Monday, September 17, 2012

Making Your Words Matter

I read every blog post twice.

The first read doesn't really count as a true-read, it's more of a skimming. Like a little scouting party, I send a tiny portion of my brain ahead to scout out the post and see if its worth bringing along the rest of my gray-matter caravan (which is currently camped beside a comfy river bank pondering the contents of the previous blog post or whether the spot of balsamic vinaigrette on my skirt still tastes good) along for a full-study.

This double-reading may be inefficient or to result in impulse-shares (when you share a "good article" before you've completely read it, a practice that can end quite disastrously, I've learned) but, with my Google Reader unread count perpetually stuck on 1000+, I don't really have time to read it all the first time. Especially when your blog post has 750 words or more.

This practice reeks of hypocrisy coming from a run-on whore like me, but that doesn't mean the lesson is any less true: words aren't scarce but attention is.

Words don't count simply because they are said well or said loudly. Just today, I un-subscribed from two blogs. One author was an incredibly talented writer and the other had over 30,000 followers on twitter, but neither had produced content that was valuable or interesting to me in months. So, with a sense that I was doing something naughty, I chopped them.

Because life imitates blogging, the lesson to a word-monster like me is, "Do my words matter?"

  • Do they have (an important) purpose?
  • Are they true?
  • Are they original?
  • Did they cost anything to say?

I've learned a little this past week about the price of words and the value of personal truth and am beginning to realize that "I'm right" or "I can write good," aren't good enough reasons to say something. But, if my words are true and, especially, if saying them scares the hell out of me, they just might be worth saying out loud.

I just broke 330 on my word-count so, that's all.

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