I write too many words
May 3, 2023
I write too many words #
In school, I learned that writing is about the number of pages. In university, I got introduced to the word count; my papers had to be between 3,000 and 3,500 words, my Bachelor’s dissertation at least 9,000 words, and to finish my Master’s degree, I had to write 20,000 words. In Ulysses, the text editor I use today, the word count is just one click away, and I can set daily goals. When I publish something to Medium, it shows the reading time, and anything under 3 minutes doesn’t even seem worth posting.
Since I started writing, everything has been about the quantitative number of words I produce - not their quality. When I picked up “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser, I realised that good writing is about telling my story using as few words as possible. Dragging out my text (the art I mastered during my education) is dull and wastes everyone’s time. From the first line, the reader should be captivated by information or a story.
From now on, I will try to only write what’s necessary.
(But won’t the story lose its character when I shorten it?) I think it won’t. On the contrary, the lack of useless information or unnecessary long sentences will lead to more captivating content. I’ll focus on the essence of my story and not the filling around it.
And now, because I said what I wanted to say, this article is over.