As I told my Co-Editor-in-Chief there when we were first building out a schedule, I can turn out many 250-500 word pieces like the proverbial hotcakes, provided that I know readers will understand that quantity takes precedence over quality. Once we settled on plan in which we run one or, at the most, two pieces per day, however, I found my task a lot more daunting. In other words, having to do less increased the pressure I was feeling to perform.
That's why a good number of my pieces from our first months of operation are quite long by internet standards. I'm proud of most of them, particularly the ones I worked hardest on. But I also recognize that their scope makes them ill-suited to casual reading. Not to mention that I sometimes found myself undone by my ambitions, feeling compelled to hold a piece back, even though I had no substitute for it, just because it wasn't quite ready.
That's why I've been making it a point lately to write shorter pieces, ones that take a more impressionistic approach. Somehow I'd drifted away from the hard-won insight of my Bad Subjects years that it's not only alright to leave some ideas in skeletal form, but actually preferable to do so, since the resulting sense of there being more to say gives readers more purchase on one's argument.
Anyway, this long preamble doubles as a way to introduce my latest piece for Souciant, on the much-praised silent film The Artist. I had a great deal that I wanted to say, but ended up holding most of it back. What I did come up with is a concise argument reflecting on what the picture has to tell us about the crisis in Hollywood. Give it a look, if you have the time, and let me know what you think: