Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That

img_1370I read a post yesterday in which a blogger I recently started to follow, The Haunted Wordsmith, quoted a so-called blogging expert who wrote, “In my opinion, no beginning blogger should be publishing anything under 1,000 words. And really, 2,000 words should be your goal.”

I’m sorry, but ain’t nobody got time for that. Well, speaking for myself, anyway, I don’t have the time to read posts that are between 1,000 to 2,000 words, much less to compose posts of that length. It’s not that I don’t enjoy reading long posts. I do. But I’m more likely than not to skip such posts because I just don’t have the bandwidth.

Wait. If you tend to write longer posts, let me explain before you get pissed at me.

My full-time job is not blogging. Well, truth be told, I’m retired now, so I don’t have a job at all — full-time or even part-time. And I’m not a professional blogger. I don’t make a single, solitary cent from my blog. Blogging is just something I enjoy doing and I do it in my spare time.

I probably spend three, maybe four, hours a day on WordPress. A third to a half of that time is spent writing, proofreading, editing, fixing, and posting my own posts. The rest is spent reading and commenting on other bloggers’ posts.

Three or four hours a day may sound like a lot of hours, but it’s really not. I do have a life and I try very hard to ensure that my life is not consumed by writing or reading blog posts. So, in order to publish my own posts — usually two to four posts a day — plus read those of others who I follow or who comment on my posts, I have to manage my WordPress time effectively.

That means that I can’t spend a whole lot of time reading longer posts. And by “longer posts,” I generally mean posts longer than 500 words. Okay, 600 words if posted by some of my favorite bloggers (and you know who you are).

Yes, some of you might have noticed that sometimes I will write a post that exceeds 500 words. This post, for example, has 549 words. It’s rare, but it happens. And I will certainly understand and accept that there are those who, like me, can’t invest the time it takes to read longer posts.

I admit that by skipping posts that go much beyond 500 words, I am missing some great posts from some great bloggers. But if I can read three or four 300 to 500 word posts in the time it takes me to read one 1,500 word post, I can read more posts and get to experience more bloggers.

Besides, there’s something to be said for brevity. The late Al Neuharth, founder of, and columnist for, USA Today, wrote that “long-winded stuff loses the attention of listeners and readers.” He quoted FDR, Henry David Thoreau, and Mark Twain, all of whom made comments about how difficult it is to be concise in one’s writing. Twain, for example, said, “If I had more time, I’d write shorter.”

Again, I’m not saying that I won’t read your posts if I follow your blog. But I just might skim (or skip) the longer ones. It’s not you. It’s me.

Because as Sweet Brown famously said:

I’ll Be Back

39F1B61F-8021-4551-8AFD-E724442A98BAI’ve been posting three or four times a day for many months and I just can’t do it anymore. Well, I can’t do it today, anyway. I’m tired and I’m uninspired and I think I need to take a slight break.

So no posts from me today. Maybe tomorrow my inspiration will be rekindled by something I read, see, or hear in the news or by something one of you posts on your blog. Or maybe not. Who knows?

But, as Ahnold always says, “I’ll be back.”

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “slight.”

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

img_1349I got a notification yesterday from WordPress that I had “registered” for this blog a year ago. Woo hoo!

I guess it took me five days after establishing this blog to publish my first post, Practical Pragmatist. It was posted on May 14, 2017 and it generated all of five views, one like, and not a single comment. A rather auspicious start, right?

And now here it is, almost a year later. This is my 995th post. My posts have received almost 14,000 visitors, more than 36,500 views, 10,765 comments, and my blog has 752 followers. So stat-wise, anyway, not too shabby.

As I reviewed my posts over the past year, I was surprised that I categorized 426 of them as “Flash Fiction.” When I started this blog, I had planned on posting about my observations and perspectives on the world around me. On life, politics, and on society. I really hadn’t planned on writing short pieces of fiction.

In fact, my blog was six weeks old before I posted my first flash fiction post. It was in response to a daily one-word prompt. And that’s when I discovered how much I enjoyed writing short fiction. I also discovered a whole host of flash fiction writing prompts and, as they say, I was off to the races.

But my point for this post is simply to say thanks to all of you who have visited my blog, read my posts, liked what you read, and took the time to comment. And to those of you who follow my blog, thanks, especially to those of you who truly follow it and actually read my posts.

You are a great, diverse, and talented community of bloggers and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.



I saw today that my posts have received more than 10,000 comments. 10,013 as I write this.

It’s rewarding to know that there are people out there who were inspired enough by what I’ve posted that I would accumulate 10,000 comments, even if more than half were my own comments responding to other people’s comments, and some were simply smiley face emojis.

What is interesting, though, is that my most commented upon post, Surrounded by Assassins, is not my most viewed post, which is  Manscaping. And these posts were published last July and August, when my blog was still in its infancy.

So, to all of you out there in the blogosphere who have taken the time to read and comment on my posts, thank you very much. You have made my day.

Exploring Original Thought

Original thoughtIt recently occurred to me that I have never had an original thought in my entire life. Neither have you, most likely.

There is an actual theory about this. It’s referred to as the Original Thought Theory. I don’t know who originally thought of the Original Thought Theory, but based upon the theory itself, it wasn’t an original thought.

The Original Thought Theory suggests that anything anyone can ever think of has already been thought of by someone else. Do you believe that?

Even the Bible doesn’t buy the notion of original thought. In Ecclesiastes 1:9, it reads:

That which has been is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done,
And there’s nothing new under the sun.

So what do we mean by “original thought?” First, let’s explore the word “original.” Various online dictionaries define the word as new, fresh, inventive, novel. It’s something created, undertaken, or presented for the first time.

It’s much easier to use the concept of “original” in terms of physical things, especially inventions. The iPhone was the original smartphone (or, arguably, the BlackBerry was). How about the IBM PC? Was that the original, mass-market personal computer? Johannes Gutenberg invented the original mechanical printing press. The Ford Model T was the original mass-produced automobile.

But the concept of “original” when it comes to thought is a different proposition. The word “thought” is defined as “the product of mental activity.” So an original thought is something new, fresh, and inventive that is the product of mental activity.

How can you know if a thought you or someone else had was uniquely new, fresh, or novel, as well as one that was thought for the first time…ever?

Apple on Newtons HeadWas Sir Isaac Newton, who wrote the Law of Universal Gravitation, the first to observe and describe the concept of gravity? Newton may have proved the existence of gravity using mathematics, but did it occur to no other human being before Newton that what goes up must come down? I can’t prove that it did, but I think it’s unlikely that it did not.

Think about the history of humanity on this planet. Think about the billions and billions of thoughts that human beings have had throughout history. What is the likelihood that you or I will actually have a truly original thought, a thought no other human being in the history of recorded time has ever thought?

Thoughts may be unique to a person, but they are formulated by a wealth of other thoughts, data, emotions, and perspectives. If someone presents a different perspective and your response is, “I never thought of it that way,” is your revelation an original thought or just a new take on an existing idea? Is formulating a new opinion about something the same as having an original thought?

Even if I discovered a new and different way of thinking about something, it may be new and different for me, but can I know for sure that no one else has also thought about that same thing the same way I have? Of course I can’t.

So, do I feel bad that I have never had an original thought and never will? No, not at all. I am happy that I possess the wherewithal to think rational thoughts, weigh the evidence, internalize other perspectives, and draw my own conclusions.

And then, in my blog, I post about such conclusions, observations, and perspectives in what I hope is a reasonably original manner. Original to me, anyway.

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “explore.”