Recently, on a WordPress community forum, where you can invite other bloggers to view and critique your work, one poster said my Alien: Covenant review was good but far too lengthy. They suggested I try to reduce my word count otherwise people will tune out. They added that at one point they were thinking, “Oh no…I have to keep reading?”
I took no offence….I took a little offence, but I understand this completely. Sometimes when I’m reading an article, I’ll read the first few paragraphs and just quickly scan to the end, provided I even make it all the way. At the same time, a YouTube video might pique my interest but I’ll pause at the sight of a run-time longer than five or six minutes to consider whether or not I can afford to invest so much time. Forty-minute-plus television shows are getting difficult to sit through unless it’s say, Game of Thrones, where, contrarily, I find myself checking the time stamp hoping the episode is not about to end soon.
I suppose that’s the way the world is now. Attention spans are shortening by the day. There’s so much content out there that your stuff has to be either easy to consume or ultra engaging. Want people to read what you have to say? Try expressing it in under 140 characters. Asking them to trudge through a thousand word piece? You must be crazy.
“Text is dead,” a friend told me recently after perusing one of my posts. Another advocate of the TL;DR summariser. “You should do a vlog.”
Newsprint may be dead but I think text itself has some way to go yet. I doubt I could ever do a video blog in any case, short of perhaps writing the script for one. We’ve already established I named this blog The Mumblr because people can barely hear me when I speak. But more importantly, I’ve heard recordings of my voice and people shouldn’t have to suffer through that for any extended period.
I’m not trying to make a living off writing, I just enjoy it (oh, who am I kidding, the view count on my stats page sustains my existence). It seems to be the best form of expression for me, as someone confirmed not too long ago, “When I read what you write you have this great big personality, witty and funny etc. but then face to face you’re so quiet.” I’m almost certain she was being kind with the use of ‘quiet.’
As for keeping my word count down, I don’t think I’ll put a limit on how much I want to say. I just have to try to keep it interesting enough that I don’t lose the reader half way through. Hopefully you made it to the end of this post. It’s less than 500 words!