It Takes a Long Time for a Windbag to be Brief

Polonius' life was edited by Hamlet.

Lord Polonius states in Shakespeare’s Hamlet that ‘brevity is the soul of wit,’ though Polonius himself was actually quite a windbag. My blog’s Spartan 300 word average is built in protection against the sin of windbaggery, so why does it take me so long to write one of these damn things?

I like to write songs, all of which have far fewer than 300 words, but it might take me a month or more to write one  from start to finish. The shorter the piece, the more pressure there is for every word and phrase to count as much as possible.

Numerous elements need to be considered including fine shadings of word meanings , rhyme, rhythm, resonances, emotional tone, plot, story arc, theme, and the relationship between the feel of the lyrics and the music that goes with them. Often a good bit of trial and error is involved before the lines fall into shape.

It seems to take an inordinately long time to complete the necessary thinking, stewing and hewing, especially when you see how brief the final product is.

Alas, garrulous Polonius was unable to embody the soul of wit when he spoke. He made the mistake of letting his lengthy and messy thought processes pour uncensored out of his mouth, until his life was cut short by a sword through the belly.

Hamlet was a merciless editor.





About David Rasch

Author, psychologist, speaker, teacher, consultant, workshop leader
This entry was posted in Common Writing Block Problems, Feedback and criticism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to It Takes a Long Time for a Windbag to be Brief

  1. Fakewomen says:

    Never has death been so funny – thanks dave

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