🎧Write Less, Please
Become a more skilled, versatile, deep-thinking writer
Listen to this post:
I have bad news, good news, and very good news.
The bad news: Most of your readers don’t finish your lengthy posts and a view doesn’t necessarily mean someone read what you wrote.
The good news: The data on our subscribers’ reading habits could be demoralizing, but I invite us to see it as an opportunity to become more skilled, versatile, deep-thinking writers.
The truth: We don’t write in a vacuum. A Substack newsletter is a medium and a genre. Like books, magazines, newspapers, fiction, nonfiction, and journalism, it has demands and constraints—and readers with preferences.
If you’re bristling, know that I love and write long-form, too. I teach long-form creative nonfiction and literary journalism at Northwestern. One of my long-form essays, “On Solitude (and Isolation and Loneliness [and Brackets]),” appeared on Longreads and was a Best American Essays notable mention.
However, there’s a time and a place for it.
The point here isn’t to encourage the spewing of sh…