Your Opinion on Weightier Words

Am I wrong in my perception that most people want less weighty content to read?

This is the question I posed to another writer this week, and we had an interesting discussion about substance vs. fluff. Another writer this week also lamented, “Does anyone write literature anymore?”

I don’t believe this discussion relates only to writing but to all communication. I share a current example from our home.

On Monday nights we have what our family and other members of the LDS church call Family Home Evening. It is a very flexible way of reserving and spending time together as a family. This is what our Monday nights look like: We eat dinner together, have a gospel-centered time to study and discuss the doctrine and principles of the scriptures, enjoy dessert, take a Finnish sauna (girls first, then boys), and then Paul and I watch recorded episodes of The Office.

Well, this week, I was leading the discussion about preparing ourselves to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Half way through, I felt like I was just talking to myself. I asked questions with little response. Then I saw why no one was engaged—three of the five family members (my husband included) were drawing cartoon characters on the paper I had given them.

I will admit up front that I am a serious substance seeker. It is in my nature. People have tried to change me, to make me less serious and more spontaneous. And in fairness to my husband distracting our children from what I am saying, he is one who hasn’t tried to change me and who has helped me achieve a nice balance. (If I am watching The Office, I must be a little fun).

But I still want the communication I give and receive to be purposeful, and most often my purpose is to seek truth or understanding. My writing, especially on this website, is going to reflect that innate desire in me.

But I don’t want to just be talking to myself when I talk or write. I invite your thoughts on this subject in the poll question below. It could be entitled, Your opinion on Finding What Inspires, Part 2. Did you take Part 1? If not, go here, I would love to have your feedback.

And, just a reminder, my polls are anonymous.

What do you like to read (Internet, books, magazines)?

View Results

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  1. allysha
    Mar 21, 2008

    Actually, I think you are right. It may be hard to start a “serious” discussion on the web because people don’t have the time or patience. Or something. I know that many online newspapers have problems with this, and have figured out when to have a page break to keep readers interested, etc.
    But, we carry on!

  2. Robin
    Mar 21, 2008

    A very interesting question. I chose the second option, but what matters the most to me is the quality of the writing itself. Whether it’s heavy and thought-provoking or light and humorous I want it to be well-written. If the writing isn’t interesting and reasonably well-crafted I don’t usually stay around long enough to find out what the message is.

  3. Rachel Corbett
    Mar 23, 2008

    As you know I have my degree in English, so maybe I just read so much literature during my college years that I felt compelled to take a break. I had my kids and didn’t read anything for a few years. Since then I’ve read a lot, but purely entertaining quick-reads. I figure it’s better than nothing. Maybe one day I’ll get back into more thought-provoking books, but it will probably have to be with the help of a book club. It’s hard for me to read that type of book unless I have other people to bounce ideas off of (like in a classromm setting).

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