I’ve been thinking about the Malcolm Gladwell video I posted yesterday. I’ve also been thinking about some of the great bloggers who consistently write long and glorious and intelligent posts ~ my friends at Guy’s Library and The Vivid Ellipsis and This Is So Gay and Brain Pickings immediately come to mind, but there are more. Byliner also highlights great thoughtful long-form journalism. And of course there's TED.
These people push the limits of knowledge. They explore things deeply and intimately. The lengths of what they write harkens back to a slower time and is not what internet marketers say you should write. No, our attention spans are too short these days.
But I know that I crave these types of essays. I don’t always find the time to read as many as I’d like, but I love them.
On this blog, I tend to write a bit shorter. What I can think through in a matter of a half an hour or an hour. I quickly write through an idea, but I never go back and revise (except superficially), and I rarely do much research. I draw from what I already know or personal experience or the source I’m talking about. I post 5 days a week, and it’s sometimes challenging to come up with interesting things to write about every day. But it’s fun too. And I think readers rely on bloggers to be predictable and regular in their posting habits.
But I sometimes fear that these posts are too shallow, and I long to go deeper. So many great writers have talked about how writing is thinking, and the only way they know what they are thinking is by writing it through, thinking about it, revising. I’ve thought about developing one post a week into a longer, researched, more in-depth kind of thing, but I don’t have the time at present. I’m also afraid my fiction would suffer (which is what I most want to write).
Truth be told, I’m in love with people’s minds, with ideas, and because I value these so much, I don’t want to come across as shallow or surficial. I want to “measure up.” I would like to have the time and mental space to explore these ideas and to arrive at new and distant shores. I am infinitely attracted to the Gladwellian life.