I’ve ran across this before: “You should write everyday. So, blog if you can’t write a story,” or something similar. Perhaps you’ve heard this or something like it. DON’T LISTEN!
Blogging is not good practice for fiction. Why not? I’m writing aren’t I? Well, yes you are, but that doesn’t mean it will improve your fiction writing. It will probably help with with any non-fiction writing you are doing.
Saying that blogging will help your (fiction) writing is like saying painting houses will help you paint the Mona Lisa. It won’t. It can’t. The skills required for writing fiction are not the same as those to create a blog. Sure, there is some overlap, but only a little.
Now, if you post short stories, flash fiction, or excerpts of your novel in your blog, that is a different story entirely.
I know we writers don’t always have time to sit down and pound out a ten thousand word short story, but we can do a 500 word blog about what kind of shoes we are wearing today. Why? Because to write good fiction we must engage a part of our mind that creates not only good prose, but good stories. Blogging does not require our minds to create, only to report. The same goes for writing emails, letters, or any other type of writing that isn’t fiction.
I only rant about this because I’ve seen it a lot in the bloggosphere, and wanted to stab it in the heart and kill it now.
If you want to become a better writer, then write fiction everyday. Use writing prompts, rewrite your favorite short story from your own perspective, or any other exercise you can think of, but engage your imagination. Don’t simply tell yourself you have completed your writing for the day because you finished a blog today. Challenge yourself.