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When I started taking my writing seriously, as a possible career path, the year was 1998 and I was a high school senior. I have always had an obsession with efficiency, that is, in simple terms, obtaining the desired result or effect with the least possible use of resources, time, or effort. Ironically, while I make every effort possible to make things in my life as efficient as possible, as it relates to my writing, I use perhaps the most inefficient and most antiquated means possible; a Moleskine notebook and a pen with blue ink. The lack of efficiency in paper based writing results in quality writing.
As writers, we must find the writing method that works the best for ourselves, even if said method or methods seem lost in antiquity or inefficiency. The true mark of a good writer is someone who not only knows what words to write, but most importantly, why those words need to be written and collectively, what the meaning is behind those books filled with written pages.
A disturbing trend I have noticed in modern times is writers taking a simple premise, and filling the pages with unnecessary fluff and nonsensical points with arbitrary and unnecessary attention to insignificant details. This is a common practice that is often taught by professors to undergraduate college students whom are assigned writing papers with minimum word counts. I refer to this practice of watering-down writing pieces as souping.
Souping is the archaic practice of adding insignificant and or pathetically useless words and sentences to ones writing whose sole purpose is increasing its length. A lot of writers do this; resist the urge and or belief that in order for a writing piece to be interesting, intellectually stimulating, or impressive that it must be lengthy.
Aside I recently had a strange dream about my father. After his passing in 2013, I have had recurring dreams where he tries to tell me things that he planned on telling me, “one day”, but didn’t get the chance to. In my dream, my father tried to show me old computer files filled with writing, and other important files which he thought might be an interesting addition to my blog. Since then I have been searching through hundreds of computer disks trying to recover anything, but as of yet, I haven’t found anything at all. It seems data saved on computer disks prior to the 1990’s rarely survives long-term.
Colophon This post was originally inspired, if not based upon this blog post and my pretentious comment. The header image originally appeared here, A Few Of My Favorite Photos. As for writing asides, read this one, it is brilliant.