The Problem with “Writers” Today

I use the term “writer” a bit loosely here because some of them are not writers in the classic sense, but what everyone has come to know as “bloggers”, which I pretend to be sometimes.

Here’s the problem, they entice you with a compelling title. It sparks your interest, you start to read. You’re on the third paragraph and you still haven’t gotten the relevant information the title made you aware of. Sweet baby Jesus, there’s also 4 pagination links! In today’s online world, attention spans have become incredibly short. Many times, readers do not want to sit idly by reading paragraph after paragraph without getting at least a gist of the main topic. You’re not writing a novel here, you’re making a post. Get to the point.

Granted, some articles are well worth the read. I’ve read many articles that were several pages long that kept me compelled. However, I think those are the minority. Keep me interested with details after you have clued me in on what I am reading about. I’m not saying you need to give me a one sentence complete overview and call it finished. But at least let me sink my teeth into something other than unimportant bits of information that have nothing to do with the subject matter.

For example, if you’re writing about a man who gave his work to his colleagues that just won the Nobel Prize, I don’t want to wait 5 or 6 paragraphs to know what his research was about while my wife is asking me about dinner and my kid is trying to rip out my keyboard. I don’t have that kind of time and I don’t find it important to first know that he drives a minivan – maybe that’s something you can tell me later. First, give me at least a clue what this guy was researching that helped his colleagues win a Nobel Prize. Entice me, give me some information that intrigues me first, then you can tell me he’s turned out to be just an average everyday schmuck like the rest of us.

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