Is the Art of Arrogant Dismissal
99% of writing is Crap.
My advice, don't read it.
Most Writing is Crap One can say this in
numerous ways, but the most compelling I think is to point out that
most writing projects start out with some kind of outline -- an
outline that might have a section entitled 'Most Writing is Crap'.
And then, said author fills out the concept, adds a few examples,
and in other ways pads the work. So, maybe 'crap' is the wrong
word: unnecessary to a full and complete comprehension of the idea at
hand might be more appropriate. A great example of this (and by
great, of course, I mean one that enables me to keep on cranking out
the word count without pausing to think too hard) would be The Seven Habits of Effective People.
Each habit has a name and can be summarized by a sentence.
For example, Habit #8 (could be, I don't know, I didn't read the book): don't waste your life reading crap.
Now, some folks might need a complete chapter to explain this
idea, but I'm thinking you're smart; and so, you don't. Let's not
belabor the point any further. If it looks like fluff, it
probably is. And I don't read it. That is the heart of speed reading.
How to Get Started
These are the rules of speed reading. Life is short.
Time is valuable. Act like it. Demand the most from
your authors. Demand that they spend more time developing a
thought than it will take you to read it.
- Spend five minutes with a book (that you own and haven't gotten
around to reading for years). Spend five minutes with it and then
throw it away. Rinse and repeat. You'll get good at pulling
out the import parts real fast.
- Chapter headings are your friends.
- Bullet points are often the only points worth reading.
studies are for suckers. No, it's true. See, I knew this
guy... OK, I don't even have the patience to write a boring case
history. Trust me, most of them are made up. In fact, in
one recent book that I was editing (on account of having written it
myself) every last case study was a complete and utter fabrication.
- Case studies are for entertainment.
- Reading case studies is a waste of time.
once an author starts repeating themselves, put the book down and walk
away. Doesn't matter if it's on the first page, middle, or two
sentences from the end.
next BrettRants entry
copyright © 2013 Brett Paufler
reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Most writing is crap.
Because if you let them, authors will repeat themselves endlessly.
If you don't believe me, maybe you should read my book.
Speed Reading: Coming to Realize that the Needs of a Reader and Author are Not the Same