4 Reasons Why Thought Catalog Writers Need to Stop Listing Everything
1. You’re insulting our intelligence. Yes, it is hard to believe that 20-somethings have an attention span longer than 140 characters, but (most) 20-somethings do. And, even more shockingly, we can follow a story through from beginning to end without being guided from point to point by bulleted numbers! We can! Do we get a treat now?
2. It’s a cop out. A list is not an example of good writing; it’s an example of being too lazy to flesh out an idea. Sure, lists can be snarky and fun, but they aren’t artistic. If you’re a lister, you don’t have to tear your hair out over every artful transition from thought to thought. You don’t need a nice conclusion or a snappy introduction. You just need, well, the number 1. Show me some paragraphs!
3. The arbitrary numbers. “23 Things You Should Know About Seattle.” “9 Female Archetypes Pop Culture Assumes I Find Attractive, That I Don’t Actually Find Attractive.” “17 Truths About Breakups.” “32 Things Guaranteed To Make You Feel Bad” (sounds awesome…). What about a nice round number like 10? The completely random number of bullet points you wrote makes it clear to me that you didn’t have a plan. You just sat down at your MacBook Air and wrote until you ran out of shit to say. And you probably should have stopped before 32.
4. These lists are boring us. If I wanted to read a long list, I could look at my planner or my credit card statement. Let’s have a story or a convincing argument. Something compelling! There is absolutely no drama in wondering whether point 5 is coming next…
It’s not. Wasn’t that a thrilling turn of events?