I got a huge and really interesting travel book recently. Great pictures, useful information…
And lots of parts that nobody will read.
Like the intro.
What’s the point of an intro in a travel book? I just skipped to the parts that interested me most. Like the West Australian towns I’ve visited (Cervantes: population 461. Gorgeous place).
But what if you’d written the intro, agonised over every word, carefully considered what you’d put in and what you’d leave it.
How does it feel to know that most people will probably skip over your intro?
I write a lot for my job in school marketing and I know that most of what I write will be skimmed for the most useful information. But I can’t just string together long lines of the keywords. I need to craft the best I can – even knowing most people won’t read it. I have to be ok with that. I have to acknowledge upfront that most of my work will be reduced to marks on a page.
And then I have to create the best work I possibly can.
Obviously, personal satisfaction comes into it.
But there’s also the importance of the full picture.
In this beautiful plate, the eye is drawn to the women in the centre. They are the focal point. Yet the supporting details are just as important. Imagine if the artist had not bothered to flesh out the setting, reasoning that ‘Nobody will notice these parts so I may as well leave them out.’
The big picture is as important as the key details. The setting matters just as much as key content.
I read the travel book intro by the way. It was… important.