As a writer, I try to deliver good content and express my thoughts in ways that serve others. Given today’s technology, I must also think about the audience’s reading habits.
I’ve often thought people just don’t read anymore. The truth is, people are reading more than ever, only differently. We now have iPhones, iPads, Kindles, tablets, and Nooks. If you’re like me, a good portion of your work time revolves around email. I read blog posts, forum discussions, ebooks, friend-recommended articles, PDF files, power points, newsletters, social media sites, and the list goes on. Now, throw in other media: youtube, television, cell phone, internet, podcasts, audiobooks, etc. Information overload! Or, information cafeteria!
I’m not just reading anymore, I’m speed-reading–scanning. Either I’m being incredibly pragmatic as I pick out what interests me or meets my needs, OR I’m trying to cut through the fluff. Actually, I do both. And this is a great reminder to me: How much worthless information am I including in my writing?
Often, we can say more by saying less.
Changing the subject just a little, I would love to hear what’s on your summer reading list. Here are some of the books I’m reading this summer, but also notice how I’m reading them (as you can see, I haven’t totally abandoned the good ol’ paper and ink):
- The Bible (YouVersion on iPad)
- You Are a Writer by Jeff Goins (ebook on Kindle)
- The Writer’s Manifesto by Jeff Goins (PDF on iPad)
- The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell (audio/CDs) – during my commute.
- Swim Upstream by Dave Myers (ebook on Kindle)
- Platform by Michael Hyatt (hardback & ancillary electronic media)
- As One Devil to Another by Richard Platt (paperback) – thanks Pastor Jeff. Incidentally, I won this book on Jeff’s blog.
The takeaway: Technology continues to shape how we read, how we regulate the information flood. Ironically, it also increases the deluge. As writers, we have to be sensitive to this, and get to the point.
Exceptions: Yes, I realize these ideas may not apply to all reading scenarios. For example, spiritual, poetry or fiction. But as writers, we can get carried away in these genres also.
What’s your opinion on this topic? Let us know what you’re reading this summer and how you’re reading it.