I have a conundrum.
I am stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to my writing and this blog. On the one hand, I need to write to become better; a better writer, a better storyteller, a better craftsman. Then on the other hand, I would like to drive traffic to the blog, to amass readers, to famarilize people with my work, and to find my audience.
Now part of wanting to bring more readers to the blog is ego driven, it is something I try to supress, but it is not something that I can deny. Another part of wanting more readers is based on strategy. The idea is to write a blog, build an audience, and then, when it’s time to release a book, we’ve already laid some groundwork, we have a pool of potentially interested readers.
Sounds like a foolproof plan. The more I blog the more I get to practice my writing and the more opprutunity I get to build my readership. The issue occurs, however, when we examine the following: I am long winded.
Blog readers like to read post that are short, clever and witty. I may can do clever. I can at times pull off witty. Rarely can I execute short. Hence my conundrum.
Whenever I write, be it a blog post or a short story, I desire to be smart and funny but also insightful; creating content with both meaning and substance. This usually forces me to run long. I tend to ramble, something my wife has been telling me for years and I have yet to do anything about it. Whenever I tell her a story, I go all around the world, give all the background and backstory and include all of the minute details. That’s just me. I feel like if I leave out any of that information, you may miss the major and vitally important point of the story that called for me to tell it to you in the first place.
This becomes an interesting situation for me as a writer. While I must remain true to myself as an author and write in a way that honest and faithful to my own voice, I also must to be mindful of my audience and my readers and to the value of their time. In short, I can’t waste words. It’s selfish and egotistical to bog down the reader with useless or unimportant information when telling a story, writing a blog, or simply communicating in general.
This realization offers an exciting opportunity for me, it sets forth a plain and simple task, be efficient and effective. Make maximum impact using minimal words.
The average person reads about 200 words per minute, meaning every 1000 words of text takes roughly five minutes to read. This allows me to measure my blog post within a frame work of five minute increments, knowing that for every 1000 words I write, I am asking my reader for up to five minutes of their time.
This isn’t a groundbreaking discovery and I don’t expect it to sky rocket my blogs popularity, What it does do is help me to focus on my writing efficiency and to also make the most of every blog post, short story and novel that I write.
So all in all I guess this blog is doing its job, it exposed a weakness in my writing, which then allowed me to turn it around and come up with a solution to help make me a better craftsman. I think that counts as being both clever and witty. ♠