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squid hat

I love this hat which I saw on twitter or somewhere else recently. It’s an octopus hat, right? Not a squid hat…

I have been working on an idea to try to have this blog updated more frequently. My blogging history (started in 2005 with looooong posts with few readers) means that I have the tendency to write too-long posts. Until now, I’ve thought the optimum post length was around 700-800 words, under a thousand, definitely. Which is why it’s a surprise to know such a figure is outdated. This is what I just found:

That 1,400-1,750 was the sweet spot for 2016.

What?

Oh, but that’s for SEOs. What about for human readers?

I always feel disappointed when blog posts and articles are too short, and overwhelmed when they are too long. If I have the time, and the article/essay/post is really interesting, I love a long read but it seems that the elusive sweet spot is something much shorter.

For this website/blog/whatever it is, how do I find a more balanced output, where I generate unique fresh content that isn’t boring (like this particular post is starting to feel right now), isn’t onerous, and I can keep producing. I don’t always want to be talking about my writing, or my cat. I used to have never-ending topics to blog about (maybe it was the anonymity that was liberating. Hmmmm.) But there is still a fascinating wealth of things to write about, I just need to hit on the right balance. I feel once a week is best and most realistic for me.

But as I potter around with these concepts, here are some people doing good things with their blogs/websites:

Australian authors Jane Rawson and Annabel Smith have started a series – aimed at writers but of probable interest to readers as well – about the pleasures and perils of publishing. Here is the first one What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Book Blurbs.

WA author, and NZ resident Tracy Farr recently launched her second novel The Hope Fault, and while I’ve yet to read it, I read an intriguing review that only made me even keener to read. I love the idea of hidden surprises in novels, intellectual underpinnings that spin quietly underneath the narrative engine.

The Hope Fault – Telescopic Time

And here is a post from Tracy’s website about the recent launch.

Anyway, happy Sunday, here are some more links that I’ve collected across the top of my browser:

Uncle Nev’s Trail Rides. Yes. Considering a seasonal ride, so four times a year. How nice would that be?

A reddit thread on about elephants and music at a sanctuary in Thailand. 

Using ginger in tea to help with congestion and inflammation. My sinuses are an ongoing issue.

The family recently went to an American-style BBQ restaurant in Fitzroy (bluebonnet) and the other night I was looking for a different place to try. Haven’t been (yet) but this looks good.

“The new true-crime podcast from the “Serial” creators is a Faulkner-esque Southern Gothic novel”. Most of these words trigger intense interest in me. The problem is I just am not a podcast listener. I should be, I should be walking and listening but my walking time is either filled with conversation (with my daughter) or thinking time. But podcasts are the best thing I don’t have in my life, that I wish I did. I did listen to Serial though, somehow I managed it and maybe I’ll manage this too: S-town.

An interesting discussion of Richard Flanagan’s Narrow Road to the Deep North in the Sydney Review of Books (from 2013), including this passage:

That is, elements of popular romance and adventure fiction impinge on the central subject of the novel.  In the long line of fictional representations of this material, The Narrow Road to the Deep North has more in common with Neville Shute’s A Town Like Alice (1950) than with David Malouf’s The Great World (1990) with its slow-paced examination of small lives.

It’s worth re-reading in light of Flanagan’s upcoming novel, due in October this year.

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