Walls of words.


Nothing will make me avoid reading a post quicker than a long wall of words, unbroken even by paragraphs. I don’t care how well written your post otherwise is, I don’t care how cutting edge or educational or interesting or brilliant your thoughts are, I don’t care how much I might relate to your incredible, moving story. You could write at the level of Shakespeare or Poe, but if my eyes feel like they’re swimming in a vast ocean of text, let me make one thing clear: I won’t read it.

Fortunately I haven’t seen many bloggers who are guilty of this. Most bloggers have at least a rudimentary knowledge of how to use paragraph breaks, pictures, and graphics to break up text. There’s nothing wrong with writing long articles. There’s no need to dumb everything down and write only two sentences just because it’s on the Internet. When a post is too short and the title promises meat, it’s like a bait-and-switch and I feel cheated. If the article’s title suggests there will be meat, then it’s meat that I want, not the appetizer. I don’t want a few words and a bunch of pretty pictures because the blogger is too lazy or doesn’t know enough about what they’re writing about to put anything with more substance there. So there’s nothing wrong with writing long articles. Many of my posts are very long indeed. But when they are, I always try to use something, preferably eye-catching, to break up the words every 3 or 4 paragraphs or so (without overdoing it, of course).

If you’re a minimalist and don’t like too many pictures or graphics in your posts, paragraph breaks or subheaders are just fine. Learn to use them. If you don’t like or don’t know how to use them, perhaps you shouldn’t be blogging at all and should take a class in basic written English. It’s just common courtesy. It’s very rude, in my opinion, to write a post that makes my eyes feel like they’re caught in a digital sandstorm and that bring on pounding migraines.


12 thoughts on “Walls of words.

  1. I agree for the most part Otter. I am not inclined to read long posts.. That first paragraph needs to be extremely intriguing to pull me into a long text. In defense of the lack of white space in some posts, I have had problems with line breaks ( a wordpress issue) and I find it annoying and frustrating.

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