Where to start, where to finish

When I first started writing up my experiences climbing the 100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata Prefecture, I didn’t expect them to turn into the major tomes I have since created. My Gassan article is nearly a 30 minute read, and my Haguro-san draft is 1.5 times that. Plus I’ve just written a 15-minute read on Chokai-san, even after breaking it up into three articles.

In fact, if you look at my first articles (Kinbo-zan, Arakura-yama, or Takadate-yama), you’ll see how much more in-depth I’ve become.

So, the simple question is:

Who’s going to read all that?

The fact is, there’s soooo much background information on these places that I want to include, it’s hard to know where to start, and where to finish.

(For example, did you know that Chokai-san wasn’t even considered a mountain in the past? Or that its name was given to it by En-no-Gyoja? I didn’t, and I’ve lived in Chokai-san’s shadow for more than 12 years)

Which is to say, you really do have to think about the reader if you want these things to be read, and you have to be realistic about it too.

With our forever-shortening attention spans, these days things need to be broken up into bite-sized pieces to have any chance of getting consumed.

So, from now on, I’m going to start the process of splitting up my articles. And if you’re anything like me, I’d recommend it too.

Or, you know, maybe write a book instead?

Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to read it all, it’s just that you may have to look a little bit harder. Or perhaps, depending on how things are organised, you will have a better time overall as similar articles will appear together.

My first port of call will be deciding how I want to categorise things, starting with simply things related to the mountains I’ve climbed (yesterday’s post on The Astounding Waterfalls of Chokai-san was a teaser).

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Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

tim@timbunting.com

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