My expertise after a week of blogging

Writing a blog post is way different than writing anything else.

It’s much less formal than a newspaper article, much less “academic” (by which I mean pretentious) than a traditional essay, much less cited than a research paper, and certainly much punchier and shorter than just about any other style of writing.

On a blog, If people have to take more than five seconds to read something, they won’t. Common causes of such a behavior are: vocabulary words that you learned through memorization, long sentences, paragraphs longer than a couple of lines, boring content, etc.

To fill a paragraph with pedantic material is like starting a sentence with a preposition; it marks the sentence as airy or waspy, disengaging any reader interest, exacerbating the reader’s affinity for drifting off, and providing a generally lackluster opening, which in my experience, determines most of the interest for a particular body of writing. Using a semi-colon is similar in its effects because it provides a logical separation of thought without as much melodrama as a period, though producing sentences that run on and on (normally referred to as run-on sentences) seems not to do too well either, unless the writer has time to craft it just so, perfectly aligning every noun, verb, and adjective into the right formation, ensuring a nice, all-but-crunchy 700-word paragraph that sounds the least similar to Mad Libs as possible.

You didn’t read that last paragraph. Or at least I wouldn’t have. It’s way too boring and I used a thesaurus to write it.

We’re taught to write like that in school to sound smart. We sound smart to elevate us about those who don’t. All we really end up doing is screwing over some 9th graders, who end up wondering why they have to memorize the meanings of ablution, abnegate, and abstemious.

Some people (many, actually) will only read the headline of a blog post and summarize all meaning from that, so headlines usually end up sounding like marketing ploys to gain readership–“You’ll Never Look at the World the Same Way Again!”, “Want to Know How I Cured Depression?”, etc.

Even the mere sight of a long blog post will turn people away before they even begin to read it. And on that note, I bid you adieu.


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