There I said it. But I get it. After all, who hasn’t started a blog or blog post and contemplated naming it something, like “(your name)’s Musings.” Sure, you think it’s clever or catchy or original.
I know this because I’ve used the M-word (gasp!) in a title or two for those exact reasons!
Well, I’ve grown a bit since I used the word musings in a title. I’ve flat out changed my mind. No one wants to read your musings, which are defined as personal reflections that you’re still trying to learn from or understand. In other words, musings are your thought processes. With words, you are showing your readers how the wheel spins in your head.
So, stop your musings, people. It’s not a-musing. Your thoughts are precious, but only to you. For your reader, your deep musings are just noise. It’s like requiring your reader to wade through your messy brainstorming notes before they get to read the sparkly final product.
Why would anyone think their musings are so interesting that they’d post or publish them? It’s like saying, “Here, read my latest brain dump. Hop on my raft as it drifts along this stream of consciousness. Destination unknown.”
This is why for many years I preferred to read and write poetry. By being generally concise and packaged in a traditional form (yes, free verse counts), poetry also respects its reader.
Think about it: A poem is mindful of your time and energy. A well-written poem will make sure that each word packs a punch, means something, and moves the poem along. If you’re lucky, a poem will give you a visceral experience.
Musings don’t do that. They are like the friend who overshares minutiae of everyday life. It’s as if the quantity of words they use will somehow increase the quality of the experience they describe! Not likely. Musings string you along and lead to someplace that may not even be a good place.
Calling your writings merely musings also greatly diminishes your truly profound and innovative thinking. You know the one: the intellectual discourse that goes on in your head where you make a claim and stick to it.
That. Write more of that thing. Just don’t undermine yourself and call them musings to be cutesy, because it’s not cute. Neither is rambling, so I’ll leave you with this quote:
The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
I dare you. Stretch my mind.
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