Short and Sweet

I thought I’d take a moment to send out a short blog about a concept rather mundane at first glance, yet intrinsically vital if we are to not only survive–but thrive–in today’s fast-paced world.


Yes, I’m being a little silly, but I was reminded several times this week of the often overlooked importance of the art of being brief.  

My four kids had dentist appointments.  I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I was that they were all in and out of the office–one of them even had x-rays taken–within an hour.  One hour!  Awesome!  I spent longer than that waiting in the checkout line at Wal-Mart the next day.  How I wished that sweet, chatty register worker understood the importance of brevity.  Instead, she insisted upon engaging each customer in deep conversation, pausing between product scans so that she could use her hands to help her articulate her thoughts on whatever she was sharing.

But, I digress.  Wal-Mart is still wonderful, and I’m sure the conversations were a blessing to someone–probably someone who didn’t have a cart full of frozen food items.

My oldest daughter sent me a text the other day.  She was posing a question–a simple question regarding curfew–but I had to scroll down a dozen lines of text and translate I don’t know how many text codes to figure out what she was asking.  I responded with a simple, TMI, feeling pretty good about knowing at least one text term.  Sadly, my three letters probably took as long to punch in as her little novella.  I’m so old.

Back to brevity.  I learned through the tweaking and editing of my story this past month, that I had TMI–and all the extra information was actually detracting from the impact of the story.  I had to revisit several scenes, and I even cut a few chapters.  It’s my first book, so I suppose time will tell whether my efforts will pay off.  But, I learned the importance of brevity.

Just this morning, I was “instructing” my children regarding their treatment of each other.  The bickering was about to drive me over the edge.  Halfway through my little rant, I noticed that their eyes, while on me, were glazed over, and their minds had wandered elsewhere.  Again, the art of brevity would likely have served me well.

I don’t have a big finale on this one–no closing paragraph which wraps it all up neatly for easier digestion.  It is what it is.  A thought.

Brevity is beautiful.


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