I find the easiest way to address this is to quote Melissa’s concise response to my question: ‘At what point do you believe that written work becomes worthy of a monetary value?’ She stated simply, ‘when it is well written.’ (See An Interview With Melissa Foster). In many ways this sums up my research. The ‘word’ will always have an inherent value to it. Whether it be written or typed a value will always be there.
Does blogging have an effect on it? Of course it does. When work is published in a blog it is void (almost always) of a monetary value for the writer. However, blogging is a social contract that we as writers – and indeed readers – go into consensually and willingly. We both know the outcome from the start.
Does writing get you a publishing deal & therefore automatically open the door to a token – or high – income? Maybe. Maybe not. There are no guarantees here either. Some people see a direct correlation between blogging and publication, while others saw no connection whatsoever. So, in this sense, it brings nothing to the table.
Is the internet flooded with poor quality writing and writers learning to crawl? Yes, of course it is.
However, none of these in themselves can be seen to be causing a devaluing of the written word. Words still have their value, and if you’re good enough somebody will pay to read what you have to say. If you’re not, they won’t. It’s the same as it’s always been. The only difference being that even if you’re not so good that somebody wants to buy your work. Then at least you can still have a free audience. Blogging is not devaluing the written word, like everything else happening online, it’s evolving it. Well-written words will always have a value.