Robin Hobb has an interesting piece out, referenced by damn near every writer on the 'net. In it, she says in quite amusing prose that blogging is the death of fiction, a blog will eat your fiction for lunch and emit a small burp, you can be a blogger or an author but not both... etc.

Funny enough that most of the blogging authors disagree. The authors who don't blog, well, they're quiet. I guess. If an author doesn't blog, does anyone hear her?

I'm being silly, but it's an important point. No less an author than George R.R. Martin, a fine gentleman who whupped my ex-husband's ass at chess twice, wondered if he should post less often. And was greeted with 132 replies shouting Noooooo!

Meanwhile, Patrick Nielsen Hayden of Tor Books has this amusing bit to say:

I dunno, call me crazy, but it seems to me possible that for some writers, blogging is a time sink and a creative drain, while for others it's a source of connection, energy, and inspiration. It might even be that human beings, not just writers, are all different from one another. I realize that this reveals me as prone to wild, nutty speculation, but that's probably why I work with that crazy rocketship stuff.

Sarcasm, thy name is Patrick.

But as usual, it's John Scalzi who really nails it: Don't blog when you should be writing. Work first, play later. Then blog all you like.

I resemble that remark.

Well, it's tough being me. I have this blog, which I update far too infrequently about my writing life. I write another blog professionally: CultureGeek, which offers reviews and snark on TV, movies, books and comics. Yes, they pay me for it. Yes, it's like my job and stuff. It also means my comic books are tax-deductible. Rock.

I also have a private personal blog. Just for me and my 249 closest friends. Seriously, if the readership of this public blog and my professional blog were added together, I don't think I'd come close to the hits on my personal blog. My random blatherings are that much more interesting? There's Myspace, of course, but that's just an announcements list. And there's Multiply, which I only use to keep up with my mother's family.

It's tough keeping up with all this. The one that loses is this one. I tend to toss everything out there and see what sticks, and oops I haven't updated the writing blog in mumblety weeks.

Then there's other writing stuff I do. You know, the other other stuff they pay me for. For which they pay me. The nonfiction. News. That's the easy part. There, you're pretty much stuck with the facts. Nobody ever asks you to wax creative, though I'd about chop off body parts for the opportunity to do so. Readership there? Oh, 55,000 to 65,000 people a day. Depending on the day of the week. Yikes.

And finally, somewhere in all that, I'm supposed to write some stories and books and stuff.

My son is a very understanding child. He just thinks the laptop is permanently attached to Mommy's fingers.

I keep up with all this because I talk like a rabid weasel on PCP, and there's no one more loquacious than a reporter who's actually pretentious enough to use the word "loquacious" in a sentence. And then crows to herself that she spelled it right on the first attempt.

If I stopped blogging - cut out this blog, and CultureGeek, and the personal blog, and the Myspace/Multiply/Facebook - I'd have more time, I suppose. But the only thing that would give me more fiction is to stop writing nonfiction. Because I lied when I said it was easy. It's hard as hell, because when things are going rough in fiction you can always send in the man with the gun. In nonfiction, the man with the gun has already been there, and there's someone real sobbing on the other end of the phone line. Not so funny.

I blog because it's cheaper than therapy. I blog because it keeps me in touch with other people beyond my small circle of coworkers and friends. I blog because it is the purest form of human communication yet invented, solely based on thought to thought, mind to mind, personality to personality. I blog because the 'net keeps me connected to the human race. It keeps me sane.

If that means one less story this year, so be it, Ms. Hobb. There's only so many stories I can write about the same six people I've known since high school, and I've already sent the man with the gun after each of them. Hey, it's how I show my love.