Yikking and Yakking

Comments 11 Standard


This week we’re spring breaking in the Canary Islands (Spanish islands off the coast of Africa, in case your knowledge of geography is as questionable as mine.) This is a good thing for seven million reasons, but it’s also the perfect time to put myself to the ultimate of tests.

I’m going to try to write a series of short posts.

Like, actual blog-sized posts that people can read in one sitting.

The idea is to limit myself to 750 words a day and write it in one go, probably while Laken naps (as she is right now.) As soon as I’m done writing, I’ll press publish.

Wish me luck!


Hi, I’m Sarah.

Okay, actually I’ve wanted to address the issue of my insanely long posts for a while. One of my bigger flaws in life is that I’m extremely insecure. Confidence comes to me in little moments. But, it doesn’t take long for that confidence to nosedive into something where I become a sniveling, sad little rodent of a human creature, following Todd around and asking for his reassurance on all things. I am that honey, do I look fat in these jeans? person. Poor Todd—I know.

So, needless to say, I’ve been insecure about my long posts. Sometimes, after I press publish, I scroll through the thing and think, what in the damn hell just happened there? I start off with the idea that I’m going to write something succinct, and then I take off yikking and yakking, and trust me—I could go on for a lot longer than I already do.

For weeks, now—ever since I started this whole blogging experience—I’ve swiveled from a mind frame of being nothing less than ecstatic to be writing again, to a place where I’m ready to delete my entire blog, rename it Boo Chicken (my childhood nickname) and start over again.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked Todd, “Do you think my blogs are too long?”

At this, he turns on his loud coach voice (the man has coached everything from basketball to volleyball) and yells, “What do you mean by too long? Did you use as many words as you needed to use to tell the story? You’re supposed to be having fun with this! Why are you worried?”

I’ve been thinking about that last question a lot.

(P.S. I’m at 416 words right now. I have to be careful.)

On one hand—this is, in part, who I am. Long texts are my “hallmark,” as it were. My emails are legendary. The postcards I send my grandmother are in writing so small that I’m not even sure they’re legible. Writing thank you cards stresses me out to the point that I sometimes avoid doing them for years at a time (just because my wordiness means that it takes me a long, long time to get through them.)

But, the subject matter that I truly want to write about at the moment requires a lot of detail.

All of it is just simmering, eagerly awaiting the writing stage–from learning to give myself shots in the stomach during fertility treatments, to one of the darkest experiences of my time in Germany. I desperately want to write about it in full. With lots and lots of words.

But—I’m also a Language and Literature teacher for IB students. We spend the duration of a two-year course looking at different text types and studying their conventions. Blog posts are not typically 5,000 words long (like one of my last posts, haha, oops!)

I think what I ultimately need to do is challenge myself. As Polonius said in Hamlet, “Brevity is the soul of wit.”

I’m not going to give up my longer pieces so that I can really explore some things that have happened over the years. But, if one of my aims in starting a blog is to improve as a writer—I think I need to learn how to be a bit more succinct.

Even if it challenges who I am as a yikking and yakking human being.

Also, my mom is a retired art teacher.  When students used to show her a finished project she’d say, “That’s great! Okay, now I want you to tear it up and turn it in to something new.  Keep going.”

They’d freak out about this, but do it (and often come up with something even more interesting.) So, in the spirit of one of my mom’s lessons, I’m going to go back to one of my last posts and see if I can break it down in to something new–or at the very least in to shorter, easier to read posts.

As I said, a challenge.

How about you? What makes you feel totally insecure? Please tell me I’m not the only freak, always worrying about everything from whether my butt looks big to if I potentially offended someone by something I said.

11 thoughts on “Yikking and Yakking

  1. I can relate. My posts are almost all over 2000 words and I panic each week that they’re too long and everyone will hate them. Constant self doubt. I think it’s the hallmark of creative people 🙂 Just keep on keeping on… It’s great.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Actually, that was something that drew me to your blog. I love the details you give and the pictures! Each one I’ve read has seemed spot on in terms of length and content. I’ll hold you up as an example. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. for sure you’re no freak!!! For all my life I’ve been full of insecurities from my height, my hair, my clothes, my accent, my lack of words lol In every conversation I feared I wouldn’t be able to get my point across – I would make long stories LONGER to make sure I get all details in there so that everyone would get the picture. Been told “get to the point” many times lol and I just reply “I’m getting there! all this is important”

    I love your posts!! length and all 😉 and if you want, write out all your post, pick a cliff-hanger paragraph and put “to be continued” (copy the rest of the post and paste into a new one) 😉 you’ll see how fast people will ask for the whole story in one shot!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re awesome!! I don’t know why we’re so hard on ourselves. It’s definitely something I want to overcome. I’m better than I used to be…but I still care way too much about things that shouldn’t be important at all. I like wha you said about making stories longer to make sure you get all the details in there! I think that nails my problem on the head, 2,000 percent. Anyway, I love your posts too, and I like the cliff hanger idea! Or, I’ll just mix them up with short and long ones. I’m still getting a sense of what blogging really is, and how I want to approach this sordid business. 😉 But thankfully I have an awesome community of people (yourself for sure in there!) that I’ve met and who are showing me the ropes! :-)))

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I often worry that things I write are too short. So I have the opposite problem. I also worry about sounding too snobby. I’m probably going to cut part of a draft post where I ramble about the word “ecdysiast” even though it means the post will be even shorter.
    But I’ll also say that you should never feel guilty about your posts being too long. As Lewis Carrol said, “Begin at the beginning, continue on until you reach the end, then stop.” And Polonius’s line is funny because it comes in the middle of one of the longest speeches of a play filled with some pretty long speeches.
    Anyway my philosophy is that your blog is your space. Decorate it however you want. If you want to write short posts then go for it. If you want to write long posts you may find that you’ll get repeat visitors as people come back to read the rest of what they couldn’t finish in one sitting.
    Now I’m worried this is too long.


    • Okay, I need to look up the word ecdysiast. Whew! I had to look at how you spelled it seven or eight times until I could copy it here (would have been faster to do copy/paste.) Anyway, I’m glad I’m not the only one feeling the guilt/concern/etc. about post length. I actually think yours are ideal! I read your posts and think–why can’t I be more like him?? 🙂 You always have something so meaningful to say and don’t need five thousand words to get your point across. But, I agree with what you’re saying, and I like you describe blogs as our space. That makes sense to me for sure. It’s also a bit like throwing a party. We can decorate and prepare the food, pour the liquor, etc., and try to make it the best damn party anyone’s ever seen…but it’s up to the people to have fun. Some will and some won’t. Anyway, thanks for the comment! I need to go back to some of yours and post my thoughts on them after we get back from the Canary Islands. I figured I’d have a bit of free time to write, but it has been a bit tricky with the little one. Also, I had to laugh at how you started your post talking about how you were afraid of things being too short and then ended with the worry it was too long. See? Even in a comment you had a good message, wit, and structure!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ooh there’s a 5000 word post waiting for me to read? Just how do you manage it?
    I fistbumped the computer when you wrote about feeling insecure about stuff – yep sounds familiar. There’s always this shitty little unsupportive voice that says things like “that’s not at all funny” “your hair looks like a Yeti” “your outfit looks like you fell in the bargain bin at Good Sammy’s”. Although it has never really affected how I do things – I don’t know whether this is because I am just incredibly lazy, or ornery, or in denial, or all of the above.
    As for blogging, it seems like many local bloggers I’ve read are in this exclusive club where they post about the same kinds of things, write 300-400W (maximum) posts on things that get a million comments, give away stuff, give advice on blogging and tell me how I’m doing it all wrong. But I realised I don’t like those blogs, so why would I want to be like them? Aside from the comments of course. So I am my own judge and jury. My blog, my way. Anything else just wouldn’t feel right. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really loved this comment and will probably refer back to it again and again. I completely identify with the exclusive club and the million comments that I envy. When I first started blogging, the last thing I expected was to feel SO insecure a few months in. I think part of it is due to changing motivations? I let my Facebook friends know that I started a blog, and really didn’t think that anyone outside of that would read my stuff. I truly didn’t know the first thing about blogging. Now, the more I read–the more insecure I feel. There’s this constant thought of ‘oh, I should try to be more like THAT’ or wow, they have 12,000 followers…how can I be more like THAT? I wasn’t motivated to have a wide audience, but seeing what other people have definitely causes an itch. 🙂 But, like you, I don’t want to write 300-400W posts about things that seem kind of generic. I just want to figure out my own ‘thing,’ whatever it is, and improve. I like what you said about anything else not feeling right. Kind of like what you said, there was a post that i ended up deleting because it seemed more a product of what was making me insecure. Why do writers beat themselves up? What’s your attitude towards your writing? Do you generally like your posts? It’s funny–I always get excited about something as I’m writing it, feel good about it for ten minutes after I press publish, and then my attitude about it slowly deteriorates until I’m just not that big a fan of my post, anymore. Sorry I’m rambling, by the way. I’m trying to watch Laken (who is actually playing pretty well by herself on the floor) as I write this. 🙂 Xx


  5. I think the key to enjoying blogging is be true to yourself, and through that gather like-minded people, and then you’ve got this little inner circle of sanity that supports you when you venture out into blogland. The whole idea of ‘your tribe’. It can be extremely intimidating out there! I try not to be jaded about it but let’s face it there are many creative works (books, movies, songs, whatever) that enjoy massive popularity which aren’t necessarily ‘good’. But there’s an audience out there for everyone. The trick is just finding them!
    As for how I feel about my posts, I love every single last one of them. I sound totally full of myself don’t I? 🙂 But I do. I reread them, sometimes to check links/images are still working, or tweak it here and there or update if necessary, but mainly just because I still enjoy them. Kind of like with my diary, which I delve into on occasion. The early stuff is OMIGOD SO BAD but over the years I’ve learned to stick to what I know is going to interest me later on. If a post sinks without trace I might get a bit shitty for a while (‘why aren’t people reading it!?’) but it doesn’t affect how I feel about it, as long as I was happy with it at that glorious moment of clicking ‘publish’. Hugs to Laken! And you 🙂


Comments are a blogger's crack. Bitte hinterlassen Sie eine Nachricht nach dem Signaltone. :-)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s