You Won't Finish This Article. Day 29 of the Total Writer Transformation

in steemit •  5 months ago

I'll keep today's post brief because chances are you won't read the whole thing.

I lost some of you already. Sad to see you go so soon, even before the hors d'oeuvres. For every 100 readers only 52 stayed after 15 seconds. You hit the share button or tweeted this article to your fans and you haven't even read the whole thing!

If you're still here thanks for sticking with me!

Less than 20 percent of your readers will engage with your entire article.

Attention capitol is slipping. I get it- we're busy. Internet readers need their information in tiny bite sized pieces so they can move on to the next morsel.

You have to condense your information while keeping it entertaining. It's no easy feat. But with practice, and an unbiased editors eraser, you can learn to get your point across in less paragraphs.

Today's Challenge

  • Write your article

  • Step away from it for at least an hour, but I suggest a day

  • Edit. Eliminate unnecessary and repetitive words and ideas.

  • Edit some more

  • Make your first and last paragraphs shine

Don't take it personally. Editing out the sweat and blood of the article you worked hard on can be painful- I know the feeling well. But it's a necessary task if you want to write for today's distracted and time constrained internet reader.

Be creative with what you post. Make it entertaining and interesting. And be sure to engage with your community!

Images via Creative Commons

Be a Better Writer in Just One Month! Join the 31 Day Writing Challenge to transform your writing and your life!

Day 1 The Truth About Making Time For Writing
Day 2 How to Incorporate Ideas From Life in Your Writing
Day 3 Master the Art of Captivating Your Readers
Day 4 Banishing Distractions
Day 5 Get Your Writing Noticed!
Day 6 The Importance of Morning Pages
Day 7 Why You Should Write Even if You're Not a Writer
Day 8 How to Personify an Object
Day 9 How to Use Writing Prompts to Improve Your Skills
Day 10 Why You Need an Email List
Day 11 There is a Best Time to Write!
Day 12 Your Future Path
Day 13 Do You Know How to Eat an Elephant?
Day 14 Soliloquy Speaking: Bring Depth to Your Characters
Day 15 The Red String- You and Your Readers are Connected
Day 16 Pardon Me, What Did You Say?
Day 17 Make Dialogue Work For You
Day 18 Actions Speak
Day 19 Connect the Dots
Day 20 Begin with the End
Day 21 You Don't Need the Money!
Day 22 Lessons for Writers from Kurt Vonnegut
Day 23 from Mundane to Marvelous
Day 24 Expose Yourself
Day 25 Write it Like They'll Steal it!
Day 26 Don't Dress for the Job You Have
Day 27 Pieces of You
Day 28 Create a Mental and Physical Writing Haven

I appreciate your support :)

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@arbitrarykitten I read the whole post and I was totally engaged.........


Well, you did well. Actually I believe it's good to always follow an article to the end. For me I might read the whole piece and only a little portion pass the message to me. If I had stopped halfway, I might never had gotten that info. So @stokjockey, in today's world of rolling stones, patience is a virtue.


I'm with you on this. So many times I find hidden gems further down the page that I would have missed had I left the article after only skimming.

Patience is a virtue, and those who exercise it are bound to find the treasure :)


What do you think about the use of standfirst paragraphs?


I think they can be a good thing. It does depend on the article itself, too. Sometimes you want to surprise your audience. Steemit is a different sort of beast, you really want to feel out your fans here in that regard. Listen to them, and the feedback you receive in comments. Let your readers determine your style.


I agree - I have at least three different audiences among my followers and they all respond to very different types of post and post openers. Occasionally, there are crossovers but not often.


You are a rare treasure my friend <3

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Great advice - I think about half of Steemit just loves the sound of their own keyboard going clickity click.



Lol true story!

Short and sweet wins the race ;)

I remember the days before the internet when I would see an article -- usually several pages long -- that I wanted to read in a magazine. So I would stick a paper chip on the first page and put the magazine on my nightstand. I would read for several hours a night before going to sleep. Lining up my night's reading was one of the things I did in the day.

That habit died when I entered the online world, but I remember it fondly. Articles on the internet are 200 - 400 words long. Newspapers (remember those?) used to call things that length "fillers" -- back in the day.

I don't know how you reasonably discuss serious ideas, or teach or learn anything of value in something that short -- except in these quick "sound-bite" bursts of targeted information. No wonder there's so much shallow thinking, so much outright ignorance, so much hostility -- and so little patience. We program it into the very structure of how we receive information. Not an improvement IYAM.

TLDR is an actual thing now -- and I'm already way past the limit. I could write several more paragraphs without pausing for breath. But my time is up ... and it's entirely possible your attention fizzled out already -- a while ago.



Oh my gosh, tldr. I remember the first time I saw that. Smh.

I watched Sesame Street when I was little, and then with my boys. I had a realization once when we were watching. I remember asking "why are the segmentsso short?"

Then I wondered if it was the chicken or the egg... Because, seriously, children used to have a longer attention span I believe. I've heard the whole family used to be entranced with radio shows and the nightly television program- "gathered around the set".

I think this is true about most posts on steemit - most people vote for the posts without reading or has a bot doing it so no matter what that person writes he gets votes and some very good posts gets missed - pity we cannot get to all of them -


It's a shame because there's so many treasures here...


I agree, but it is a dream to just do steemit hahaaha


...finished it! I finished it!


Gold star for Marcus!



Aw but repetition is so much fun! lol And that's why I hired an editor for my novel :p

Actually, I'm learning to condense certain parts of videos to increase my audience retention. I've change the beginning and am becoming more natural and at ease with that, I'm working on changing my endings and closing off videos without rambling on and on...I still do, but I'm working on that. I'm adding music, B roll footage, image. Now I know how to make my images move in Final Cut Pro. Why I never knew this before? Probably because in films, you don't have images that move. Being a YouTuber requires different types of skills. So I guess you can call it reader retention for posts :)


Have you tried out dtube yet?


I have ONE video there :p

I'm keeping Dtube for when I want to do certain videos that have no place on any of my other channels, so I won't be consistent, or posting often there, but the ice is broken, I've posted once ;)

I think this right here, the attention issue of the way humans read online, has done more for crushing my confidence as a writer than anything else.

It's disturbing when you are writing and editing whilst feeling the futility of knowing people are just waiting for any reason to stop reading.

I think that is why I'm trying to reset my focus, and to remember to write for myself. Which sounds like bad advice, and it can be, except if it also happens to be the thing that will unlock your creativity again if, like me, you worry way too much about whether others will like what you're writing so that you start withering on the vine :)

It is so true!! so many people share an article before even reading a full paragraph.

It's sad just how much people's span of attention seems to have declined... and how it keeps declining. Seems like a route to only having the "Cliff's Notes" version of life... not much richness or fullness there.

I think one of the better pieces of wisdom I have picked up along the way (with respect to web content) is "Embrace that your true readership is tiny." I think there's a lot of truth to that... and, by extension, our job as writers is to "be EVERYthing to a few, rather than NOthing to many."



That sadly makes sense... In our current tech advanced age, we're living the Cliff Notes version of life... Sigh.

Yes, your true readership, as far as those who absorb your words, is pretty small. But they are to be treasured :)