DDW 2015: Introducing My Seven-Sentence Mini-Blog Format

The last three years when I have attended the annual Digestive Disease Week, I have endeavored to share on this blog some of the many new and interesting research findings on functional GI disorders presented at that meeting – information that I think may be of interest to patients with these disorders and the general public. You can see the results of this effort in the archive here below.

Although I have been happy enough with what I have been able to write, it has troubled me each year that I have only been able to write a few posts from the meeting – far less than I would like to share with my audience. I will readily admit that this is in part because I have been somewhat verbose in my blogs. The scientist in me tends to want to explain everything in detail with facts, figures and context. That kind of writing takes a lot of time, and it simply does not lend itself very well to live-blogging from a conference. The fact of the matter is that I never have nearly enough free hours at DDW to accomplish as much as I would like with such thorough blogging. The conference days are always an exciting and extremely busy time for me, filled with numerous meetings with research colleagues, presentations and poster sessions, receptions and dinners, leaving little time for writing.

In pondering this dilemma the other day, it struck me that it might be helpful if I limited myself strictly to a self-imposed shorter blog format – turned my blogging into mini-blogging – so that I could cover more topics more quickly in my live-blogging from these meetings.

The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of adopting short-format blogging, as a fun writing challenge for myself for DDW 2015. After a lot of consideration about how much space I would absolutely minimally need to cover the typical topics I want to share from DDW in a reasonable but brief way, I settled on a seven-sentence limit for my new experimental format. And to make it a bit more fun as a challenge for myself, I decided to set myself the absolute rule of writing each blog topic from this year’s DDW in exactly seven sentences: No more, and no less.

So that is what I will do, and I invite you to watch this blog during DDW 2015 (May 16-19) to see how I do with my personal writing experiment. I hope that my adoption of this self-imposed mini-blog format will enable me to share more of the wealth of interesting new FGID content that I learn about at the meeting in a readable and understandable manner. I will certainly welcome any feedback on this approach. And who knows? If it works well, it might even become my standard way of writing this blog from now on.

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