Day 431: Why yesterday’s post was so short

Yesterday’s post was shorter than my CBN — Current Blogging Norm.

I’ve written short posts before — like Day 28: Losing the investment in the outcome, Day 68: Barriers to Connection,  Day 85: You’ll figure it out,  and, especially, Day 95: A startlingly brief post (which is, essentially, one line: “We are neither as unimportant or as important as we fear.”) — but not for a while.

Why was yesterday’s post — What I learned at the group therapy conference” — so short? Confidentiality created safety there, so there wasn’t much I could write.  Also, before composing that post, I wrote an email where I took some risks, so I had less time and energy to spare.

Don’t get me wrong: I think brief posts are fine.  Many of the posts I learn from, in the Blog-o-sphere, are short and sweet. Like this, this, and this, which I read here on WordPress, this morning.

And there are many famous sayings about the advantages of brief communications:

“Brevity is the soul of wit.”
― William ShakespeareHamlet


“I have only made this letter longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter.”
(Letter 16, 1657)”
― Blaise PascalThe Provincial Letters


“It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche


“The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible.”
― George Burns


“Be sincere, Be brief, Be seated.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt


“Like all sweet dreams, it will be brief, but brevity makes sweetness, doesn’t it?”
― Stephen King11/22/63


“Writing is 1 percent inspiration, and 99 percent elimination.”
― Louise Brooks


“A novel is just a story that hasn’t yet discovered a way to be brief.”
― George Saunders


(thanks to Goodread, for the quotes and the images)

Here’s the soul of irony: This post can NOT be brief, now that I’ve included so many quotes about brevity.

So what else do I want to write, before this becomes a novel? How can I make the beginning and the ending of this “sermon” as close as possible?

While it may be too late for the latter, here are some final thoughts, for today:

That email I sent yesterday was one where I took some risks. I:

  1. wrote to somebody I admire,
  2. was authentic, and
  3. asked for help.

For me, that might be the very definition of a risky email.  I haven’t heard back, as of this writing.  Now, I’m waiting, to see if I get a response.

If I don’t, am I still glad I sent the email?


Look what I did, right there, dear readers.   I was sincere, brief, and seated.

Thanks to President Roosevelt, to the other admirable advocates of brevity in this post (including A Small Act of Kindness,, and Find Your Middle Ground),  and to you, for reading today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

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27 thoughts on “Day 431: Why yesterday’s post was so short

  1. The long and short of it is…. you are amazing!

  2. I’m pretty sure I’ve read 10 understandable sentences by Nietzsche. Unfortunate they were in ine of his books and it took me a semester to understand them. The cherry, all for a word called . . .



  3. Hee hee! My smartphone missed that semester of college. Plus, the phone has no id, just IOS.

  4. For a few years after my teaching career, I worked for a company that does high stakes testing. They write assessment items of various formats. Brevity and clarity were essential. I believe I learned some valuable skills about communication. It was impressive to watch someone wordsmith a test item draft into a final form.

    I like what Blaise Pascal said. Pressure units are named after Pascal.

    btw…I hope you get an answer soon to your request.

  5. Less is always more.Love the quotes!

  6. Love the quotes. As Irma said above: “Less is always more.” I’m trying to work on that. Trying to cap at 1,000, but failing and loving it!

  7. That email I sent yesterday was one where I took some risks. I:
    1.wrote to somebody I admire,
    2.was authentic, and
    3.asked for help.

    You called this a risk. Maybe – I can see where you’re coming from.
    I call it
    1. wisdom
    2. genuine and true
    3. building community

    And I love it!
    Diana xo

  8. And this one: life is more comfortable in briefs than boxers. TMI, Ann? Thank you for all of those boffo quotes above.

  9. Love this Ann! Its just up my street right now 😉 Here’s an other –
    “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it enough.” Albert Einstein.
    You’ll find my post here.

    Regarding your email. Brava! When we are being vulnerable we attract people with open hearts. If you don’t get a response, their heart wasn’t likely in the right place.

  10. I amazes me how poets can convey a message in four succinct lines what it takes others a whole book to bring out. .

  11. Here’s to brevity, Ann. I find my word count running away with me. I need to tighten up!

    Well, I hope that email recipient knows how lucky they are!

    • Don’t you dare make your posts any shorter, Eli! I enjoy every word, and usually want more.

      And thank you, for this characteristically kind comment.

  12. This reminds me of a book called Not Quite What I was Planning: Six word memoirs by writer famous but obscure. It’s an art form to be brief! Gail at Making Life An Art

  13. How did it turn out, with your risky email? Did they write back? Did they help?

    • I haven’t heard back from that person, yet. But I’ve decided that might have something to do with the way I ask for help. Usually, I let people know that I’m all right, whether or not they respond. So that might cut down on people’s responses. I think I might still get an email back, though. We shall see.

  14. I hope that you do hear back.

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