I notice that traffic-hungry bloggers and web-savvy advertisers tend to follow SEO marketing schemes of creating filler content and fluffing up word count. They claim that it will keep visitors satisfied and search engines will flock to their precious keywords which will increase click-through rates. The latter may be true, but the former is problematic. I often write an article when I want to encourage myself to do something, I want to help/inform others, or something hasn’t been said (or said too sparingly). I avoid bland and uninspired monologue at all costs, even in real life (but that’s another topic).

My friend says it best, whom he got from one of his old teachers. I don’t have the best memory, but as best as I remember it:

Say you’re wrote an essay. Try to consolidate everything together, minimizing and getting rid of filler words and sentences (X amount of times) while retaining meaning and intended purpose. When you think you’ve condensed everything, remove one last thing.

Kurt Vonnegut says pretty much the same thing:

If a sentence, no matter how excellent, does not illuminate your subject in some new and useful way, scratch it out.

This type of thinking should be applied in many other situations beyond writing. How much of our lives are lived waiting for the punch line, standing in line, or finding the line? Now I don’t strictly follow this method, but I definitely agree with its purpose and outcome. I believe my mind works like this sometimes- Be terse, remove irrelevant information, then simplify further (within reason). But am I losing valuable analysis by oversimplification? Not if done correctly. One is probably more prone to blur the “end result” by drawing out too much- sort of a reductionist compulsion. There may be some gray areas to both solutions, but when concise, the message will be relayed without adding unclear material and dead-end tautologies.