Wednesday, December 02, 2009

It's not the size of the wave..

A facebook conversation between my brother and friend Kirsten from Nilsen Life led me to this question: does length matter?

I'm talking about blog posts, of course. What did you think I was talking about?

What is too long? What is too short? Purely subjective, I guess.

A friend once referred me to the blog of a prominent mommy blogger. She told me this woman was hilarious, a must-read. So I eagerly hopped on over...and she lost me. I just didn't have the time, energy or, frankly, the interest to read super-long posts with a random tangent and a bazillion links in every paragraph.

I wanted to scream "GET TO THE POINT, WOMAN!"

I had an eighth-grade science teacher who put it thusly: "An essay should be like a girl's skirt: Long enough to cover the subject but short enough to be interesting."

Now, granted, that was probably an inappropriate analogy for a bunch of 12 and 13 year-olds (to say nothing of how he'd write "el toro cocca" on your paper if you, you know, wrote a bunch of bullshit).

Still, I remember it. And it does make sense. It's tough to self-edit. Some people think their every word is a precious gem. Trust me. There are a lot more cubic zirconias out there than diamonds. More is not always merrier.

This is not to say that some topics don't lend themselves to more explanation or description or dialogue or whatever. There are absolutely posts I've read that have captivated me, made me laugh out loud, tear up, or both, and I would've kept reading if there'd been more. And there are beautiful writers whose pages are filled with emeralds and rubies.

But not everyone.

I'm reading blogs to be entertained, informed. Anyone with a laptop and internet access can get their stuff out there. That doesn't mean I have to read it. Especially if it's 1,000 words.

So when you're rambling on and on and you can't figure out how to wrap it all up, just scroll up a few inches. The answer is right there.

1 comment:

JenC said...

I like this post, Cheryl. Good point... of course, I think most of my posts are too short. But we do what we can, right?

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