Serial Posts (Post 23)

Well, I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.  (I know – surprise, surprise.)  I was thinking about writing a post on “Bath Salts.”  How this particular cray-cray drug of the moment might make one want to eat another’s face, but the smarter part of me (my knees) decided against it.


Instead, a quickie post on serial posts!  I don’t know if anyone actually calls them serial posts, but that’s what I’m calling them.  It works.  It’s simple.  Let’s go with it.  For me, when I started this blog, I really wanted it to be a creative writing portal/ outlet for me.  That was my main intention with this blog.  Originally, I talked about gaybies.  Now, I talk about relationships, family, blogging, and anything else I find funny or emotionally moving.


It really has become a strong creative outlet and one that gets me work.  However, in the beginning, I really struggled with post length.  I have other places on the web where I write short stuff – twitter, facebook, etc.  I wanted this to be my long-form soapbox.  There’s only one problem – no one wants to read long stuff.  I know that because I don’t want to read it.  For me to really get into a post that is 1,000 words or more it’s got to be really good and I mean, really, really, Raymond Carver-good.  I don’t believe any of my posts are at that level.  I don’t believe yours are either.  That’s not to insult either of us, it’s just to say – I had to find another way.  Because sometimes I want to write 2,000 words.  Sometimes I want to work a story out of that length.  Thus, the serial post was born.  My first attempt was the Craigslist Dating Chronicles and my second one was the recent, Sid and Mary Series.


What was interesting about both of them was being able to create a “cliffhanger,” so to speak, in a blog post!  Prior to this, I never would’ve thought that was even possible.  Granted these are not Dan-Brown of the DaVinci-Code cliffhangers, it’s more like the post just ends, but still!  You often want to hear more and THAT means I’ve done something right there.


We’ve all heard the phrase, “brevity is the key to wit.”  I’d say something different for blogging and that would be, “the key to interesting and getting something fully read is brevity.”


blog post length

Do you think Willie wanted his words on a tee?


And the brevity is very specific.  My new belief is that it’s in the 500 – 700 word range.  700 words is perfect.  You can get away with 800.  You start going longer and it better be brilliant.


I was talking to Wifesy the other day about the blog and how far I had come with it.  I also brought up how it’s easy to get burnt out with it if you don’t find new things for yourself.  I needed a balance.  A way to write really long stuff if I needed to or wanted to and at the same time a way not to bore people.  I was glad to find it with the serial post.  I am not the only one.  I read a serial post as a blog reader the other day and it was so good that I went searching for Part 2 like some kind of crazed addict.  I just had to know what happened.  It was from TenaciousB and I’m going to include it along with a rundown of my serial posts attempts below.  You’ll find the title, the first few sentences of each, and then a “read more” if you want to check out the whole thing.


So, what about you?  Have you written any serial posts?  If so, I want to read them.  Leave a link in the comments section.


Double Dating on Craigslist, Part 1
So, back when I was in my early 30’s, I was still straddling the fence a bit between men and women.  Wifesy hates hearing this, but it’s the goshderned truth.  For me, the main problem with lady-gay was the round robin lesbians often played with their exes.  Let me explain.  Read More…


Double Dating on Craigslist, Part 2
If this were a TV episode it would begin with the requisite photo montage and a voiceover that says, “Previously on…Sweet Mother.”  So, let’s re-cap.  I was annoyed with lesbo-land and their common “lesbian lazy susan” approach to dating.  As a result, every now and again, I stepped out with one of my straight, lady friends looking for some man-tail.  My dearest friend, Rayanne, had just suffered some heartache.  I did what any good friend would do and put up a crazy, Craigslist advert seeking some potential man-tail to distract her.  Read More…


Double Dating on Craigslist, Part 3
“Do you think that’s them over there?” asked Rayanne.  “I’m not sure,” I said.  “But, they are staring at us, so maybe.”  “What do you think?” Rayanne asked.  “Well, they don’t really look like their pictures.  They’re sort of cute though, like bulldog cute.”  Read More…

Sid & Mary, Part 1
I’m going to tell you a story about Sid and Mary.  When I say the names, Sid and Mary, you might be thinking, “Sid and Nancy.”  That’s not who I’m talking about, but these two did rocker-in-a-hotel-room, thrash my life around in much the same way.  So, I suppose the mental connection is an apt one.  Read More…


Sid & Mary, Part 2
It was just fall and the weather was cool and easy.  I had a delightful, light, buzz on from the party I had just returned from.  I didn’t realize it was Mary on my porch steps until I got up really close.  This was back before cell phones.  Back when a surprise was just that – a surprise.  Read More…


New York or Bust via TenaciousB, Part 1
A couple days AFTER my 20th birthday (Circa 1986), I started dating a guy named Morgan. With a smile that would charm the devil, a heavily built chest and 12-pack abs from working construction, Morgan was a 22-year-old HOTTIE.  Read More…


New York or Bust via Tenacious B, Part 2
After Morgan dropped his heart-crushing news that he was moving in with Delilah, I rushed out onto the busy New York street, suddenly confused by the rush of people and the headlights from passing cars bouncing upon the horizon. I walked for a block or so and hailed a cab.  Read More…



Sweet Mother is updated daily-ish as she comes crashing towards her goal of 365 posts.  If you’d like an email when this blog is updated with new content, you can subscribe by hitting “follow” at the top of the page.



Photo creds:

feature, t-shirt


42 thoughts on “Serial Posts (Post 23)

  1. I haven’t written serial posts, but I agree with you about brevity. People are busy. They have many blogs to read. So I now keep my posts between 300-700 words. Even 700 seems too long at times. I guess I have split a topic into 2-3 parts, but not with cliffhangers. Maybe I should up my suspense. :)

    1. i think you are right. sometimes i feel that 700 words is too long, as well. it’s hard to get a story out in 700 words. most are longer and i did want a place to write longer. so, it’s a challenge…because, seriously, post length is a biggie. there are people i love, love their writings, love their personalities, but at time the writing is too long. and me, i’m one of the biggest guilty parties when it comes to that. thanks for reading, carrie. xo, sm

  2. I so agree with you on this, becks. I’ve been guilty of too-long posts and I think the 300-700 word length is perfect. Funny thing is I read that a long time ago before I started blogging! I’ll now read over a post and start cutting before I hit that publish button. I’ve now even started tucking it in as a draft and reading the next day with fresh eyes. I approach much of my writing this way — it nearly always works — I find something that makes me think “this should go” or “I’m repeating myself.” Looks like I should apply the same technique to my comments. :)

    Happy 2013.

    1. your comments are never too long! and it’s good to see you back. you know, i heard or read the exact same thing about post length before i started too. and then, of course, i promptly ignored it. lol. my better stuff is definitely stuff that i can let sit a day or two. it’s totally the best way to work. for this 365 blog post challenge, it’s been different. sometimes, i make myself hit the publish button even when i’m not 100% happy w it. and that has been an interesting experiment in and of itself. much love, briges, much love. sm

  3. I agree with you on post length, but I’m not a serial poster. I generally just say what I’ve got to say and whatever the word count is, it is. But that’s just me being lazy :-)

  4. I guess the closest thing I have to a serial is my Notes On the Other Side series with C, which I know you read. I love writing those things (obvs) because I think they are going to be a lot better than a baby book, once she gets older and can read them.

      1. Ok I did one about being a teacher during finals. This links to the third post and in the first line are links to the first two.
        This is one on a vacation

        I have one planned for february which you will enjoy so be on the look out for that :)

  5. I’ve never done serial blogs and unless I suffer a monumental head injury, I doubt that I ever will. I have some core readers that read and comment on every post I publish and I appreciate that very much, but I also have many other followers that only visit my site from time to time. I’m fine with that, too, as long as they understand that my rules of commenting are quid pro quo. If someone’s site is a continuum of serial-type posts, unless the writing is extraordinary, I’d likely keep my distance. It’s hard enough reading everyone that I do follow. I also think that shorter is better, and I am a big fan of using original images that I photograph myself. At the risk of being blunt, but I hope not rude, I find the tendency of bloggers, and yes, that includes you, SM, to write about blogging a little less enjoyable than being waterboarded. If you have nothing to say don’t write a post about it. What’s so bad about waiting a day or two, or a week or a month until you’re feeling truly inspired to write again? I was so burnt out last fall I took two months off and my following even grew. Lastly, bloggers that post daily or more than daily, with a very few exceptions, I find overwhelming and that also compels me to tune them out. And, two other things, don’t hate me and Happy New Year.

    1. welp, you know i gotta answer ure comment and i’m currently hanging out w the wifesy, but it was so good, it has to be answered and it has to be answered now. lol. here’s the rub — we all come to this wordpress blogging thing with our OWN goals. for me, it was to write a post everyday or nearly everyday for a year. i’ve almost accomplished that goal. and i’m proud of that. really proud of that. i’m proud that the majority of the posts have been not-sucky. some of them have been sucky, of course, but the good majority have not. that’s not easy to do. for me and again this is only for me, i wanted to get my writing chops up so i wanted to put myself through a bootcamp of sorts. it accomplished what i thought it would and much more. as far as talking about blogging, i LOVE talking about it. so, there will always be an aspect of this site that talks about blogging and / or social media. but, then again, i do that type of work for money, so it interests me. it may not interest you and that is fine. mainly, this is a creative writing blog with a touch of blogging and social media thoughts and a touch of whatever the hell else that i like. that’s just the way it is and the way it’s going to be. i don’t go to your blog and read it with any kind of reciprocation in mind. i go because i like the way you write and i don’t always comment. again, that’s just the way i’m handling things now until i finish my goal. you are welcome to read my blog when you like, or not at all, or skip the blogging sh*t, all of that is your choice. but, what i do on my blog – of course – is also my choice. i’m also not an idiot, i see the benefit of writing when the impulse strikes you and thus putting out quality content that way. when i’m finished with this goal that’s probably what you’ll see from me, but until then it will be this – content the best i can make it, as much as i can make of it, and then finito with a different schedule afterwards. i don’t hate you, but surely you know all of the above already because you’re not an idiot either. so, i’m not sure why your comment was so antagonistic. cause it was, dear friend, whether you know or care or not. but, as the saying goes – to each their own blog or comment protocol or whatever you like. all the best, mother

      1. My opinion about blogging is different from yours. Since my opinion seems to have struck quite a chord to elicit such a defensive response from you, there is validity to what I think. My intention is not to be antagonistic.

      2. i said there was validity to your point. i also said that each blogger has their own goals. what i asked for, above, was ‘what do you think about post length.’ what you heard was, ‘tell me what you hate about my blog.’ you used words like, ‘…being waterboarded.’ ‘don’t hate me…’ and ‘to be blunt.’ that’s antagonistic, which is why i responded, appropriately, as i did. but, not every writer/ blogger on here is for every other writer/ blogger on here. so, let’s just leave it at that. sm

  6. Hey SM,
    When I first started I was writing 1000-1500 words. I still do but now I edit about 2/3 so they sit around 500-600.
    I’m uber niche though, you have a wider fan base to appeal to.
    You write and I’ll read as much as my brain can take that day. Sometimes it takes me a couple of days with you sitting in my tabs.
    Portia x

    1. i so understand that, portia. and i so feel people should read whenever or however they want. hell, i’m happy they read at all. i’m w you though – 500- 700 words is the magic range somehow. it has taken me a while to get there and i still don’t always do it. but, i’m at the very least conscious of it. much love, sm

  7. I’d say serial posts are even harder to pull off than singles. That said, I think you’ve found the sweet spot, both in terms of content and length.

    Length was something I really struggled with as a newbie blogger. I’m chuffed I’ve learned how to say more with less. :) Grats Mum.

    1. “doing more w less” – that’s the key to all of it, now, isn’t it? i’m not sure i always achieve it. it’s definitely still my struggle, but at the very least i feel it has improved here over time. and really that’s all any of us can hope for. ;) xo, sm

      1. I’m still a long way from mastering posts but I agree, improving over time /is/ all we can hope for. Suspect you’re a tad closer to the goal than me though. ;)

  8. I like serial posts, they are fun. I read a couple of blogs that do them very well. You did yours very well.

    As for length, I always think it depends on topic and content. I don’t mind reading longer posts but then I read quickly. I also enjoy the shorter posts, if the writer is very good and can get their point across, frankly not all of them can. So I think it is a matter of topic, dear William has a point.

    1. good morning, val. dear william has a point, indeed. lol. i’m still struggling with it and i think i stumbled upon serial posting by accident. but, i’m glad i did. not saying i would do it all the time, yet i’m glad the option is there. you’re a good egg, vals. much love, mother

  9. I totally agree – if I see that a post is over a thousand words, I’ll often scroll right past. That being said, wrote two blogs this morning for both my (duh) blogs…both busted the thousand mark. I knew it & did nothing to stop it. Both were exhausted ramblings, and I will confess, I just didn’t give a rat’s ass today. I just wanted to write.

    1. “i knew it and did nothing to stop it…” oh, me, the story of my life! lool. i so here you. sometimes i want to write and feck the rules. i do believe ppl get annoyed tho. but, i also believe that i’m doing this for me. you’ve got to. it’s too much work otherwise. stay strong. much love, sm

  10. Loved going back and reading your set of posts about the Craigslist Dates! I’ve never thought about writing “serials,” but I liked the way you approached a big topic. Over the last year, I’ve been posting on “The Alphabet Dating Game,” writing “Thanks, but no thanks” notes to the various men I’ve met while internet dating. It started with “A is for Adam” and I’m up to “W is for Will.” (I’m thinking Will might be a keeper, which is a good thing, because I’m nearly out of letters…)

    1. deli, that is so awesome. i want to read those posts! will be heading over today. there is so much wonderful crazy to write about in the dating world. seriously. i’m so glad i’m out of it. and i hope ur will takes you off the market too. ;)

  11. I tend to be wordier with my posts so I do break them down sometimes if they seem overwhelming. For example, with today’s post, I broke it down into two posts! Today’s was my Top 3 Travel Regrets and Tuesday’s post will be my Top 3 Travel NON-Regrets :P

    Or another example of a serial post for me would be when I post a great recipe for Chocolate Pudding Cupcakes like this one:

    But then I make you wait until a few days later to get the recipe for that super fluffy Brown Sugar Cloud Frosting on top :)

    And my last example of a serial post is when I travel and I have to break everything up into several posts due to all my (food) adventures. Here’s part one of my Florida Adventures:

  12. I think my short stories on Tuesdays qualify as serials. They run a bit longer, but they are fiction, so people don’t have to tax their brains too much. But for “nonfiction” posts, I prefer shorter, too. There’s only so much time in a day!

  13. Right now I’m in the middle of a serial post. Since my blog is about travel, I am typing up my handwritten travel diaries and posting them to the internet. This sounds like such an easy series, but it’s creating it’s own set of challenges. My diaries are insanely detailed, and written for me, so I have trouble figuring out what to edit out. Like you said with length, I don’t want them to be too long, but I still want them to be authentic to how I originally wrote them. We’ll see how many I can get down before they become too boring!

  14. I just posted a children’s short story last month that I broke into two parts. Does that count as a serial post? First part is here:

    I considered breaking it into three, because total word count is about 2500 words, but I broke it up into two, so each post is about 1250 +/- words. I think I broke it into two instead of three because I was afraid that with a kids’ story that adults might lose interest if they had to wade through more than one post.

    It’s tricky trying to figure out just where to cut something off and create enough interest that people want to come back and read the rest! I’m not sure I did that. ;/

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