Make me laugh. Make me cry. Make me think. Or sigh with understanding. Just don’t bore me. Whack-a-‘Meh’-Mole!

I will read a book or blog post only if—from the tease or opening lines—it promises to teach or entertain me. And I keep reading for the same reasons. The piece doesn’t have to be dramatic or “different.” It’s not rocket surgery. It must simply grab my attention and stimulate thinking and/or feeling. Seem something I’d like to know, or confirm known things a special way.

From opening lines the post must be presented with gentle but firm, direct and authentic energy. Authority. Not meander, or back into the subject. Think of a good blog post intro or the whole post as the first page of a book or story. Because it is!.

That last is crucial. “Gentle but firm” energy—as I usually hold a child’s hand or a horse’s reins. It’s the subtle first impression about the blog post (like a book’s opening lines), and can be fun, shocking, transformative. Guiding. How lines and the subsequent post are delivered almost override the book or post’s message. Sometimes they ARE the message!

If any writing doesn’t touch me somehow—respecting my time, intelligence and experience —I won’t read further. Would you read a news story that begins, “I love spring, which fills me, etc.” Or how about, “Wondering what to write next, I wandered out and sat in my rocker.” Weak!

Early lines are like a person’s expression, body language and tone matter when I meet  them. Do they make accepting, non-aggressive eye contact? Invite me in as if we might share truths and stories? Does the individual exude calm, confidence, minus non-show off style?

If so, I’m in! I now like and trust them to take me places I need or would like to go. Into hearts and minds. Or that turquoise rocker on the porch.