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Meanland extract – So you’re writing a blog post?

Writing for the Internet is not like writing a novel. Seriously, they’re galaxies apart. Writing an essay and writing a blog post aren’t galaxies apart; more like the distance between the nearest open cluster of stars and me.

Clearly, I’m referring to non-fiction here, rather than fiction or poetry or experimental writing. I’m not talking about writers who are using blogging tools to serialise their novels or continue to ‘journal’ blog (the origins of the Internet weblog) because journalling is different – a more intimate form and less reliant on other people’s input and interactivity.

Much has been said of late – what with the Miscellaneous Voices launch, Jessica Au’s post at Spike last week about where blogging is at as a literary form, and the recognition writers (a category in which I include bloggers because they write) receive – about the nature, purpose and style of blogging. And while that is all worthy of debate, this is more a question of how to write for the digital medium.

Jessica Au asks:

Surely the more pressing question then is not whether poetry works better on print or as a digital text, but how it can work best according to the medium chosen?

Indeed. How are we negotiating the environment that is the Internet? When we sit down to write a blog post, should we approach it in the same way as writing an essay – i.e. an essay with hyperlinks? An online writer can work with whatever style and content they prefer, but are they thinking about their medium and audience when they sit down to write – and are they adapting?

Read the rest of the post over at Meanland.

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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Jacinda Woodhead is the editor of Overland. Her PhD research examined abortion politics in Australia and nonfiction as political intervention.

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Comments

  1. Hey Jacinda, I read your article and found it thought-provoking. I’m not sure I’m cut out to be a blog-writer: the simplicity of ‘blurt, there it is: find your own references or look in the bibliography’ printed page kind of appeals, and let’s face it: I’m old school in so many ways…

    I do like this interactive aspect though, I must say.

    One thing I do know is that the screen is not the page and why not explore all the potential of the form.

    But do we need more rules about writing? The editor in me says: YES! The writer says *sigh*

  2. Thanks Clare. The interactive aspect appeals to me as well. I also like that there’s a whole world out there and bloggers are helping to connect dots and find correlations and draw together a variety of sources from the comfort of their bedrooms. [I'm joking – not everyone writes from their bedrooms.]

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