After my Dollop from last Thursday in which I talked about the challenges of writing daily while on the road, Jools commented saying, “would it help if the Dollops were smaller?” This, incidentally, is the very same Jools who upset my poltergeist friend, who had kindly started writing some of these Dollops for me, helping to lighten the load, and so I think it’s a bit rich of her to try and offer solutions.
Also her suggestion tapped into my paranoia. Was this her anti-encore? The equivalent of the audience shouting “less, less!”? If these Dollops were shorter, then it would probably mean that I’d write the same amount, but just have to think about which bits to edit out, which would take even more time. I do edit things out, but I don’t really want to be too harsh with the editing, as I might end up deleting something that will maybe fuel an idea somewhere down the line. This exercise is as much about me learning and getting better and more creative, and also having the resilience and staying power to write everyday, regardless of obstacles. But this is not just about my resilience and staying power, it’s about yours as well. The question is: can you hadle it, Jools?
Also, if I started out with a view to writing less, most of the ideas that are generated wouldn’t ever occur because I’d reach 600 words and just stop. This would mean that I’d have to decide on a subject before writing, which often doesn’t happen. I quite like the fact that I can start out writing about one subject, but then the subject will completely change during the writing process, or by discovering something on the Internet while fact checking what I’ve written. Because when it comes to David’s Daily Digital Dollop, factual accuracy is paramount; and that’s a fact.
The Dollop about the Beastie Boys forum is a good example of when an Internet search mid-Dollop-writing can completely change the subject. One minute I was writing about the search results that come up when you type “David Eagle blind”, into Google, and then I became interested in one of the search results which was a post on the Beastie Boys forum, and so I started writing about that, which then led to a discussion of arse wiping. If I made the Dollops smaller then that kind of thing would never happen. And you surely wouldn’t want to be deprived of that kind of quality subject matter, Jools?
However, if you are concerned about the amount of time it’s taking you to digest these Dollops (and this reply won’t be helping you there, sorry), then you could probably find a tool on the Internet that will strip out all the conjunctions, and maybe reduce any longer words into their shorter equivalents. You’d probably still be able to understand what I was writing, and it would save you about thirty seconds a Dollop, which may not seem like much, but over time would accumulate and save you quite a bit.
There’s an auto-summarising tool online here that will allow you to paste in any text and choose how much you want the summariser to cut out. The default is 50 %, but you can change this number depending on how pressed for time you are. Unfortunately, it tends to ruin any jokes, because it often seems to take out the first part of the joke and just leaves the punchline. But you could then play a fun game of trying to guess the first part of the joke on the basis of the punchline, which would add an extra level of entertainment to the Dollops, without having to read 50 % of them, saving you time and improving your level of creativity in the process. Perhaps you’ll discover that you’ve thought of better openers to the jokes than I have, and you’ll eventually start your own blog which will be inspired by your guesses on my blog posts based on only reading 50 % of them. Unfortunately, if you’ve already started using the auto-summariser to read the rest of this Dollop, then there’s a 50 % chance that you won’t be reading any of this bit.
Most people seem to access the Dollops in their audio form, presumably because they find my voice arousing, plus I’m taking them into some rather exciting locations; yesterday I recorded from the Unthanks dressing room and a disabled toilet, reading the Dollop while sat on the loo. The blog posts take me about five to ten minutes to read. I think that is quite a good amount of time to explore an idea.
The archers is about twelve minutes a day, and that’s one of the most popular daily podcasts out there. And that’s full of padding; a lot of it is just farmyard ambience. I’m sure that if Archers listeners had a tool that could remove the bits in the soap where there’s just the sound of a cow mooing or a sheep bleating, then they would get back quite a lot of their lives.
If you are a Dollops podcast listener then you could save yourself up to 75 % of your listening time by using an App such as the Podcasts App on Apple Devices, which has a function to speed up the podcast up to 75 % faster. Unfortunately, I don’t think it has a tool to take out the sound of cows mooing, which is a shame because that would save you even more time, although, what that cow was doing in the disabled toilet is anyone’s guess. Still, it came in handy; well, we all have our ways to relax after a hard day’s work..
Anyway, thank you to Jools and everyone who reads and listens to these Dollops. The numbers have not dropped off, and are steadily increasing, so hopefully that’s an indication that the project is working. Tomorrow I will write something less self-referential. Today’s Dollop was just going to be a four line limerick, until I saw Jools’ comment, so if you found this too long then address your complaints to Jools. A couple of weeks ago she insulted my dead friend, and now she’s making snide remarks about the size of my Dollop – insert your own smutty punchline here, if you feel that way inclined.