The Art of Brevity

Recently, Sidney took a trip down memory lane by reading some of my blog posts from a long time ago. We are talking 10-11 years in the past. As she went through some of these writings, she howled at how long they were. Yes, some of my blog posts went on and on in such a manner that the only way to deal with the absurdity was to laugh.

Sometimes it is best to be brief.

I didn’t learn the art of brevity overnight. My issue wasn’t necessarily realizing that “less is more.” I think it had to do more to do with just possessing the skills to write short and succinct. On the surface, someone might think it takes more talent and hard work to write a 5,000-word piece over a 500-word piece. However, that is not always the case.

Sometimes I will listen on the radio to daily mass from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Because it airs on the Catholic Channel (SiriusXM Channel 129), the mass must be contained entirely within a 30-minute time block. Because of this, Cardinal Timothy Dolan keeps his homily to around 3 minutes. As we know, preachers can be long winded so I can only imagine that this is difficult for him—but you wouldn’t know it. I have benefitted from listening to Cardinal Dolan deliver his homilies in a bare-bones manner. Although you do have to focus and listen intently so you don’t miss anything during those short 180 seconds, I find these condensed sermons to be very impactful.

Those who can express a point without the need for fluff or diversions—whether orally are written—are effective communicators. Although I think I have made strides from some of my train wreck blog posts in the early 2010s, I still have much learning and perfecting to do. After all, this blog post is probably already too long. Don’t Blink.

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