Here's how I explained it to Janet, and to myself as I wrote, a great example of "thinking out loud" via writing:
I think of blogging as a way to explore the longer pieces I might write, and I do that thinking in public because that holds me to a higher standard and often leads me to fuller realizations. Some of my blog pieces become weekly columns or commentaries; others are the seeds of even longer pieces. I have a mental list of blog entries and commentaries that I see as the beginnings of my next book, Rooted: Living Thoughtfully, in Place.
My web site is where I announce my news. I see it as my polished work, including news of my writing and workshops, plus my archives, and the blog as a more personal thinking place. I should make that clear on both. Since I started the blog as an experiment, I guess it's time to give it a permanent place in my web presence! Sometime this summer when I get a break in magazine deadlines, I'll work on linking it more closely to my web site, and my web site more closely to the blog.
Isn't it interesting how explaining something to someone is a way to learn it more fully yourself? That's what happened as Janet and I explored the subject in email. So thanks, Janet. Now I understand why I blog!