So, Should I Remain Truncated?

I am by nature a bit of a windbag; a short, fat sockful of inconsequential whining.  It is my sole gift and I giveth of it freely.  And that, as you will be fully aware, is my downfall.  At least I think so.  I have been told many times and by many people – some more politely than others – that I do bang on a bit, and so, of late, I have been trying to bang on a bit less.  I have tried to reduce the word count in my average blog by something around 50% (a bargain in anybody’s books) and it is now time to take stock.  I earned a crust (or more accurately augmented my topping) for many years by contributing a pithy one thousand words a pop to any magazine that would pay me (for my younger readers, these ‘magazines’ were numerous sheets of paper, containing prose and pictures, lovingly stapled together, folded in the middle and sold through the newsagents that used to be where the takeaway now is) and it became a rut into which my brain happily fell.  I have many different ways of writing these little nosegays, but whichever way I choose to approach them, they always resolve themselves after the allotted one thousand words (+/- 10% for good behaviour) which is, by all accounts, far too long for a blog post.  It’s a peculiar thing.  Being very old I write in longhand before typing onto the laptop, I then print a hard copy which I proofread and correct in various hues of felt pen, before editing on the laptop and posting.  I read through the printed article many times before I post it and it always appears to be much shorter on paper than on the screen.  It is the transition onto LCD – or whatever it is that forms the images on my laptop, tablet and phone (phlogiston for all I know) – that makes them too long and, quite obviously, nothing to do with me.  My inability to use one word when twenty will do is not to blame.

In general I find humour in drifting off-piste – something which, in my current abridged form, I may be unable to do quite so often without falling off the edge – and if I’m honest I have no idea of whether the shorter pieces work at all.  I am fully aware (I would like to give thanks to my wife and children etc etc) that where I am concerned, less is definitely better, and writing these curtailed pieces is certainly less taxing.  A single idea is easier to follow and the knowledge that wherever I may get lost, the end really is just around the corner is a comfort.  If I’ve lost anything in this process, it could be that it is something I should have lost years ago.  I’m keen to know what you think, is 500/600 words a better target for me?  Maybe you think zero would be more appropriate.  I must be honest, if you tell me that I should pack it all in, I will probably ignore you.

After all, what is the point in being choc-full of hot air if you can’t share it with the world?

26 thoughts on “So, Should I Remain Truncated?

  1. I always find your posts well judged for length and narrative so the current style works for me. If you wanted to write longer pieces (and if that’s what you like then you should imho!), couldn’t you post those ones on, say, Sundays when everyone has nothing better to do but read Grandpa Simpson-esque off piste ramblings. Anyone that doesn’t like it can avoid the Sunday ones and go and mow the grass/wash the car instead!

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  2. When I very first started my blog I had several pre-written pieces using the phrase, “The Nifty Three-Fifty.” I think I had read an article by an author who said that he just starts out his day with the first 350 words he could put down and called it that. After a while, I worked with a woman who was a cardiac nurse and had actually published books about the subject. She told me that I should shoot for 1,200 – 1,500 words a day, minimum. This was fine when I wrote more serious pieces, but in the last several years I have been writing about less and less serious stuff as a general rule, so many of mine are around the 500 mark, with multiple caveats.
    I like your shorter posts but yet the longer ones are fun too. I am seldom pissed off when you go off-piste.

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  3. It’s good discipline, Colin, rather like the way I keep all the comments I make on other writers blogs strictly down to a witty but pithy ten words but you do have to be careful with punctuating it so it doesn’t get too unruly or go off on tangents look a squirrel

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  4. I believe its good to try new approaches now and then, but always find I revert back to what has worked so well for me in the past(?) and has long kept my readership in the single digits, and this aspiring professional bas- bard in the poorhouse. After a while I just thought/think ‘screw it, it works for me,’ and I’m the most critical audience I know.
    I enjoy going wherever your diversions lead, for what that’s worth.

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  5. As the hot air fumes onto your pages, I find myself within a cold stoic vacuum and nowt nice to share. The world of humans doesn’t always inspire to write home about.

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      1. It also depends on the time of day and what kind of day. The worst type of outlook is one that is the one that has been crap the day before and is still there in the morning. Thankfully this day hasn’t been one of those.

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