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Writing Less is More, More or Less

Are you long in the tooth or a stiffy when it comes to writing?

Recently Darren Rowse wrote that we should “Leave Out the Parts that People Will Skip”. While I wholeheartedly agree with that statement, in my case the problem was just the opposite.

So like the good contrarian I am I thought it would be interesting to ‘bounce‘ off his post with another way of looking at it.By nature I’m a thinker and not a talker, and that translates into my writing style as well. Or like a friend once said, I have a succinct way of expressing myself.Having once worked in law this was considered an advantage, but when I became a blogger I soon discovered that my posts were sounding too rigid and formal.A real turn-off if you know what I mean, so I had to learn how to write all over again and flesh-out my posts to sound more interesting and conversational (or at least I hope so).For Example:

I have a good friend who is a chatterbox and the complete opposite of me. Just recently I had to tell him (as nicely as I could) how annoying it was to hear his constant droning.

He’s a regular Cliff Clavin chock full of boring details and info that I could not care less about. Neither would he give me an opportunity to jump in the conversation, and so every once in a while I would have to interrupt and remind him to catch his breath. (Notice the slight sarcasm ;-).

To make a long story short I explained how frustrating it was trying to have a conversation with him (or in his case it was more of a monologue) and I would eventually tune him out.

Tune In, Turn On:

I think this goes for blogging as well and is something that we should all keep in mind when we write. Don’t drive your readers away with drivel that nobody wants to hear.

There’s an old television expression “tune in, turn off”. As bloggers we should be striving for… “tune in, and turn on”.

One way that we can turn on our readers is by giving them an opportunity to contribute to the conversation. So don’t come off as an authoritarian know-it-all and be sure to leave open-ended statements that your readers will want to join in.

Write to Entertain, Not Drain:

One last thought. A favourite quote that I keep coming back to is “write to entertain, not drain“. What I mean by that is don’t bore your readers, and getting rid of the useless banter is a good place to start.

We all have our own styles of writing and finding a balance is not easy, but it is worth the effort and will reap great rewards in subscribers over the long run.

So hopefully I haven’t yet bored you, and since this post is getting a little long in the tooth it’s time that I turned the conversation over to you.


  • When you write do you Entertain or Drain?
  • Are you a little Chatterbox or are you a Stiffy?

I want to know ’cause I’m nosy.

More great reading: 10 Blog Tips for Writing a Great Post

Written August 22nd, 2007 by | 6 Comments | Filed under: Miscellaneous Blog Tips, Writing Blog Content , ,

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There are 6 Comments so far to “Writing Less is More, More or Less”

  1. I once had a writing assignment in school to write one page about problems we have when we write. I wrote, “I find that when I write I am too concise.” My teacher asked me to elaborate. Um, ok.

    My mother, on the other hand, keeps talking so much so that she doesn’t listen to the few words I can get in because she’s so busy thinking about what to say next. I even have to put up with her talking at me about what’s going on with her daytime soaps.

    I certainly hope I don’t ramble on and on like my mom, and I know my posts are longer than 1 sentence. It’s tough to get things out there, being more inclined towards thinking like you are.

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  2. Love your sense of humour Kirsten. It comes out in your writing and is a great way to turn on your readers.

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  3. I would say my art blog is geared towards being entertaining, and I honestly couldn’t say whether my activist blog is entertaining or draining. The news I post/discuss is often difficult or troubling, but that’s generally the nature of activist blogs. I guess I would consider it more “informational” than anything else.

    And I’m definitely a stiff when it comes to my writing. I dislike rambling and don’t have much time to spend on essays and articles. I also recognize that most people are in a hurry when they’re surfing the web, so I try to keep the information as concise as possible.

    There are a few blogs I’ve visited recently that, when you copy and paste their articles into Word, are between 7-13 pages long (single spaced). Obviously they’re not fans of editing, and in those cases, I really don’t think their intention is to educate or draw an audience–but simply to have an unfiltered, uncensored outlet for their thoughts, readers be damned.

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  4. That’s sounds an awful lot like some a-listers I know. ;-) They treat their blogs like their own personal podium to preach from.

    You make a good point that there are so many different types of blogs and there are no one-size-fits-all answers.

    Thanks for the thoughtful comments

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  5. […] much has been said about so-called minimalist blogging. This can also include matters such as posting less and brevity amongst other things, but for the purpose of this article I will be primarily discussing blog […]

  6. […] Recently Darren Rowse wrote a article post here called Leave Out the Parts that People Will Skip which I followed up with Writing Less is More, More or Less. […]

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