As I look through my blog and other blogs, for some reason, the whole list thing seems to be pretty popular. “5 ways to throw your back out in 15 seconds or less,” “19 reasons I don’t care who you vote for,” “8 ways to feed a fish,” “88 reasons Jesus will return in ‘88” (wait, that’s an old one…but it sold a lot of copies, I’m told. But I really wouldn’t know. I was like 10 then). And as I read these titles, even I’m inclined to click on them. Here are 5 reasons I think this is a good idea, labeled with words I just totally made up.
When you give a number in your title, you are telling the people, “This will be concise and to the point. No extra fluff.” Nothing worse than a rambling writer who endlessly and carelessly continues writing seemingly with no point in sentences that seem like they will never end without punctuation or breaks or rhyme or reason and this is why anyone and everyone needs a ton of concise-ity which is best found in numbered lists.
It makes the reader assume it will be scan-able. That is, there will be five points I can glance at. If I want to read about those points, I can, but if I don’t, I can move on. I like those choices. Go ahead, try it…oh so scan-able.
I really only have 4 reasons, so this one’s a filler, but you may now proceed to reason #4.
Sometimes I find myself writing in the same way I think. That is, my thought process goes something like this:
That’s a cute dog. I used to own a dog. His name was Reggie. I like to hear Reggie Dabbs speak. He plays the saxophone. I’d like to play the saxophone. When do I play softball again? Maybe I should never play again. I pulled a hamstring the last time I played. Hey, I haven’t had ham in awhile. “HONEY, WHAT’S FOR DINNER? CAN WE HAVE HAM?????”
When you have specific break points, it’s like holding a treasure map in your hand. You take ten steps east, then 20 paces north, etc. It clearly marks where you’ve been, and where you’re going. This avoids getting lost along the way. Nobody should write the way they think, at least not for public consumption.
You know when to end. This is the last reason, so my conclusion goes here. It’s the final point—the punch point—the one where I finish everything with a super awesome sentence that sums it all up, punches you in the gut, and leaves you wanting more.
(No, not good enough. Try again.)
Since I only have 5 reasons and not 6, this is THE END.
(Still horrible, especially since I really only had 4 reasons. One more try.)
THAT, my friends, is why you use lists.
(Meh, you win some, you lose some.)KEEP READING! How To Make Your Idea a Reality