As I was reading Microstyle, I couldn’t help but think “well, duh” to a lot of the suggestions Johnson provided for micro-writing. It seemed obvious to me that it’s better to be clear, but if you choose to be ambiguous, be smart. But then, as I was trying to fix the tagline of my blog, I realized putting Johnson’s words to use is much harder than it seems. It’s easy for me to get carried away and want to choose the right words that create a metaphor with a double meaning that is both clever and poignant. After much internal conflict, I have decided to stick with his first piece of advice of simply being clear and to the point (I chose “culture of food as I see it”, but I’m still not quite satisfied with it). Despite Johnson’s emphasis on catchphrases and slogans that were successful because they were carefully crafted to tell a story or resonate with emotion, he always reminds the reader at the end that simple can be better because it’s easy to overdo it.
A blog post that I recently read from a recipe blog, smitten kitten, follows some of the suggestions given in Microstyle. In terms of content, the author, Deb, posts recipes and includes tid-bits to explain why she picked the recipe. In this particular post, titled potato chip cookies, I felt as though she “said the wrong thing” in that showcasing a recipe of cookies made by potato chips doesn’t sound very tasty or appealing to most people. It did however, successfully catch my attention to want to read how to make a potato chip cookie.
Prior to posting her modified recipe of a potato chip cookie, Deb evokes a specific situation as she explains why she has chosen the recipe. She recounts a specific lunch she had in the 4th grade that has made her love the salty sweet combination. For me, her recollection of weird child-hood foods brought me back to my memories of elementary school foods, which made me feel as though these cookies would be a delicate, adult treat of something childish.
Finally, the post “paints a picture” in two ways. First, it actually posts pictures of the final product and steps taken to bake the cookies. However, Deb is also able to describe the taste of the cookies to the extent that I can taste them myself.