The Imprisoned Reader’s Plea for Your Every Word

image of man in handcuffs

You, the writer, work so hard.

Every sentence struggles into existence. Perfection alone cuts admin’s mustard. It’s taking hours and hours. You’re fatigued to the point of exhaustion.

It isn’t worth it. Your email open rate is 42% and its click through rate hovers a lonely 1%.

For the thirteenth time you bang the splintery desk. Somebody’s going to die. Starting tonight.

Blood and tears, every sentence. They scan it briefly on their iPhones and head back to Facebook bored as ever. The weeds grow complacently. The wind blows west. A truck, a van, and four cars, parked at Target. Nobody on your blog.

They read it so quickly there isn’t time to yawn.

Most don’t get past the headline.

A few don’t get that far.

You wish they’d read every word. You hate them for not. Your ideas are conceived under agony and stress. You cry and weep under the pillow. Your dog finds you checking stats at two in the morning.

Before ever showering, you crouch at the cluttered desk and peck faintly at the empty document.

It ain’t easy.

Five drafts, and every one of them in the trash.

Guilt has noiselessly stealed over. You should be doing something more productive. This whole blog thing is wasting your life. They’ve been telling you that for two years.

Don’t you dare attempt selling anything – you can’t even get them to listen.

Those eleven premium eBooks you read cover to cover didn’t prove the get-rich-quick outline they promised. The whole thing’s a huge scam.

If you could just get them to read every word. If they would just value your art.

If you just had more subscribers, if you just had more comments, if you just started making money

Then you’d justify your digital existence. This whole writing thing would grow easier. Deep down, you’d be doing something worthwhile.

The first step is to get them to read every word.

Not every other headline and paragraph, every single word.

Live real, this is 2011. They’re busy and distracted. Is that even possible?

Well, yes.

The average viewing time of the Mona Lisa is 7 minutes.

Your average bounce rate is 56%.

How do you go from 56% to 7 minutes?

You create better art.

You make them read every word by making every word worth reading. It’s not a business of inclusion, it’s a business of exclusion.

Your delete key is your keyboard’s most valuable asset.

Your trash button is your admin’s most valuable link.

As Steve Jobs said, a product is judged by what’s excluded, not included.

You’re not at 56% because you don’t have anything good to say. It’s because you’ve mixed bad with good.

Your blog will grow at the rate you separate bad from good. If a sentence, a paragraph, a headline, a graphic, an entire post doesn’t have an awful good reason to be there, it better not.

This is a dangerous and powerful ideology. If you use that delete key more, they’ll start welcoming your inbox intrusion.

Not only that, but they’ll start reading your every word.

They’ll be captivated by what you have to say. Shackled in chains. Imprisoned. Their only plea will be, “what she writes is just … so good. I can’t help reading every word.”

Wouldn’t that be awesome?

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