about blog posts that don't get read

by - 6/29/2017 07:00:00 pm

I like to pretend it's summer here. I enjoy your summer bucket lists too much. No skim-reading those.
Isn't it the perfect blogger's tragedy? To know that we sit down – joy in our hearts and inspiration dripping from our fingertips – to write words that will never be read?

Here's a recent horror story: for some time I did not read a single book. I can justify it however much I like – oh, you know, busy with schoolwork and the lot – but the simple fact is that I had become accustomed to the art of skim-reading. So has everyone else.

We know this because we see fast-reading skills added to the curriculum. A tweet is 140 characters long. A tl;dr brings relief. We have the habit of skipping Youtube videos even if they entertain us. The ability to absorb info fast is quite obviously in vogue.

I've been thinking about skimming a lot and what it has to do with my book hiatus. All of a sudden, I found myself reading books in slivers of time, rather than chunks. I lost patience at the blocks of text. Was this how others felt, other people who weren't book lovers? Was dragging their eyes across the page a chore? (Thankfully, after reading The Handmaid's Tale (★★★★★ btw), I got back into the groove.)

If we find ourselves skimming everything, then I doubt blog posts are an exception. Are we ever guilty of skimming them? Maybe reading as little as 20% of the actual post?

Not a frozen sausage but a red bean popsicle.
I think this is perhaps my biggest worry as a blogger. Sometimes I can't control the spew of words, each letter punctuated with emotion. Creating a post can be writing down a few thoughts or it can be as elaborate as spinning silk into a web. Some days – days in which I construct the 'bigger picture' – my keyboard strokes are sharp and quick, tap tap tap. But my excitement will leave many bored, my enthusiasm will leave many disinterested. It's the equilibrium of the bloggerverse – it's only natural.

That's the worry, isn't it? That we don't have anything interesting to say. That's why we love comments, I think. A comment might mean that someone out there thought you were worth their time.

So the skimming begins. Though it's inevitable, I can't help but feel a little regretful. Because I know it exists, because I've done it to others. I feel weirdly guilty about it though I know I shouldn't. It's almost like talking to someone who has one foot outside the conversation.

But I also remind myself that the world does not owe me anything. For every hundred words I've written that were lost to the void, there's one word that was heard. And that makes blogging all the more worthwhile.

--

There are three recent posts I want to share that I think you should read in full (well, all posts deserve this, but we're imperfect beings, are we not?). Because they are short, powerful stories that demand nothing (and that's such a raw and beautiful thing!). If anyone on the list is reading, I hope you don't mind me including your post here. Hope you enjoy!

'Change' by Jessica at Apples of Gold
'Down Trodden' by M at The Life of Little Me
'Small Talk' by Rachel at SILVER MESS
'The Idea' by Olivia at summer of 1999

Do you ever have this thought? Have you ever been hesitant to write too long of a post?

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20 comments

  1. I understand this SO well. I always feel horrifically guilty when I find myself skim reading, because I know that people put so much time into that post, but I just can't bring myself to consume it in its entirety. But at the same time I hate the thought of that happening with my posts. Sigh. Sometimes I really hate the way the world is turning out..

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    1. I know right? It's such a hard habit to get out of. I don't feel obligated to read carefully but I do regret it a lot. Glad you can empathise. :(

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  2. I'm guilty of skim reading as well. I've checked out a boat load of books from the library but I hardly read any because none can capture my attention too unless I sit down and fully invest my attention into what I'm doing, which is actually what happened with this one book I started to read while waiting for the food to cook. Like Grace Anne said, it kind of stinks that that's the way the world is turning out. We have choice, and we want interesting results, and if something bores us, we move on. Or, we have choice and since there are some many choices, we have to get to the other things quickly and therefore try to get through everything super fast.

    Thank you for pointing this out. Seriously, I love bloggers who will point out the things we don't usually see or that we do see but hate talking about. Talking about it sheds light and it can help bring an awareness or sometimes, even change.

    xoxo Abigail Lennah | ups & downs

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    1. I know what you mean. I guess we change with the times, huh? :( Seeing everything compacted into brief, compact packages fills me with a kind of nostalgia...That's a really good point about there being too many choices as well. I wonder what the solution is?

      Thank you for your generous words. :) I certainly hope it makes a sliver of a difference somewhere.

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  3. I know what you mean. I've recently been doing the same thing. Mostly to old classic books though that have long detailed paragraph descriptions of . . . what clothes a character is wearing. But I've found myself skimming some of my favorite bloggers' posts before too because I always feel behind in blogging and reading. But then I realized that if I don't take the time to enjoy it, then what's the point?

    I do hesitate sometimes to write long posts for the same reason. Sometimes I can find a good place to split it into two posts though (and then I have a 2nd post already written out ;) ).

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    1. So glad to see your name around Ashley. :) I like the blog name change!

      I know what you mean. I recently bought a copy of Les Mis and I didn't realise it was about as much of a brick as War and Peace. It rambles on and on about some bishop's family history in the first few chapters...maybe that's what made me write a post about skimming. :')

      I can understand the blog thing, too. Sometimes I feel like I spread myself too thin because there are so many blogs I love and enjoy. Skimming feels like a necessity. But like you said, what would be the point?

      Clever. I might try that, could save me some time during exam week. ;)

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  4. Wow, I feel you on this. I found the same thing - I had a spell of not being able to get 'into' books. They just didn't capture me, and I could read a couple of chapters, put the book down, and not pick it up for weeks (which is so unusual for me).

    Yes, I skim. I'm trying to take the extra time, because people's thoughts are worth hearing. There's things to learn. But yes, I've done the skimming, and non-genuine comments, which I'm ashamed about. And I wonder too whether people read my posts, because I do write a lot sometimes. So I know what you mean, and thanks for being real about it. But like you said, if we can touch or impact one person then it's worth it. I think that's what we have to remember in these moments.

    Thanks for linking my post, girl - I feel honoured to be on the list. And for linking the other posts - they were good to read. And wow, that red bean popsicle looks good - I've had some red bean desserts before and they're good! Did you make it?

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    1. Right? They come totally out of the blue! I call those the Dark Ages.

      I think every blogger and reader must have skimmed significantly at least once. I feel a little ashamed as well, because I imagine only 10% of one of my posts being read. I definitely think remembering that fact makes up for all these...vulnerabilities.

      No worries. :) That post of yours I couldn't skim if I tried. I wish I had made it! Then I'd know the recipe and life would forever be a joy. <3

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  5. I am 100% guilty of skim-reading, and I feel almost that it's pointless. My attention span has been completely damaged by the internet, by short videos and tv shows and Instagram captions. Whenever I read now, it takes me AGES to get into it, I'm always flicking around to see how many pages I have left. It does bother me, I think it's a sign of a fast paced existence. We don't have the comfort of knowing we have all day to do as we please- even when we do. Everything is so instant, that our brains get used to it, and unused to a more pleasant reading experience.

    Thank you for this post, it's good to know others feel the same way!

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    1. Mine too. :( It amazes me how quickly we adapt to change. I think that's a really good observation. We're constantly searching for new things to do, searching for new stimuli. Everything IS instantaneous. We're already ready to move on to the next interesting thing before we've even finished with the first one!

      Thanks for your comment! :)

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  6. I understand that fear! I try my best not to skim, because I know I would hate people to disregard my work like that.

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  7. I've been in skim mode for the last few months, just reading textbooks and so on, and it's been hard to get back into reading properly! I often cut my blog posts right down from the first draft because I'm scared they're too long and boring.

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    1. I know what you mean. :( Yeah, I tend to cut a lot of content and sometimes my posts end up very choppy.

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  8. Aw yiss, The Handmaid's Tale is excellent! I've definitely struggled with skimming blog posts in particular. Sometimes I take my hand off of the mouse while I read so that I have to stay in a certain area for a while, and let the ideas soak in. At the same time, sometimes the subject matter isn't as interesting as I'd like it to be. Sometimes I comment because I want the blogger to know I was reading their post and thinking of them, but I can't always be as in-depth as a blogger might like to be. I would hope that over the course of a blogging experience, a variety of comments and lengths would appear, but I don't know. It's a challenge.

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    1. RIGHT? That's a good idea to avoid skimming, and I see where you're coming from. Although I like to encourage deep-reading, sometimes posts just aren't interesting, and I don't think readers have any sort of obligation to deep-read. I do think a comment is more about the blogger than the blog - a sort of unspoken loyalty. It's definitely a challenge.

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  9. I crai bc your posts always just like read my mind. I feel this so hard. It's all worth it for those few words heard though, isn't it? thankful 4 ur words.

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    1. :') Thank you so much. I'm glad you can understand! <3

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  10. UGH THIS IS ACTUALLY TRUE. I really REALLYYYY try not to read blogposts when I only feel like skim reading, because PEOPLE put TIME into the words that I'm reading! They probably powered through something to write those words, and I need to appreciate them.

    With that being said, I feel like my book reading has been fragmented now, because I need to stop and check my phone in between reading, and that's just ADSLKGJLKGH.

    partially it's because everything's moving so fast and we need more time, but also it's because WE are the ones who need to S L O W D O W N.

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    1. I totally get you dude. :( I try to do that too. More my laptop than my phone for me but can relate, unfortunately.

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