For me “Chunk Format” is Difficult to Read — No Matter How Amazing the Topic is.

Let me begin by offering a little known fact about myself. Sometimes, okay a lot of times, I have the attention span of a goldfish.

I often try to…“Oh wow, look at all the pretty, sparkly do-hickeys.”

…Wait, what was I talking about?

Oh yeah, I’m a goldfish. I mean I have the attention span of one.

Photo by milan degraeve on Unsplash

I often try to counter this propensity for mental wandering by reading or writing something which keeps my focus, something which forces me to pay attention.

Most times I’m pretty successful.

But there are times I read a book or article, or even when I’m sitting here writing letters to my pals on Medium I realize I’m either writing in “Chunk” format or reading an article written in “Chunk” format.

And there I go again, off to meet the wizard of ADD and his munchkins.

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Look, I’m not saying I can’t (I can, I really can — the therapy is working) concentrate on anything longer than three minutes. As a prolific reader and writer I can curl up for hours at a time with a good book and pretty much blow an entire Saturday afternoon. I can spend an entire weekend in front of my computer working on a scene from one of my novels.

It’s not a gold fish, er uh, attention span problem.

It’s an engagement issue. I just can’t seem to get completely engaged with any articles or books written in “Chunk” format.

So what’s chunk format?

Imagine an article filled with endless strings of words containing only one or two paragraph breaks. No big deal right? The article is masterfully written and should enlighten our sensibilities and teach us meaning.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, no mei reque tation theophrastus, usu et adhuc prompta, nec facete accusata ut. Est conceptam interpretaris eu, cu elitr mandamus sit. Est libris possim conceptam ex, augue labitur detracto sed et, cum noster nominati voluptatum ad. Mei quis audiam vocibus id, et dicta congue convenire pri. Ex pro minimum copiosae, ei est nisl possit disputando. Cu munere vivendo voluptatibus duo, vim te mazim mucius referrentur. Animal adipiscing duo in, sea repudiare laboramus ex. Ad oportere gubergren vis, ex mollis conclusionemque duo.

Vix te nostrud reformidans, pri facete corrumpit id. Eos harum vivendo verterem te, ferri offendit molestiae ea eum. Vis agam cetero cu. Eirmod eleifend honestatis at mea, ea etiam facilisi mnesarchum vis, ei sed soluta fabulas maiorum. Movet ubique per et. Duis adolescens qui ne. Eum ea veri nobis. Ea eripuit appareat duo. Aeterno noluisse incorrupte an sea, graeco oportere nec ad.

It might look like this to you and you might not only understand it, but at the end be filled with rapture and delight — especially if your primary language is Latin.

When I start to read “Chunk” written articles this is how my brain sees it:

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

I got to tell ya folks, coding ain’t my jam, and even if it was I doubt I could stay engaged long enough to develop something worthy of a passing glance.

How I write is how I read.

Give the message to me in smaller doses. Throw in more paragraph breaks than one or two for an eight minute read for God’s sake. Give me bold shit, dialogue, three line breaks in a row shit.

Dr. Seuss was my best friend.

Give me color, give me images of sparkly things (I like sparkly things) as you tell me your story. Engage me to the point I read every flipping word of your message. Dammit! I want to follow you! I want to read your message!

I’m just really not into “Chunk” format no matter how amazing the article is.

P.G Barnett is the author of the Gifter’s Ring series. His works, A Balance of Evil, Return of the Brethren and The Power of the Three are available for purchase. The fourth and final book to the series, The Rise of the Coven, should publish in 2019.

Let’s keep in touch — paul@pgbarnett.com

Written by

A published author enjoying married Texas bliss. Dog person living with cats. A writer of Henry James' stories. Featured In MuckRack. Top Writer In Fiction.

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