Sunday, July 1, 2012

Getting to the Point, Concisely

Say all you have to say in the fewest possible words, or your reader will be sure to skip them; and in the plainest possible words or he will certainly misunderstand them.

  • John Ruskin

One of my main struggles when I write is trying to keep my writing concise.
Concise (adj.) - giving a lot of information clearly and in a few words; brief but comprehensive.
When I was originally writing my Introduction on my Blogger Profile, I had no idea that I was limited to 1,200 characters. Just when I thought I was done piecing together my thoughts in a semi-coherent matter and hitting the SUBMIT button, I was in for my first BLOGGER truth:

Determined, I began chiseling away from both ends; SUBMIT, again!

And again, and again, and again…
Ultimately it would take a total of 8 more times before I was able to neuter it to fit within my limit. I have a niche for rambling; for going on, and on, and on, and, well…

I just have too much to say! I know what I want to write, but then I overcompensate because I feel as if I'm leaving out important details. It's a challenge, for me, to convince myself that I can use less words and still get my point across effectively. Substance is the key! According to the aforementioned John Ruskin quote:

Unfortunately, this is a scenario that has seemed to play itself out over and over again and has been since I started writing over a decade ago. In fact, I have dozens of posts started for blogging purposes, chalk full of quotes, thoughts, ideas, life stories, etc. that I haven't been able to tweak in just the right way while keeping it concise!

So, I'm setting a beginning GOAL:
700 words!
4.5 pages
3,500 characters with spaces
(Includes graphics, text boxes, etc.)

By putting a limit on my writing, I can, both consciously and subconsciously, implement the concept of being concise, challenging me to pack a lot of punch in as few words as possible.

Albert Einstein once said, "If you can't explain it to a six-year old, you don't understand it yourself." These words are a challenge to me to learn and to grow in understanding before I take to the keyboard with psychobabble.

If I cannot be concise (clear, comprehensive, and brief) while explaining a topic, then perhaps I should go back and learn it again.


~ SoACTing,

1 comment:

  1. I am pretty sure you can change the max in settings. I have lots of posts that have more words than that. ;-)