Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Case for Writing Short

Like me, you probably dream of writing full-length feature articles...or even a book. Also like me, you’re probably also scared of the prospect. While short pieces rarely gain the fame longer works do, there are good reasons to write them.

The case for writing short works:

  • They’re less daunting than longer works. Most of us can even tolerate our internal critic for the length of a short piece.
  • If you lose interest in your subject, you only have to slog through a few hundred words.
  • They can be wedged into available time. I write them on my daily transit commute.
  • They must be tight; every word counts more. This makes short pieces excellent editing practice.
  • They build writing momentum, making us brave enough to tackle longer projects.

Best of all, short articles can be assembled into a longer work. Many newer books follow this format. The Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff series is a good example, as are Jennifer Lawler’s Dojo Wisdom books.

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