Friday, February 3, 2017

In Which I Consider My Ideal Post Length

I seem to be constantly going back and forth between having too many post ideas and not having enough. The thing is, though, that when I don't have a lot of ideas, it usually just means that I don't think I have enough to say about anything to actually make a post. Which poses an interesting question: how long do posts need to be?

In particular, I'm thinking about discussion posts. I have a lot of bookish things I want to discuss, and discussion posts seem like one of the best ways to share my thoughts. But sometimes, my thoughts aren't fully-formed, or aren't that complex. I usually shy away from writing about those ideas because I don't think I have enough material to justify a post. But why don't I think I have enough? I've been a little behind on writing posts in advance, so it seemed like I was running into this question more and more often.

And after a while of thinking about that, I had my little breakthrough: I'm thinking about discussion posts like essays. I don't feel happy with one unless I give a nice little introduction, explore my thoughts in detail, provide good examples, and come to some sort of conclusion, which usually ends up being a pretty long post. I don't know when this started, or why I do it. Because the thing is, blog posts aren't academic essays. Obviously. I mean, they can be. If that's what you want your blog to be like, then by all means, go for it! But I've been making myself miserable over this, and if I want to keep up my blog, I need to stop thinking like that.

So think of this as my incredibly belated New Year's Resolution. I'm going to write more discussions, because I'm not going to pressure myself to write as much about each topic. And who knows? If I don't feel like I have to write super-long posts, maybe I'll be able to work my way up to three posts a week! (Eventually. I'll try for a couple of occasional bonus posts first.)
Do you try to make your posts a certain length? Have you ever had to break yourself of any blogging habits that didn't work for you? Tell me in the comments!

10 comments:

  1. You could always combine a couple different thoughts into one post, too.

    I agree, though. Posts don't need to be novels themselves. You got to make the blog work for you, not the other way around! I had to stop blogging so frequently because it was taking over my life and it was super stressful.

    I'm looking forward to reading your discussion posts!

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    1. That's a good idea! I have a few related ideas that could go really well together in one post. And I totally agree about making your blog work for you. I'm trying to really focus on that this year!

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  2. I don't aim for any certain length, I just make my posts however long they need to be to say everything I need to say, but I generally end up on the longer side because having lots to say and using lots of words is just who I am lol. But there are times when I feel like I don't have enough to say, so I don't write those posts, just like what you said. It's based more on, like, a situational basis though since I don't have any specific word count or length.

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    1. I'm trying to make my posts be long enough to say everything they need to say, but I think the tricky part is figuring out the difference between something that's too short to really be a post and something that's just a short post. I'm still figuring that part out!

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  3. I tend to do a couple of different types of discussion post: one is long and in depths and usually has bullet points explaining my thoughts, and the others are short and a bit rambly, where I basically just throw the question out to my readers. Both seem to get the same amount of interaction, so I think you can really do any length you like with discussion posts :)

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    1. That's a really good distinction! I like both of those ideas, and I have post ideas that fit both.

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  4. There is really no required length to a post. As long as you have something to say and get that point across who cares if you write 100 words or a 1000? I sometimes feel like with the longer posts I write I am actually spending too much time waffling and repeating myself for the sake of words rather than getting my point across well. I think people prefer to have a post that shows you've put thought into it and I think people are more likely to get bored if you've rambled one without saying much of anything for the sake of getting words in than if you write a shorter well thought out post.

    I hope you succeed in writing more discussion posts where you say what you want to say without worrying you're meeting a word count or structuring a post in the right way as there is no right way, is there?

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    1. I've run into the problem of repeating myself, too! I seem to always find something like that to delete when I'm revising the post.

      And yeah, there's definitely no one right way to post, just whatever's right for you! I'm really trying to broaden my idea of what's right for me, so that my discussion posts don't always follow the same format and aren't always the same length. I feel like the more freedom I give myself, the more I'll be able to say.

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  5. I think that as long as you're saying everything you want to say on a topic, any length is fine. I think I often have the opposite problem and I go on too long!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. As long as the post isn't repetitive, I don't really think there's such a thing as a post that's too long! (Okay, maybe there is, but I haven't ever seen anyone go near that limit.)

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