Friday, December 10, 2010

brevity is the soul of__________

Wit. And also lingerie. But this is not that kind of blog Ms. Parker so we’re only going to discuss the former. Also, it’s laundry day so we REALLY don’t want to discuss the later. You know who has a hard time with brevity? Novelists. If brevity were our strong suit we’d be done sooner than page 300+. This is why I can’t write short stories. I’ve tried but they always turn into the beginnings of long stories much like the anecdotes I tell at cocktail parties. I admire the form and have read my copy of THE ASSIGNATION about a billion times but I don’t expect I’ll master it any sooner than I will stop going on tangents at cocktail parties. Don’t even get me started on my helplessness with Twitter.

People are fond of telling writers of any stripe that they should start a blog. About as many people have said this to me as have told me that they would write a novel themselves ‘if they only had more time’. But of course blogging and novel writing are very different. I am used to writing long things and having many months to pour over them and revise, revise, revise before ever letting them see the light of day. But with a daily deadline there’s only time to write it, read it, make sure it’s coherent / not libelous and send it out into the world. Naturally as I look back at week one of my foray into blogging, my posts all look a little…long.

Do you always say too much or never enough?


  1. I know, I know ... blogging feels like mandatory work sometimes. But I'm glad to have more of your writing available, to be honest, so for selfish reasons it's good to see your new blog.

    Do I say too much or not enough? Too much, in very few words. I'm the wicked child.

  2. my problem is that I say too much about the same thing at different intervals. i get hooked on a topic that then becomes a blog post, a column, a comment. it's stage VI of mentionitis. i can't stop talking about things and i become self conscious that people reading what i write are thinking, "someone needs to see a therapist already." (which i do, so we all know how well that's going.)

    like glasseye, i'm glad to have a space to follow you too.

    my blog experience has helped my novel experience by giving me a place to help refine my voice. it's helped my writing career by being the inspiration for a letter to an editor that got me a op-ed columnist gig that i've kept for two years now. best of all, it has been an incredibly effective way to meet new (online) friends who also happen to be writers.

    and it is by far the best way to procrastinate when needing to finish an article that is long overdue (i'm talking to myself here as i sit with my laptop avoiding an article i'm supposed to be writing about NIA workout routines.)

    (i still feel funny saying, "my blog.")

  3. My posts often run too long. I write political pieces on a group blog and there I have to stay under 800 words. It's good practice for my essay writing skills. How it helps me with fiction, I can't say.

    It's because of blogging that I finally started writing longer pieces again. I wrote a few short stories, satirical pieces especially, and my readers encouraged me to write more fiction. I used to write a lot of fiction, but gave it up when I went to college.

    I have no clue about whether I'll ever be published, but I'm so glad to be writing again. It's as though I went twenty years without breathing properly.