Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Sentient consumers of broadcast media are well aware of how movies, television shows and other media seize attention by overusing sex, violence and language.

Sex, violence and language are all forms of cheating. They're shortcuts. They create a facsimile of dramatic tension rather than true tension. The problem is, everyone in the media is competing voraciously for viewers, and thus movies and television programs soak themselves in sex and violence in order to stand out.

The irony, however, is when everything stands out, nothing does. Everybody cheats, nobody wins.

This cheating happens in the world of blogging as well: After all, bloggers can overshare and be inappropriately graphic too. And judging by the success of bloggers like Dooce or Tucker Max, it draws an audience. For now.

But from an artistic standpoint, blatant sex, violence, inappropriate oversharing, mommyblogger posts about poopy diapers, whatever--these are all just devices. If you want to improve your writing, you'll need to learn to put down these blunt tools.

Not to mention that you should have more respect for your readers.