Hyperlinks subvert storytelling

You are given a day to produce something of interest. How much of that time should be spend reading, and how much time should be spent writing?

There is a good argument to be made that you want to minimize your research budget and maximize the number of words produced. It's hard to be a productive writer when the time is spent in the inbox deleting mail or on the net looking aimlessly for something of interest, for neither mode lends itself to long stretches of concentrated thought. Rather, you start work by working, and do the research as you need to extend the story.

If you are going to spent time reading before you start typing, the sensible thing would be to open up the page and begin to write first, and only then let the triggers in your text lead you to temporary search distractions. If you can corral your enthusiasm for wandering around the net enough that you can be focused more on what is in your own head and less on what is trying to catch your attention, it will be easier to produce something useful.

There is a type of writing that I find myself doing perhaps too frequently where every sentence has a link to something. I am not sure how this can be anything but slow to put together, since there's a substantial and ongoing risk of distraction that you are participating in as well as inviting your reader to participate in.

The simplistic perspective is simply to say that hyperlinks subvert storytelling.

image from vielmetti.typepad.com


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