from last night’s dinner, fried in butter and olive oil, topped with gryer and danish blue cheeses with a few slices of fresh fig? Perhaps. It was yummy.

    1. quercuscommunity

      Yes, I think it does – themes seem to make bloggers more professional where random people like me look like bumbling amateurs.
      Anything that includes blue cheese and figs has got to be good, πŸ™‚

  2. orvillewrong

    I like to think of myself as an aspiring writer. I see blogging as a challenge, to try to find something new and interesting each day to keep my audience amused. it is very much a learning curve, but it is helping me become a better writer of that I have no doubts.

  3. myfoodhunt

    Hi Simon

    This was a good question and one that I had to sit and think a while on.
    as you know I have three food blogs, one for Nottingham, one for Chicago, and one for everywhere else. Now although I do say that I am a blogger (because I write on these blogs), and a writer (for the same reason). I am not sure that I do any of them to be a blogger.

    I started my first one as therapy, a reason to get out and see Chicago and to get me back into the world. I had to blog to survive as at the time I needed something to hold on to. I had just crawled out of some sort of rehab place and they said it was a good idea, but that is part of living in America, you kind of have to do it when it is your turn.

    The Nottingham one was out of frustration because when I came back to blighty I could get no information about anywhere I wanted to eat, mostly because Nottingham seemed to be a provincial backwater and no-one had caught onto food blogging in the city yet. Now everyone is doing it (often badly and for the wrong reasons, more about that in a bit)

    Mostly though now, I blog or write or pontificate or whatever it is called just for myself. It is still a therapy and a reason to go out and force myself to interact with the real world.

    My blogs are less personal than some, I feel your blog is now more of a Diary, and because I know you in the real world I enjoy the read, not sure that I could give that much of myself onto my blogs.

    The sort of blogging that annoys me, is the ones that do it for free stuff and expect to get free stuff. In the Food blog world I have had to just shut myself off that freeloading world just for integrity. I actually know of someone who wrote a blog based on being invited to eat for free at a lot of places and ended up getting a first class hons degree in some sort of made up social media course. Mickey mouse degree as we call them.

    Crikey my comment is almost longer than some of my actual posts and probably as meaningless too πŸ™‚



    1. quercuscommunity

      Thanks for dropping by Marcus – you were actually one of the people I was thinking about when asking the question.

      I noticed you describing yourself as a blogger a while ago, and it seemed right, whereas with some people it doesn’t, which got me thinking.

      I think the difference between us is that you have focus and have put together a coherent blog about good eating round the world.

      I just develop a random thought and chuck it down in the blog.

      That seems, in my eyes, to make you a blogger and me a dabbler.

      :-)I may well use this as a basis for another post, as it could take a long answer.

  4. janeflynnsenseandsentimentality

    Such an interesting question. I am new to ‘blogging’, just as I am new to having a website. I am new to this whole self publicity thing. It goes against the grain, but it seems it has to be done. I wrote a PhD thesis, but although that’s a lot of writing, I don’t think it makes me “a writer”. I want to be and I am working on it. I think I blog, but being “a blogger” seems to suggest you think yourself, and think others also find you, far more interesting than I do, so I can’t be one of those either. πŸ˜‰

    1. quercuscommunity

      That actually throws up another grey area – if you are an academic you have to publish, but despite this I rarely think of academics as writers.

      That’s the beauty of WP – plenty of questions to think about and plenty of people to ask them. Answers are harder. πŸ™‚

      Welcome to a wonderful world.

  5. beatingthebounds

    “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet.”
    Personally, I don’t think I would generally say that I am a blogger, but only because it’s an ugly word.
    It’s precisely because you don’t have to have a lot of kit that I like walking. Some people seem to have a diametrically opposite idea, but I don’t thing you need to spend a fortune on gear, even for hill-walking.
    Am I a blogger, a writer, a photographer, a walker? I walk, I write, I keep flinging out posts on my blog. Nobody has offered to pay me to write, and aside from an article in a professional journal and a summary of some research I was involved in, nothing I’ve written has been published. I did once have a photograph in National Geographic. On the letters page, of the children’s edition, admittedly, as the kids are always eager to point out if I ever mention that fact. Oh, and one of my photos appears on the label of a beer brewed in the US. But I’m not about to give up the day job.
    I’m not really bothered whether I’m considered to be a Blogger or not, I shall continue to obstinately plough my own furrow regardless, as, I’m sure, you will yourself.

  6. Pingback: A Very Average Day | quercuscommunity

  7. KathrinS

    That really is an interesting question. I have a friend who guest posted twice on a blog and calls herself a ‘blogger’ on all her social media. For some, I guess it just means that you’ve written at least one post on a blog, or that you’ve got a blog. But it could also be defined as getting paid for writing a blog – as in, when you get paid, you’re a blogger. Not sure which I agree with.

    Kathrin — http://mycupofenglishtea.wordpress.com

  8. robertcday

    Hahaha – an amusing little article you have written there. For what it’s worth – here’s my input.
    You can call yourself a writer, as can I and as can anyone who writes anything, even it it’s just a shopping list. A writer is someone who writes – period.
    The difference comes when you start to use adverbs. Some people are good writers, some are casual writers, some are prolific writers, some are professional writers, some are crap writers, some are hyperbolic writers and some are critical writers. At the end of the day, though – they are all writers.
    Have a nice day. πŸ™‚
    Kindness – Robert.

  9. Helen

    I say I ‘write a blog’ rather than use the term ‘blogger’. That wasn’t a conscious decision – I only thought about it when I read your post. ‘Blogger’ does seem to have a negative ring to it, though don’t ask me to explain how or why.

  10. tootlepedal

    I am definitely a writer by virtue of the fact that I sit down every evening and write. I am also a cyclist in spite of the fact that I have had the same bike for years and don’t wear a club jersey because I have cycled 10,000 miles since February 2105. I am also a blogger in spite of the fact that there are many other bloggers whose raison d’etre and dubious methodology I don’t wish to be associated with. I know that I am a blogger because of the fact that I have posted a blog almost every day since June 2010. I am also an instrumentalist, playing the flute a bec and the transverse flute.

    Nevertheless, none of these these incontrovertible facts mean that I am any good as a writer or a blogger and I know that I am a pretty awful cyclist with poor bike handling skills and rubber legs and I am certainly an indifferent recorder and flute player. Do I care?

    What is the point of all this unwanted information? The point is that I love writing, I love cycling, I love playing music and blogging a fairly uninteresting life has given me a fantastic new hobby, photography.

    I wouldn’t be waiting for each of your posts with the eager anticipation that I do if you weren’t an excellent writer and an entertaining chap as well. I wouldn’t be embarrassed about being a blogger if I was you. I would be proud. There are many people earning money by puffing crap products who can’t write anything like as well as you. But you knew that.

    1. quercuscommunity

      One of my problems is that in describing myself as a writer or blogger I might be raising false expectations in other people.

      We had that done to us several times on the farm when various “artists” and “writers” tried to use us as a conduit for Arts Council funding.

      It wasn’t “unwanted information”, I’m always fascinated by the lives of other people. I’m the sort of person who loves train travel because it lets me look into back gardens.

      I also know, as a result of blogging, that what I think of as a flute is in fact a transverse flute.

      As for “uninteresting” – I was contemplating this in the car park at TESCO this morning after a hard morning in the launderette. You have a life full of flowers, bridges, nuthatches and family. I promise you, that’s interesting compared to mine.

  11. Lavinia Ross

    I am one who is hesitant to put labels on myself, as I generally don’t fit nicely into little boxes. πŸ™‚ My blog actually took the place of email newsletters I would send out periodically to people who signed up at music gigs for updates. I got tired of sending email newsletters and maintaining a list. The first blog was a memorial to Klaatu cat.


    I guess I am someone blogs and has written newsletters and an article. Perhaps better described as a dabbler in life?

  12. flanders1914

    I have written a book, “Poppies From the Heart of Strathspey” it may still be available from the Bookmark in Grantown on Spey. Does that make me a writer? No just someone who has shamfully advertised a book that in all probability is no longer available. I blog, though not a blogger. It is just one of many thinks I do. We all are different things to different people. I enjoy your blogs regardless of what you or others call you. Long my you continue to write them, what ever they are called.

    1. quercuscommunity

      I’m pretty sure that shameless self promotion is one of the qualities that mark out a true writer. πŸ™‚

      It’s a small world – your reviewer on Amazon is someone I’ve known ever since I moved to Nottingham – 30 years ago. If he says it’s good it must be very good.

      Thanks for your comments on the blog.

  13. GP Cox

    Honestly, I can’t answer that, although I have been curious myself. I know I’m not a professional writer and by everything I used to hear about bloggers; you and I aren’t it. Back when blogs started, it seemed it was only for personal diaries and ranting, complaining ‘people’. πŸ™‚ So I just claim to report what facts about the Pacific War I can attest to. I am continually trying to negate the myths that have over the years become “facts”. Maybe I’m a novice researcher? haha

    1. quercuscommunity

      I’ve looked at various ways to make money from blogging, but I either don’t understand it (SEO and all that) or don’t want to do it. I think it’s because I see readers as friends to chat to rather than a resource to harvest.

      1. Array

        I agree with you. This is the main reason for me as well. Also the second one is that I am afraid I would feel the pressure to please the followers and hence not be sincere or spontaneous as I am right now. There is nothing wrong with making money out of a useful and interesting blog, I may try it in the future, but I must have a mental attitude that minimizes this kind of potential complications..

Leave a Reply