Does Size Really Matter? (In Defense of the Pithy Blog Post)

 

Does size really matter?

 

Sarah B The Bard 2 sig

 

On Sundays, I publish a post of 200 words (or less). But every blogger knows anything under 300 500 1,000 (what is it now?) words is not a “real” post.

Huh. My fingers were flying across the keyboard as my ideas were pouring out. I recall reading and responding to comments. I could have sworn that was real.

Even my full-length posts are usually only 300-700 words. I say what I need to say then get the hell out of Dodge.

Yes, I know: Google spiders, SEO, zzz…

When I taught, I rarely gave my students a firm word count. If the assignment would clearly benefit from a strict number of words I did but, most of the time, when they asked, “How long does it have to be?” I answered, “As long as it needs to be.”

Yes. I’m sure that annoyed some students. Moving on.

Blogs.

If you go on and on (and on and on) when you write, maybe you should think about whether you need every single word. If you simply love writing long pieces, that’s great. Go for it.

I prefer short, to-the-point posts. I enjoy writing them, and I enjoy reading them. I will read lengthy posts but only if they’re super duper awesome with a cherry on top. I don’t have anything against long blog posts.

Why do so many bloggers have a thing against short posts?

Reason #1. It won’t be picked up in search engines. That’s kind of my problem, not the reader’s. They don’t need to worry about me. I’ll be fine. Really.

Reason #2. “It’s annoying” to click on a link and be directed to a post with less than X number of words because it has no “substance”. This one irks me. Substance and length have absolutely nothing to do with each other. I have read some loooong posts with lots of “keywords” that were fluff. A bunch of letters grouped together on a page without saying anything. Those are impressive. I mean, seriously, that’s got to be tough to do. How does one even go about writing 3,000 words without saying anything? I’ve got to take a class on that.

I’ve also read some short, thought-provoking posts that pack a punch.

If you have a lot to say on a subject and it takes 2,000 words to say it, that’s cool. I’ll read it. But please do give the little posts a chance. Writers can sometimes surprise you with how much they can say in 400 words (give or take).

 

“Don’t use seven words when four will do.” 

 

My Sunday thoughts in (way over) 200 words. I know, irony is fun.

 

ThoughtBubble

I was going to stay far away from this but I… Just… Can’t. So, for you, gentle readers, here’s what I’m saying in a nutshell: It’s not the size that matters, it’s how you use it.

 

Do you have a specific word count you stick to? Do you force yourself to keep writing a post because it’s too short even if you feel like it’s done? Does the size of your blog post really matter?

 

Advertisements

Blog Happy

 

Misery loves company? Perhaps.

 

Sarah B. Mr Men books - sig

 

Does company love it back? Not sure.

I don’t think blog visitors do.

So, when hit with a prolonged period of illness or an unfortunate series of events, what’s a blogger to do?

When you are miserable, do you put that aside and smile for the keyboard or do you discuss what’s going on?

I suppose this depends on what type of blog you have.

I’ve hinted at my health issues, talked about writing crises, and touched on the fact that life isn’t so swell at the moment. But dwell? Meh. That’s boring. Maybe annoying.

Should I talk about spring? I suppose.

I don’t want to be Miss Doom and Gloom (and not just because it’s a silly name) but I’m also sort of irritated by Shiny Happy People. So I will write this:

Start climbing.

As the saying goes, when you are at the bottom, or damn near it, there are only two ways to go—sideways and up. Okay, the saying doesn’t go like that but it’s funny. Unless you’re in something so narrow you can’t possibly move sideways. Then it’s mean.

I guess the best idea is to mention and move on.

 

Thanks to my childhood collection of Mr. Men books, I know that, when life is messy, you can grumble a bit but then you’ve got to be cheerful and not grumpy then blog happy. I know. That’s totally weird. But that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

 

Do you write about real-life issues on your blog? Or do you pretend all is well and just publish your next post?


Appreciating Fragmented Beauty

 

Pink Clouds -sig

 

There’s still good in the world.

 

I see warm breezes

Hear growing grass

Smell blue skies

Feel songs of sparrows

 

Things are not right.

My world is out of alignment. Nothing is as it should be.

It’s difficult to find peace in turmoil, to appreciate the beauty around you when it’s fragmented by ugliness.

The world is broken.

People amaze me, after all these years, with their ability to be unkind. With all the ways they have perfected their unkindness.

 

I will not let this sink me.

Even if the good arrives a bit mixed-up, I will continue to take it in.

Because it is still there.

I have to believe it is still there.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

 

Do you ever wonder if there is any good left in this world? Are you able to find beauty and goodness around you in the midst of a difficult situation?

Q&A, FAQ, FYI #Tweets4Blogs

 

As you know, I created a writing prompt for my tweeps. It’s been wicked fun and I know a couple writers who have already used their tweets to write a flash or blog post (myself included).

But this is a new venture and I’m working out the kinks. So, today, I’ve ditched my poor Thought Bubble in favor of a follow-up FAQ to the original #Tweets4Blogs post.

 

Sarah Brentyn tweet4blogs - sig

 

I have a hat. For real. I’m using the old pick-a-name-out-of-a-hat trick. (Hee. Hat trick. Nice.) Anyway, each week, I’ll put in slips of paper with forms on them (1 line, memoir, haiku, etc.) to decide what we’ll be writing that week.

Yes. This is exactly what you’ve gotten yourself into. A prompt from a hat. But, hey, don’t underestimate the power of a hat. I mean, Harry Potter was sorted by one. It gave him a sword to defeat the basilisk in the (secret) chamber of secrets. Also, it sings. Wicked powerful.

After the hat business, I’ll make up a prompt. It’s going to be silly sometimes so bear with me.

Remember our mantra: It doesn’t have to be good, it just has to be done.

I want you to have buckets full of gems to dig through for your blog so, when I create the prompt, I’ll keep that in mind. But I’ll also be thinking that I want you to have fun.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s unbecoming. And not allowed. I’m very strict about this rule.

Everything is good. We’re all shiny, happy people here. Okay, really not. Please don’t be a shiny, happy person near me. *shudders*

Okay! Rules!

Eh. No rules. (But here is a “FAQ” or “Q&A” page.) Also known as “FYI”. Pick one.

These tweets are yours. They are for you. Your own mine full of gold. But I’ll let you know some stuff. (And I’ll alter this page as we go along.)

 

#Tweets4Blogs Idea Sarah B

Original artwork by @ReeDwithaBee

 

The tweets from the last few weeks? Amazing. I’m blown away by the variety and quality of responses. Just awesome.

Here are the FAQs:

  • Why the heck are you doing this? To give you inspiration for your blogs (flash fiction, short stories, posts…whatever floats your boat). My glorious reward? Reading your awesome writing and knowing you’re building a gold mine.
  • When the heck are you doing this? Tuesdays. (I will pin the prompt to the top of my Twitter timeline.)
  • Is there a due date? No. These are ideas, sparks of inspiration. For you. Sticking to Tuesdays gives you a better chance at making sure you write weekly but, basically, “whenever” is a good time to tweet.
  • Should I “reply” to your tweet? No need to “reply” to my prompt, just write your own tweet using the hashtag #Tweets4Blogs. Also, you don’t need to link back to me, my tweet, or my blog. These are for your own, special Twitter library.
  • How do I write the hashtag? Hashtags are not case-sensitive so whether you write #Tweets4Blogs, #TWEETS4BLOGS, or #tweets4blogs, you’re good.
  • What are we writing? We’ll be using various forms of poetry and prose (see Forms below). Each form should follow the prompt for that week.
  • How many should I write? As many as you’d like. If you have time for one, write one. If you want to write two, ten, twelve, go for it.
  • Will you RT every tweet? I’ve actually decided not to RT these. Here’s why.
    • First, these are for you. I want the #Tweets4Blogs hashtag to be a fun way to get you tweeting interesting material that you can find in one quick step.
    • Second, I don’t want to miss anyone. It is SO easy to do. (I know this because I missed a few last week.) How did I manage that? I’ll tell you. Writers respond to the prompt on different days. Also, some people participating in this have private accounts so their tweets don’t show up under the hashtag. In addition, some Twitter twerps have started using the hashtag for their own nefarious purposes and mucking up the feed. Damn them! (It’s only been two weeks—how did they even find us???) So there you have it. Just know I am reading and loving these tweets you’ve written.

Forms:

First line – One sentence (the, erm, first line)
1 line
– One sentence
Micro fiction – A story/piece of fiction
Memoir – Nonfiction (about you or, at least, based on a true story)
6 words – Um. This would be six words (See what I did there?)
Haiku – A 3 line poem using the 5/7/5 format. First line 5 syllables. Second line 7. Third line 5.

Prompts:

This will be anything from “cookies” to “a 7-yr-old trying to take over the world”.

You’ll soon have a collection of awesome stuff you’ve written which you can quickly and easily find on Twitter. Using the search bar, enter your handle and the hashtag. Like this:

@sarahbrentyn #Tweets4Blogs

And, just like magic, all your words will pop up for you to admire and, hopefully, use on your blog.

Go forth and tweet, my fellow word weavers! And, remember our mantra: It doesn’t have to be good, it just has to be done.

 

A few tweeps wanted to participate last week and said their writing was kind of, um, bad (for lack of a better word). My answer to that is as follows:

“No, no! You’re thinking about this all wrong. Bad writing, clichés, fragments, adverbs… All good.  This is a no-pressure prompt! Now go write!” See? No pressure. *mwah* Believe it or not, even what you think of now as “bad” writing can later spark an idea for a beautiful blog post. It happens. Trust me.

See you on Twitter. Same Bat-Time, Same Bat-Channel.