134761B0-AA2B-4B43-9DD6-955C3D55378FWhen I first started this blog, some of my early posts were fairly long, probably ranging from about 700 to more than 1,000 words. On one of my longer posts, someone wrote a comment that simply said, “TL;NR.” I had no idea what that meant. I thought it was a typo. I finally Googled “TL;NR” and found out that it means “too long; no read.”

Interesting. I was writing blog posts that were too long to read, or at least that was the opinion of one blogger. Was he or she right?

In July 2017, just a month and a half into this blog, I wrote a post titled, “A Man of Many Words.” In that post I wrote, “When it comes to the written word, I’m a man of many — not few — words. Maybe even too many words.” I acknowledged that I have a tendency to over explain things and that “my style of writing, verbose though it may occasionally be, adds color and life to what I write.”

I remember reading somewhere that concise writing helps to grab and hold your reader’s attention, to be more memorable, and to make a lasting impact on your reader. So I decided that I really needed to learn how to be more concise in my writing. Especially since I began responding to prompts that imposed word limits ranging from 50 to 300 words.

93A9CCD5-312F-4EDF-B095-8ED9BB59D277But that was hard for me. Removing what some might consider to be unnecessary words from my writing is difficult. I like to think that everything I write is germane to the subject matter. For me, removing words, phrases, and especially entire sentences, is akin to asking a mother to choose which child she’s willing to edit out of her family.

That said, I am clearly making progress in my efforts to be more concise. And I can prove it, too. Below are the average Words Per Post stats from my previously WordPress Blog (July 2009 to April 2015).B02BF791-0D4D-44BA-8994-CA706AF16BBEAnd here are my stats since I started this blog (May 2017 to present).CC4D54A5-23D5-48AD-A508-86A9695335EADamn, I really am concise after all!

Includes the Word of the Day Challenge (learn), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (concise)

19 thoughts on “TL;NR

  1. Marleen February 1, 2019 / 5:13 pm

    That’s a really significant change. Do you think you are more often funny with fewer words? Or do you think it’s about equal?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sadje February 1, 2019 / 5:45 pm

    Yes, you have cut down a lot. I like to read shorter posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. msjadeli February 1, 2019 / 6:12 pm

    Dango, I’ll try to MIC (make it concise). There’s a fine line between legitimate literary concision and being empty, aka superficial. About your word count, there are plenty of possible reasons why it has gone down over the years other than you’ve learned to be concise. Not saying you haven’t, just sayin….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 1, 2019 / 6:46 pm

      So is that a good thing or a bad thing? Honest criticism, perhaps? 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

      • msjadeli February 1, 2019 / 8:09 pm

        Dango, just questions that only each person can answer for themselves. I know I like what you write or I wouldn’t keep reading. Beyond that I am simply posing possibilities…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Marilyn Armstrong February 1, 2019 / 7:32 pm

    I learned concise because I was a tech writer and concise is the name of the game. I actually write a bit longer now than I did, but overall, I try to keep it to around 500 words. It’s not because longer is hard to read. It’s because we all have so MANY posts to read, a lot of the time I don’t read something longer because I just don’t have the time. I do my best, but between writing and photography — and having a life — I really don’t have any spare time at all. Wasn’t retirement supposed to cure that problem?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 1, 2019 / 7:55 pm

      “I do my best, but between writing and photography — and having a life — I really don’t have any spare time at all.” Exactly.


  5. shail February 1, 2019 / 9:56 pm

    I learned something new today: TL;NR. I hold similar sentiments to yours 🙂 When I started blogging in 2006 (Yahoo platform) my blogs were most always more than 1500 words. Saying something in 700 words, which was supposed to be the cut off for holding attention on the net, was an impossibility. But who cared? Not me. Surely words are used as per necessity of the topic, what needs to be said, not by the attention span of people? I mean, there are people who read novels not just short stories! You wanna read me, read all 1500-2000 words was my attitude then. You can still see those old posts which I imported over to WordPress. And yes, I had readers enough.
    Now though, I have cut down on my words, not because I have changed my mind, but due to sheer laziness…. I think. Or may be I learned to be more concise 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sue Vincent February 1, 2019 / 11:16 pm

    There is a huge gulf between labouring a point and being concise in language and a lot of writers seem to fall into it. I would rather read your reasoning than guess at it… so longer posts work for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. pensitivity101 February 2, 2019 / 4:12 am

    I’ve learned something too in TL;NR. My first posts were all pretty long, now I try and keep them to around 500 words or less. I dread to think how many words I’ve written over the past year. Must try and find out.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Christine Bolton February 2, 2019 / 5:16 am

    Concise is for engineering textbooks! I like posts that give me the story and the writer’s point of view. Keep on writing my friend and don’t stress the TL; NR

    Liked by 1 person

  9. crushedcaramel February 2, 2019 / 6:20 am

    I sometimes find it hard to reign myself in!
    But I do get why long posts become a turn-off for many. I try so hard to keep up with all the posts from other bloggers that appear in my WP Reader each day. When half of them are long posts, my heart kind of sinks!
    Some of my posts are probably too long and put others off reading them. But some of what I am writing is mainly for my family at a later date, so I don’t worry too much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 2, 2019 / 8:31 am

      As I tell almost everyone I know, you gotta do what you gotta do.

      Liked by 1 person

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