A kind of radical way to turn yourself into a better writer
Pretend like your next blog post (or whatever you’re in the middle of writing) must be delivered by Pony Express and it will not arrive at your readers’ doorsteps for 3 months.
How would you write differently if you had to make sure you covered all the bases? Not to mention that those bases should still be relevant in 3 months. How would you write a blog post if your post was loaded onto a stage coach and bounced across the Great Plains, the Colorado Mountains, and the deserts in between before getting to your readers? (For those in other countries, fill in your own mountains, plains, and deserts.)
I found an old advertisement for my area that got me thinking about this. It mentioned that a coach line from my town to Cincinnati had been re-opened after a whooping cough scare (or some such disease of the era). Not only that, but the bigger news was it now only took 9 hours to get from Richmond, Indiana to Cincinnati by coach! Today it takes an hour and 45 minutes by horseless carriage.
How would I write a letter to a family member in Cincinnati or Durango knowing that they wouldn’t see it for weeks or months instead of instantly via email or social messaging? You’ve surely noticed the brevity and general lack of quality in the modern era’s communications. I said “lol” to my grandmother once! Surely grandmas warrant better than this!
Before LMAO and FML, we had sarcasm and enough writing skill and wit to convey funny things without the need for an abbreviation for “just kidding.”
Mind you, a short, pithy post doesn’t mean we have to break out the OMGs to keep it short and pithy. It means we have to slow down and think about words. Not only that, but we need to enjoy the art and fun of writing. Even if you’re writing a script or outline for a video project.
I’ve tried to help get your juices flowing by incorporating some odd, uncommon words and phrases here that you don’t see online much these days. It’s easy for me because I’m odd and uncommon. Others may have to stretch a bit.
People might enjoy reading again if there were more creators willing to enjoy writing again.
I took more time writing this post than I normally do. I had more fun, and I let myself think about impact, meaning, metaphor, alliteration, and maybe even entertainment. It is a far cry from Hamlet. But it IS Hamlet compared to the byte-sized information particles that we’re all drowning in from Twitter to Facebook to G+.
Maybe You’ve Left Your Readers With Nothing To Say?
Experts say that comments are down across the blogosphere. (They’re right!) We argue that it must be social media to blame. (It is!) People want to “carry” conversations about our content back to their social network of choice to engage with the people whose opinions and feedback mean the most to them: their friends and associates.
But I will comment the heck out of a post, right there in the native comment area!, if I’m moved to do so. It’s just that lately I’m less and less moved and more and more just passing through to the next “meh” blog post, searching for THE ONE that gives me what I want.
I believe people want something more.
We’ve divided our attention spans into a multitude of 2 to 3 second “spanlets” and turned ourselves into skimmers and scanners. It’s draining everyone. I see in the tea leaves that people are swinging back to wanting more meaning and depth and away from the noise from time to time.
If you are seeing the same signs, and are longing for this yourself, the first place to start is on your own blog. Have some fun and don’t be in such a hurry. Even though we all have tons to do everyday, we still have choices about things we spend a little more time on than others.
Make sure your writing doesn’t reflect poorly on you just because of the bad habits that can easily be formed in the lol-omg-rflmao world we live in. Don’t think of this advice as a recommendation that you must work harder. Think of it as an invitation to have more fun doing what you do. It will show in your writing and your stats.