In all the years I took lessons and practiced piano, my teacher never gave me finger exercises. She gave me music to play that would accomplish the same purpose. She felt “making music” was what studying piano was about. Finger exercises were boring. Playing real music would accomplish the same task, minus the tedium.
Sometimes I think of blogging as finger exercises for a violinist; sometimes I think of it as mulching a garden. It is incredibly useful and helpful to my “real” writing. ~ Kate Christensen
I don’t think of blogging as “preparatory” to something else that would be more “real.” If blogging isn’t real writing, what is it? Having someone call this an exercise is a bit insulting. Given the number of truly awful books in print, I don’t think format is at issue. I look for quality and content. Any format that is well written is fine with me.
Blogging is its own style. I have read books that were blogs printed as “books.” They read like blogs printed as a book. I’m not looking to turn my blog into a book. As long as I am able to write and have an audience, blogging is writing. That it doesn’t pay me is neither here nor there. I’m glad I’m still able to write — in any format — and there are still a few souls who read me.
People spend too much time trying to label and define everything. Writing is what it is. Do people read your “stuff”? You’re good to go.