Is This Better?

(this is the closest thing I’ve ever had to a mental breakdown)

Because UCL’s IT help desk is so technologically advanced it appears to no longer operate with the same working definition of ‘responses in one working day’ as the rest of humanity because they’re currently in star date 5929.5, I’m still writing this on a phone. But this has been going on for a few days now, and this blog has been rather better-received in that time.

Now, I’m using the insanely problematic system of ‘likes’ as indicative of both quality of post, and acceptance of viewers, which is a crap way of doing things for a bajillion different reasons (not least because I’ll personally take one interested comment from a human over a thousand anonymous throwaway likes any day) but I’m gonna run with it.

First, let’s look at post length which, since switching to phone-writing, has shortened dramatically because typing long passages on a phone is a bitch. A criticism I had of my very first posts was that they were too long (which was probably more to do with the fact that they consisted of three essay-like paragraphs instead of the shorter, easier to read separations I try to use now – learning!), but maybe length was the issue all along, and these streamlined, stop-gap posts are actually some of the best things I’ve written on here.

But using a phone has affected the content of my posts too; my method of writing these usually consists of a fifteen-minute flurry on a keyboard, an appropriately short length of time writing about an idea to not realise it’s complete bollocks. However, this phone-based, slower style means I’m more aware of what I’m writing, so a few ideas, both just started and almost completed, have been thrown away before publishing, to be replaced with shorter, less obnoxious or stupid ideas.

This means these posts are, admittedly, less fun to write, but probably results in them being easier to read; being a reader of like five of the near-hundred blogs I follow on this site, I’m aware that for me, ‘reading’ and ‘writing’ on WordPress are very different things. Writing is about concentration and creativity, while reading is a more passive, relaxing thing I do to unwind from writing – this doesn’t mean I don’t care about your post or you as a person, I just started this blog to write, not to read, so that distinction exists in my head.

And maybe this is the same for other bloggers, that they put more time and effort into constructing their own posts than reading someone else’s; if this is true, the shorter, simpler posts I’ve been writing for the last few days may be more attractive to those people, who have themselves just written two thousand words about a band, or an illness, or their deepest darkest thoughts, and would be more receptive to two hundred words on a fun book title than fifteen hundred on my shitty opinions about society or attempts at armchair philosophy.

This, if it is the case, creates and interesting divide I’d never considered before: I can write posts that I enjoy, long, rambling, cynical things that annoy people; or shorter, single-idea pieces that others may like. And I’d like to say that I’ll vary these kinds of posts, but I’m likely to slip back into the former once my Internet connection is fixed, because I’m selfish like that (this blog is named after me, after all).

Alternatively, this could all be nonsense, and any recent changes in numbers of likes and views could be merely circumstantial, the same kind of random variation you get in a river, where one part of it flows faster than another for no bloody reason; I might even have it backwards, as the precious precious comments I fetishise like Golem to the Ring have actually declined with these shorter posts, which again could be a causal link, or mere correlation.

Either way, I hope my Internet gets fixed sooner rather than later; my thumbs are starting to hurt.

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6 thoughts on “Is This Better?

  1. I think this might be the ultimate debate of any blogger: do I write what I want to write or what gets read and “liked”?

    Personally, I write my posts for me, my mom and my grandma (word order here is purposeful due to listing individuals in order of importance). Still, I sometimes wonder if I should write things that the rest of the world would prefer to read.

    1. There’s probably a balance you need to find between the two, which is annoying because boo compromise. Also writing just for other people is how crappy, unfulfilling jobs are made, which is why I’m hesitant to go into journalism.

      And you rank your readers in terms of importance? How clinical.

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