It’s a rare day when you can sit down for a nice long blog. To read. More so, to write.
For us somewhat literary-minded people (or maybe I should say reflective-minded people or just thoughtful people) a nice long thought process is a treat. When a long, tightly-knit thought is presented to us, we love to meander through the maze from one thought nodule to another drifting along, just enjoying the experience.
The writer takes care of the grooves along which we run. We enjoy the ride. When we have more time, we ponder, we think and we go off in other directions energized by someone else’s thoughts that we had the privilege to peruse for a while. We agree, disagree or build upon what we experienced.
Those are the long blogs. To be experienced at leisure.
But most of us like to read shorter pieces in the Blogosphere–an exploration of just one of those nodules of those long thought processes that provide us a flash of experience, a tiny, sparkling bubble of thought gloriously glinting in the sun for a moment.
The virtue of these posts is in their quick but powerful impact rather than in their exploratory genius.
I am, naturally, a long-blog thinker. That is to say, long pieces of prose come more easily to me than such short, succinct, powerful but brief pieces. Such brief, concise but vivid and powerful prose does not come easily to me at all.
But I’ve been trying hard. I realized that keeping in mind a few things help to compose such short pieces:
Exploring a single idea without sub-parts: My temptation to overcome here has been to branch off into those sub-parts to back up the main idea but the very short blog does not need or have space for backing up points.
Asking a powerful question without attempting to answer it immediately with my own opinion or evidence. The job of a single successful blog post, I’ve often seen, is only to ask the question. This has proved rather challenging for me. My natural tendency is to treat blogs like conventional essays and provide some answers to implicit or explicit problems I’ve posed in the post!
Beginning immediately. Short blog posts have no space at all for any introductory material. If I am dealing with very commonly known subjects, this is relatively easy but even then it can be very hard to launch onto a subject almost immediately with the first word.
Simplifying ideas and subjects to their very basic state. It’s terribly hard for me to be both brief and complex. That is a gift which is rare indeed. So my only option in very short blogs is to simplify, simplify, simplify. That always leaves me with a feeling of dissatisfaction!
I wonder what people do to get a better grasp over their style and content when they switch between long and short, brief and extended types of writing.