Brevity

As a writer, I’m always falling into the same trap. Time goes on and my posts get longer and longer. I’m not exactly sure why this is beyond some subconscious effort to continually one-up myself and perhaps the notion that writing more words on a topic adds to your authority on it. Often, the opposite is true — if you have true command of a topic, you can explain it concisely.

Some will say that I need an editor, but I’ve always had more of a hate/hate relationship with editors. While I obviously appreciate typo and grammatical fixes, I feel content editing destroys my voice. I’ve written something a certain way for a reason. Putting it in bland, generic wording is blasphemy. I. Don’t. Care. If. It’s. Not. Technically. Correct.

I just don’t.

But my verbosity leads to another, much larger, problem: since longer posts take more time, I’m often hesitant to even start writing.

Reading over Svbtle’s featured posts today, I’m reminded of my problem. Several of these posts are only a few paragraphs long. Some are just one paragraph. Some are a mere twelve words. And they’re brilliant.

Then I look back at my posts on this site. 500 words leads to 700 words leads to 1,000 words leads to 1,300 words. Same old issue.

Twitter helps me around this issue with a strict character limit. Tumblr creates an environment where visual expression is emphasized and text boxes are very small. Constraints often breed creativity because they force you to improvise — to think differently. But self-restraint is just as important. And harnessed correctly, it can yield far greater results.

It’s something I’m working on. Step one: ending this post now.

 
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