Today I want to coin the term bleet. It’s a type of short-form writing somewhere between a blog post and a tweet.
a short piece of writing published on a personal website, typically written hastilyI'm adding a bleet category to my blog
misspelling of bleat: a feeble outcry, protest, or complaintHis blog is just a bunch of bleats about the lack of discipline in software developers
Early 21st century English: portmanteau of blog and tweet.
One of the reasons why I haven’t been writing much in recent years is that each article takes a long time to produce. It’s more than just typing sentences until the document is full.
- simplifying sentences for non-native English speakers
- referencing a dictionary and thesaurus to try and ensure I’m conveying my intended meaning clearly
- investigating the origin of memes I want to use, so that I don’t get myself cancelled for inadvertently using something that originated from a degenerate 4chan post
- inserting bits of sardonic humour to avoid falling asleep while writing, such as suggesting I might get cancelled for inadvertently using a 4chan meme
- couching charged words like “4chan” with defensive writing like “inadvertently” to pre-empt negligent, drive-by assumptions about my character
- general editing
These all take time. Producing a finished article can take anywhere from 3 to 20 hours — sometimes longer.
When writing inspiration finds me, my immediate thought is can I be bothered? And, for a while now, the answer has been no. Knowing that it will take multiple workdays of effort is enough to dissuade me from starting.
This is not a state of affairs that I’m happy about. I would like to produce more words per month, since quantity begets quality.
Bleets are an attempt to remedy this problem. I intend to write bleets that are:
- shorter and more narrow in topic
- less researched and more opinionated
- minimally-promoted, if at all
- sufficiently filled with enough tpyos and grammatical eras to make prescriptivists tantrum like a toddler
I believe that there is still value in hastily written content, for both the reader and the author. Time spent writing is more fruitful than, for example, watching Netflix.
Bleets are a personal experiment in removing friction from desired behaviours. My hope is that by reducing the costs of writing — whether real or just perceived — I will be motivated to produce more writing.
Let’s see how it goes.