A couple days ago, I posted this piece of creative nonfiction, and it occurred to me that people may wonder what the difference is between “just any ol’ blog post” and “creative nonfiction.”
And then, of course, my husband says to me, “You’re better at writing than you are at blogging,” and that made me think about it, too. Aren’t “writing” and “blogging” essentially the same thing? Apparently not.
But I get his point. The way I write when I’m actually focusing on the writing is way different than the way I write for an average blog. For example, if you compare my post about Mendocino with the one about my mom, you can see a pretty stark contrast in the writing.
According to our good friends at Wikipedia, creative nonfiction is “a genre of writing that uses literary styles and techniques to create factually accurate narratives.” Essentially, it’s a factual story (think journalism) that reads like fiction.
Some people would conclude that blogs are the same as creative nonfiction, especially blogs based on their lives, but I think blogging tends to stick more closely with “journalistic” than it does “creative,” and many times blogs don’t give much of a narrative as much as they relate news.
This is especially true for me. When I write “creative nonfiction,” I focus on having truly good writing. When I’m writing a blog, I want technically correct writing, but I’m not going to worry too much about alliteration and allusion. Who cares if I use parallel voice when I’m chatting about my latest trip to the grocery store?
(If I ever write an article about my trip to the grocery store, please put me out of my misery. If I’ve run out of ideas to have to stoop to that, I should be let go.)
Not all writers work this way. I know a lot of writers who are “literary” in almost everything they write. For my blog, I don’t want to sound “literary.” I want to sound real, and, let’s face it, most of us don’t sound like Charles Dickens when we speak.
…And hopefully not when we write, either. Did you know he got paid per chapter? No wonder his work was so long!