This lesson is really about almost everything in American and really Western life. But you can use it specifically with writing to make your writing much better, and more readable than it was before. Smaller is better because it offers you three things: more focus, more freedom and more power. I know what you’re saying: how can smaller offer me more of anything? Well, it’s a problem I used to have, but I got over it after seeing the results. You will too, if you try out what I’m suggesting.
This is of primary importance to writing. Focus does amazing things for any writing. Have you seen the Constitution of the United States (minus the Amendments)? It is certainly one of the shortest legal documents I’ve ever seen, and yet it is one of the most focused. So how does smaller mean more focus? When you force yourself to use fewer words, you cut out the “fat” of writing: irrelevant stuff. After all, even avid readers don’t like it when Tolkien spends a page describing the hair on a hobbit’s foot, or when Dickens spends a page talking about door nails, what makes you think that the average internet reader, or even your reader is going to want to spend an extra page reading about why the price of eggs has gone up seven cents in an article about dogs?
When you limit your writing to the smallest you can (it can be done, look at the Haiku), you gain enormous freedom of expression within your writing. You have less “baggage” to weigh you down, as they say. Rather than saying it in a roundabout manner, you are forced to say what you need to say without the dithering about like it was a high school English paper. In the specific case of writing articles, making much shorter articles means that you have to get specific within that article, and cover related materials in a different article. That means more articles because you made them smaller and more focused.
This is really a corollary of the other two reasons. Because of the focus that writing smaller articles gives the articles, the articles become much more powerful. This happens because you are basically forced to remove any irrelevant material, which are basically the weak parts of any piece of writing. All in all, that means that your whole article is stronger.
This is great, because it means that you write less, get more out of it, and can put out more articles faster at a higher quality than longer, more wordy articles. How many words should you limit yourself to? Well, I try to stay with a range of 450 – 650, but that’s just me. Occasionally, a subject may require more than the limit you have set for yourself. Just split it up into multiple articles! That way, you can focus each article on a certain aspect of your subject. People are more likely to read smaller articles anyway, because they are just much less daunting.