Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
A year or so ago while I was perusing Medium, I stumbled on a peculiar blogger. Well, I guess you could call him a blogger, because he would post every day. Nothing too long, just very short and concise little nuggets each day.
He was so interesting, I signed up to his email list so that I could receive these little daily nuggets in my inbox. The thing is, he's approaching blogging all wrong.
His writing isn't how a 'normal' writer approaches sharing of words and meaning. Good writing should have a premise or thesis, with supporting information consisting of a series of paragraphs, well researched quotes and stories with a conclusion. The goal of writing is to prove your premise or thesis and validate the point you're trying to make with the words and structure that defines "writing".
Um, yeah... that guy doesn't do any of that.
In fact, his posts are a series of single line paragraphs all the way down the page. Each thing he communicates stands there, on it's own, until all the individual standalone paragraphs form into one cohesive message of the day.
His name is Yann Gerard, and this guy certainly does it all wrong. He even admits it. He sucks at writing, but he loves to do it, so he does it anyway. His way. And you know what? He's got lots of readers and followers, and has even put out some information products.
His posts are always inspirational in some way. Inviting you to look at anything you want to do in life and then do it. Don't wait, don't hesitate, just do it. And when you do it, do it ugly, do it wrong, fail, and then learn to do it right, then master it.
I find Yann to be a huge source of inspiration for me when I get down on myself for always writing such lengthy posts. Then, thinking if Yann's wisdom, who defines 'lengthy'? Is there a governing body that deems a blog post past a certain number of words to immediately be called lengthy?
The point here is, anything we do can mean so many different things to so many people. That's why writing is an art form. Just like music, painting, even making YouTube videos. And because art is subjective, not everyone is going the like the things you produce. They may not like your technique, or your approach. Or the fact that you're even trying to do something without any education or background behind it. Or, it just doesn't resonate or connect with them in any way.
But some will like what you put out there. And so regardless whether some people like it, or some people don't, the important thing is that you like it.
If you like it, then there are bound to be others that like it. Others that appreciate your work. How you approach it, your technique, your mindset. They will enjoy and admire your work, because it connects with them in some way.
And I'm writing this as much for myself as anyone else who may read this. Because I tend to write long posts, and conventional wisdom says that blog posts over 600 words will lose the readers' attention. Ok, and?
Maybe when I get better at writing, I'll be more succinct. Then again, maybe I won't. Did Hemingway keep things short because he feared losing readers? What about Herman Melville... did he 'keep it short' when writing Moby Dick because the length of such a book would be a sure turn off to most readers?
At the moment, my style is to take as many words as I want and need to communicate a message. If it's not brief enough or to the point enough for some, well, I'm sorry, and you may be missing out on something good while I hone my craft.
Then again, I'm almost sure there are others out there who can appreciate a little extra time taken to paint a picture with words, or the adding of some detail to things so that they make more sense in their context and meaning.
In any case, I do have a long way to go before I can be one of those that can convey a 5 paragraph message in only 4 lines of text. But, right now, I'm not him, not sure if I'll ever be him, and if I follow Yann Girard's way of thinking, so what?
Keep doing what you love to do. Stop worrying about the approval of others, and just put out something great, because you're great. Again, as much for me as it is for you.