The macro rhythm of writing

Do you pay attention to the “macro rhythm” of your writing?

Writing’s micro rhythm is about varying sentence length and flow within a paragraph. And making word choices that propel a piece forward from beat to beat. 

But the macro rhythm of a piece tells its own story. 

Macro rhythm is what you first see and feel when you scan a piece of writing online. The bullets, subheads, bold text, paragraph lengths—all are individual clues that set the first impression for a piece. 

The reader can quickly discern whether a piece is:

  • High tempo: short bursts of tight paragraphs and single sentences.

  • A slower and more exploratory experience: with long and descriptive paragraphs.

  • A regimented, super-organized list: with bullets and clear and concise subheadlines. 

Or maybe the piece is a wild ride—a gear-shifting cacophony of all those beats.

Alex Garcia wrote a thread with 13 lessons gleaned from Apple marketing copy. Here he writes about the macro rhythm: 

Readers scan your work before they dive in. 

What’s the instant impression your writing delivers? 

That’s the macro rhythm.