You know things have come full circle when you find yourself writing a blog post about the writing of blog posts – which is what I’m doing here. I am writing a short post in praise of long ones. Because brevity bigots are a royal pain in the bee-yoo-double-tee.
And what is a brevity bigot? says you. Fair question, says I. A brevity bigot subscribes to the assumption that good blogging is always a matter of less is more. Always – meaning, “without exception.” In other words, if you can’t say it in five modest paragraphs or less, don’t say it at all.
The reasons for such bigotry are multifarious (a beautiful word, don’t you agree?), but a frequently cited one is this: readers see a giant block of text and they go mad. They can’t handle it. Au fond, they don’t want your words because you wrote too many of them. Congratulations, poophead. You just lost your audience.
They say less is more, but sometimes more is more. There are subjects that require a lengthier exposition than 500 words will allow. Cut what you can cut. Leave the rest. Bloat is bad, but so is cheeseparing. If, after a vigorous application of the scissors, your piece is still of necessity a goodish length, so be it. Don’t be an ass. Put the scissors down.
The advice I just gave you is stupid advice according to many blogging gurus, but forget about them. Do not cramp your style or dull your point to cater to a flock of Twitterized attention spans and text-fed brains. They’re not worth your consideration. Speak your piece – no more, no less – because here’s the thing: the minute a writer doesn’t say what needs to be said because he wants to keep an audience, something inside of him dies.