Today is my mother’s birthday. She’s 80 but doesn’t believe me when I tell her that’s how old she is. She also doesn’t believe it’s her birthday. If she was in Washington right now she’d be proclaiming this was fake news.
This post isn’t all about Mom but I make no promises I won’t mention her again. This article is about writing and communicating. It’s also about a challenge.
What’s the challenge? To write a full article using no commas. This is from the mouth of the challenger. His name is Derek Halpern:
That’s the challenge. I decided to try to tackle it because I love writing. I’ve loved writing for many years. Something I’ve rarely done is tried to change my style of writing. Why not?
I’m comfortable with how I write. Once I found my blogging style I decided I was never giving it up. I tried doing it years ago when I was writing for companies like Demand Studios. I don’t even think they’re around today.
There was a certain way you had to write for them that didn’t fit my style. I didn’t last long with them. In their minds that was a style that helped people understand the content better. Google decided they were an article farm of weak content. You know what happened after Panda came out. All of us took major hits and our rankings dropped dramatically.
As I said earlier I like my normal style of writing. Here and there I’ve heard from people who say they think my writing is complicated. Even with fewer lines in my paragraphs they think it’s hard to read. Sometimes it’s too long for them.
I decided it was time to try out a challenge because Derek wants to know what happens if we write shorter sentences. He says articles written like this will get more likes and shares. He says sales copy written like this will get more sales and attention. I could use more of each of these things.
I’m not expecting much to happen though. One of the problems with advice is that you still have to drive traffic to your site. You still have to get people to open your sales emails. This might work better if you have a list with 5,000 people on it. Outside of the spam comments I get I don’t even end up with 5,000 visitors a month.
I used to get more than 5,000 visitors a month. I also used to make money from this blog and other blogs. My writing style didn’t change that. The amount of content didn’t change that. Google changed that.
I believe that has more to do with traffic than how I decide to write my articles. It could also be that I don’t comment on as many blogs as I used to. But I could be wrong. Maybe more people will visit if I write like this regularly. It’s an experiment recommended by Derek. When it comes to content marketing he knows more about this than I do. He knows more about sales copy than I do. So I’m trying it.
He’s not the only person to ever suggest writing tips though. I’ve done it often here. I gave tips on how to be a prolific writer. I wrote a six-part book writing series back in 2008. I’ve talked about writing concepts and have shared 20 tips on writing. I even asked people if they could change their writing style.
I’m not averse to challenges. I’m not even averse to change.
I am averse to boring writing. I am averse to very short sentences. I’m finding the comma challenge stifling. It’s taken me longer to write this article than normal.
This means I’m going to talk about Mom again. Mom has dementia. You saw the candle on the cupcake? Turns out it was one of those candles that doesn’t go out when you blow it out. It reignites and flames up time and time again. I couldn’t get Mom to smile in the picture. She laughed when we couldn’t put the candle out. That made me giggle.
Where was I? Commas! I’m probably doing it all wrong but this is the only way I can write something without commas. Commas help give me a flow. Commas help make me feel less boring. Even in the video Derek admitted that many of the sentences he uttered would have commas if written on paper. A world without commas means a world without storytelling. Does anyone want that?
That’s all I have. Is this a challenge you’d take on? Do you like this kind of writing better than my normal way? I’d like to know. Just know that I’m never doing this again intentionally.
Happy birthday Mom! 😀