When Word Counts Don’t Count

Message StonesIn a famous letter, Blaise Pascal wrote, “I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.”

His point: Taking the time to edit your writing forces you to distill your message to its essence. The result is often fewer words rather than more.

Please remember this whenever you are advised to write a certain number of words every day. This strategy can be useful for creating a first draft of your book, when quantity counts more than quality. At other stages of your project, however, the “more is better” strategy can backfire.

In fact, there are several points in the writing process where you’ll benefit from reducing your word count. Examples are:

Enough said.