I’ll let you in on a little secret: A lot of professional journalists feel pretty snooty about bloggers. I know because I used to be one. In fact, I probably would have created a blog much sooner if not for the fact that for the longest time, I didn’t want to be associated with “amateurs.”
With a bit of understanding, journalists (and retired journalists) might be excused for the hostility.
- Most journalists went to school to learn to do what they do, while many bloggers went to school and learned to do something different … something that probably pays better.
- Journalists view writing as their career, their milk and bread, while most bloggers view writing as a hobby.
- Journalists wrongly view bloggers’ hobby as something that helped put them out of a job. The truth is a lot more complicated than that.
While I am disgusted by some of the careless crap I see in the blogosphere, I’ve also seen lots of great writing by non-professionals who take great pride in their blog’s appearance, and who have shown great dedication to the writing craft.
Journalists and other professional writers who deride bloggers are grabbing the wrong end of the stick. It makes no sense to alienate people who love the written word, and if they show a proper respect for the language, they should be encouraged, not beaten down.
With all that as my introduction, let me introduce the real purpose of this post, which is to lend my support to this year’s A-Z Challenge, one of the finest examples of dedication to the art of writing that you’ll ever see.
Now I am NOT participating in the Challenge this year because I knew I wouldn’t have time, but I did participate last year, and found it to be a grueling event that invites participants to somehow be creative 26 times during the month of April. It’s not for the feint-hearted, and I know plenty of professionals who would blanche at the requirement.
Completing the A-Z Challenge takes drive, discipline, determination and no small amount of skill. If you do it right, the Challenge instills good writing habits that will serve you well down the road — things like planning, attention to detail, and networking.
Yes, networking is important during the Challenge because the more you reach out to fellow participants, the more you get back in support for your own blog. Reading and commenting on other people’s work gets you noticed, and nets potential followers for your own blog. From a personal perspective, I met some really nice people during last year’s A-Z, people who have become good friends and a blessing in my life.
Although it’s a little late to participate in this year’s Challenge, it’s not too soon to make a mental note for April 2018. Remember what I said about planning? Well here’s a hint: Start writing early!
Something you can do right now is to show some support for those bloggers who are currently in the throes of alphabetic agony. It’s like a marathon — a writing marathon — and you can imagine yourself standing on the sideline, passing out tiny cups of much-needed water as participants run past. So give them a cheer, won’t you? Call it professional courtesy!
The link to this year’s 2017 A-Z Challenge information is HERE.
The link to my first post in the 2016 A-Z Challenge is HERE. You can find the rest under the A-Z category heading on Roamin’ Gnomials.