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If I'd had more time, I'd have made this shorter.

That’s a saying ascribed to so many people, from Voltaire to Pascal to Benjamin Franklin, that it’s hard to know where it came from.

I don’t care who it came from. It’s correct.

That beautifully written tight post, a cousin to William Carlos Williams’ poem about a red wheelbarrow, a poem we memorized in high school which seemed like a waste of space on the paper but now, when I think about the price of eggs and the dry ground in need of rain and the endless words that fill the internet, makes so much sense.

See what I did there?

It’s kind of a conundrum. Writing shorter and tighter posts are easy when I whip them out and quickly publish without too much thought. I also generally regret those things the most, those verbal flaming torches that start a fire in the comments section somewhere, and wished I’d taken more time.

With time, I can control my tongue in terms of regretful words.

But in time, my tongue can fill the space with caveats and endless details that would make even James Joyce gasp in horror.

I do not wish. To write in a staccato way. That seems popular today. That makes me feel. As if I am hyperventilating. As a reader.

I apologized to one client and offered a mea culpa up front by saying that though I would try to mimic the shorter sentence and paragraph style that is preferred by today’s reader, it goes against my writing genetics and feels as if I am weaving stories out of short, broken threads instead of the longer, much stronger threads that come from complex sentences filled with conjunctions and mixed thoughts.

I’ve taken too much time with this post today.


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