Friday, January 2, 2009

How long will you go?

I suppose this is a question every blogger asks of herself/himself when they are about to tap down on the Publish button. How long, or short, do I make my blog posts? Pictures? Straight text? A simple log of the day’s events or a recipe or an anecdote?

I realize this isn't exactly one of my normal post subjects. But I figured everybody is still recovering from their two-day drunk from New Year's Eve and might not be able to handle anything philosophical today time really immovable when it comes to the seasons? Why does it seem we are getting more snowy weather in the later months, such as March and April (even May) than in the winter? Ahem. Anyway, just relax with your strong coffee and aspirin. Let me go off tangent today.

I find myself asking these questions whenever I am about to make a blog post. Just how much information am I going to put on the screen? Should I consider my readers’ precious time, knowing I am not the only person who has a blog and that I need to be a good little girl and give other bloggers their fair share of people’s attentions? Or should I hog it all to myself, because I am the greatest being on the face of the planet and people should fall to their knees while holding up trays of pot stickers and giblet gravy for me to feast upon?

Um . . . okay. I am not THAT self-absorbed. If I were, I would not be curious to know what other people think whenever they come across a long blog post. Do you cringe? Do you roll your eyes and skim over the text looking for certain keywords to draw your mind into the story - like money, sex, social security numbers, incriminating photos with naked senator aides, beer, football, George Clooney, sex with George Clooney, more beer, oh-please-someone-help-me-because-I-am-stuck-in-a-jail-cell-with-a-man-named-Claudia-who-keeps-winking-at-me-ahhhh!?

Or when you come across a long post, do you grab yourself something hot to drink, relax back in your chair with a happy sigh, and put on a zombie stare as you sink yourself into the story?

I think you can guess which one I am. I do not mind long posts, even if I am in a rush. I can always hit the older posts button and read the story when I have a longer moment to really appreciate someone’s post about fighter planes, playing in bands, getting the spices just right in a heaping bowl of gumbo, watching a photo show, and learning about new places with fascinating traditions.

Yet I do mind long posts when I am the person making them. I try (and usually fail) to keep my posts brief. I do keep myself on a limit of 1200 words. Of course I have gone over that limit with two particular posts, which happened to be the first chapter of my completed manuscript, averaging a whooping 2200 words. Two posts. One chapter.


So give me your opinions. Likes long blogs? Dislikes the rambling? Relaxing to read or too much info at one time? Wondering what happened to Claudia in the jail showers? Let me know!

*FYI - This post is about 460 words. I am so proud of myself today! I might just laminate this one!*


  1. Happy New Year, my dear blogging friend.

    Long or short posting... Mmm tricky. I'm self like to think I have it about right. That's not to say I am, so please don't misunderstand me because it has been known that I have got it wrong, totally.... lol

    Short or long... Middle ground, I say.

    By the time you've read this your cuppa will be cold, and you'll have to get your dragon to breath on it again.

    Best wishes for the New Year my dear friend, ((Hugs))


  2. Annie: Hmm, I never thought of heating my cuppa by dragon breath. Saves on electricity, but cup might be too hot to pick up. lol!

    I hope you have a happy New Year!

  3. How long do I go with my posts? It depends... on my mood, the subject matter, time of day... lotsa stuff. My longest pieces tend to be the personal stories, rather than observations on "stuff."

    As for long posts from folks on my blog roll: I love 'em. Nearly everyone on my blog-roll is a most excellent writer (there might be an exception or two due to reciprocity, but I sure as Hell won't say WHO, LOL!) and thus entertaining as all get-out. Pure pleasure, in other words. If the post is really, REALLY long I'll bookmark it for later reading. I hit a few political blogs like that.

    Oh: I have a clear head today, and yesterday, too. Which sez one of two things: either I'm getting smarter in my dotage or I'm just too damned boring for words. More than likely the latter. ;-)

  4. Buck: I would rather go with the former when it comes to you getting smarter.

    Ohhh! When you-know-who hears what you said about!

  5. I must admit, I do skip over longer posts! But yours are delightful!

  6. Reading: If the person is a good writer, or a good friend, or (best) a good writer who also happens to be a good friend (I'm looking at you) then the longer the better.

    (Like Buck, I have some reciprocal links who are really good and some who are less so. I won't list who's who.)

    If it's really long, I tend to print it out and read it on paper. That way, I can go on to another of my friends and enjoy the long post at my leisure, savoring it.

    Writing: I just let it flow. If it turns out to be more than 1,500 words, I'll likely split it into two or more parts. If it seems really long to me, I try to make it easier on the reader's eyes in some way (photos, white space, dividing it with bold or italicized headers.) I suspect I lose some folks because of length, but I really care about my words. I read and re-read my stuff before publishing, tightening and editing, and if the reader doesn't want to invest the time to read it, that's cool, but when I put it out on the blog, it's how I want it. I hope others will like it as it is, but if they don't, I won't beg them.

  7. I don't have a word limit, but I do keep in mind that too much in one post could lose readers. Hugs for the New Year.

  8. since when does size matter, michelle? :O lol

  9. This is a topic I should totally steer clear of! Short or long -ha ha! The day I can write a short post will probably be the last post I ever write too. You should see me struggle on the occasions when I venture forth and do a "letter to the editor" and I am restricted to 250 or 300 words! Those are killer things for me. If I didn't ramble, I could probably do some posts that would be somewhat shorter. Note, I said "somewhat" which means they probably wouldn't be that much shorter. Reading posts though -rarely to I skip one simply because it's long. I'll mark it to be held and come back later, when I've more time or am more awake -or whatever -and read it.

  10. Jill: Thank you, and thanks for stopping by! I like to warn people when something exceptionally long is forthcoming.

    Suldog: I always wondered about long posts with pictures included, whether it is easier on the eyes or what. I know I tend to skip photos now and again to just go with straight text.

    Angie: So true. Maybe if I have a smattering of short posts in with the long, it will even things out for everyone. Huggage!

    Laughingwolf: Well, for me personally, it all depends how a person works it...

    Jeni: I hear ya! When I see something long, I tend to shrug. But when I write something short, I wonder if maybe I'm sick or something. I have seen contests where they want 250word limits, and I simply can't enter. I feel too restricted.

  11. Long or short post; it is the same to me. It is the content that is important. Some posts are suppose to be short and sweet, while others need to be long to adequately describe or present the subject.
    Your posts are always captivating and their length has mattered very little to me.;))

  12. Protege: Content? But I write about nothing most of the time? How can long posts about nothing be captivating? Ha-ha! ;)

  13. Anything - as long as it's interesting and the writer knows how to use paragraphs. There's nothing harder on the eye than one enormous block of type. I just can't read those. You of course, do not fall into that category. When time is short, I have a preference for shorter posts of course. But when the writing is fine, I'll find the time. :)

  14. Hilary: That's good. I understand the blocks of text. I have found blogs where the post isn't separated with spaces for paragraphs. My eyes go crazy over those.

  15. The general consensus, with which I agree, seems to be that if it's good writing and an interesting topic, it's ok for it to be long. I can always check back later if I'm interested but don't have time in the moment.

    I've just discovered your blog, and I'm enjoying it a lot!

  16. Legalmist: Glad you like the place. Thanks for stopping by!


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