A Note On Post Length

January 16, 2010

I originally started this whole shindig as an exercise to improve my writing process. I was anxious, as a matter of course, to improve my ability enough to at least come out with a coherent thought or two and, if I was lucky, make it through a very long, arduous National Novel Writing Month.

Well, I did that. I didn’t finish the book by any stretch. But there’s a 52,000 word manuscript sitting around, still percolating, and I do have high hopes of finishing it off sometime before twenty years passes. There’s no expectation of being published, but it would be nice to point to and say, “yeah, I wrote that.”

So now what? I hope a thought or two on here has at best proved coherent and at worst been a useful distraction. Either way, because of my own mental model of the purpose of this site I find I have a lot of thoughts that, while worthwhile, never get written down and finished off. I either don’t have large enough time chunks to do what I want with them or I hit a wall and leave the original thought unpolished.

The former is more often the case. So time being such a delicate resource, I’m changing my mental model. I hope to start using this space to get more “stuff” down on internet paper. Even if it’s only a paragraph or two, that’s certainly better than nothing. Maybe that paragraph or two will spawn the occasional longer diatribe.

It occurs to me now that the progression from longer to shorter pieces of text is a natural reaction. My original intent was to get beyond the 15 second sound byte - the Twitterification of communication. Since writing is thinking (and I totally agree with this by the way), thinking only in little 140 character atomic sentences suggests an addlepated, thin spread, and quite frankly scary way to view and understand the world. The danger of looking to write only longer pieces is the quest for perfection. Constant editing, word lookup, and review countermand the original intent of the script: to think.

So instead, I hope to think more, write more, and edit less. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll end up heading back in the direction of my original goal.

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