The other day, through means and for reasons utterly unknown to me, WordPress wiped out every single paragraph space in one of the pages up there in my header thing. That meant that the rambling, obsessive tale of my submission efforts was now one impenetrable block of information. Even I — who actually LIKE the stuff I write up there — found it impossible, after a little while, to go through it and restore the paragraph breaks, so badly did my head hurt from trying to read through the textual equivalent of a granite slab.
So, today, I want to praise white space.
White space is the stuff between paragraphs that lets you rest for a minute and think about how much you really like what you’ve just read. White space is like the friend who speaks clearly and then gives you a minute to say something back — or catch your breath. Big blocks of text, on the other hand, can feel like the person who assaults you with a story that goes on forever and makes you feel like maybe it would be better just to end your life now rather than wait for the story to do you in.
White space is particularly important when you’re writing text that’s read almost exclusively on the computer monitor, such as a blog post or an e-mail. I don’t always do this, but after being trapped in my own block of run-on-forever text, I’m going to pay more attention to it from now on.