I like to think of myself as an adult in many ways; I especially love thinking of myself as Sam Elliott. One of my favorite parts of being an adult is that I like to cut up my own food. I even like to chew it.
We’ve all seen these blog entries: “The Top 10 Ways to Get More Readers From Twitter” or “The 5 Traffic-Building Tips You NEED to Know!!!” and the like.
These lists have been bugging me for some time, and I think I’ve finally put my finger on why. It’s like I ordered a Portobello sandwich and the server decides to cut it into bite-size pieces for me. Not only that, but they’ve taken the liberty of pre-chewing it a little as well.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I do feel like those lists have a place and that some of them are genuinely useful, as the authors are far more experienced writers than I am. It’s just that the bulk of them feel like a strange shadow of heartfelt or even truly informative writing.
No matter how promising and informative they appear while I read or before I click on the title, the stuff doesn’t seem to stick.
It leaves me wondering- was I just fooled in some way? Did they get my click without giving me something in return? Perhaps there is another explanation.
Why Doesn’t The Stuff Stick?
Maybe it is that these “4 Big Ways to Make Your Blog Burst With Flavor!” articles don’t let me creatively organize and process the points that matter to me.
Reading Stephen King’s On Writing and Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing have given me kernels of knowledge and wisdom that roll around and around in my head, sticking with me long after the fact.
Neither of these books is organized in list-fashion.
Neither of them even attempt to slice up the ideas neatly into bite-size pieces. They let me cut, let me chew, let me sort it all out like an intelligent adult.
Little chunks of those books will pop up as I sit to write or as I walk around outside. That has never happened with Item #4 of “5 Reasons You Aren’t Getting More Traffic on Your Blog.”
Maybe It’s a Learning Style?
I’m wondering if perhaps this has something to do with learning style. Perhaps some people learn more effectively when the main points are all laid out, and others learn though the experience of figuring it out and learning what works for them.
Maybe I would retain more items if I wrote them down. Maybe if I put more energy into finding good posts or articles, more of them would stick. Maybe I am already learning from them and it is just such a smooth and flawless process that it slide right by my awareness.
I’m not sure. But at least I put my finger on my annoyance and have a direction to go in- which is towards more non-listy inspirations, books, and blog posts. These are more useful, memorable, inspirational and informative to my particular mind.
Do you like articles like that, have you written any that you are proud of?
What types of information seem to stay inspiring to you, and which kinds seem fun at first but then quickly fade, never to be thought of again?
And, what’s the sky look like right now?