Long enough to get the point across.
Alright, fine, I’ll expand.
First off, I’d like to ask why people think there is an “ideal amount of words” to write anything. Are you kidding me?
There are only a couple of reasons you should count the number of words you have in a post ever:
- You are trying to fruitlessly appealing to some Search Engine gods or following Internet Marketing Advice.
- You are learning to write more, better.
I’ll be the first to tell you that NaNoWriMo, an event which revolves around counting words, changed my life. Those 50,000 words made me quit pretending I was a write and actually become one.
But imagine if you tried to hit a certain amount of words every single time. You’d get something like, oh I don’t know, the traditional publishing houses, who seem determined to show the best way to make money is to take one author’s decent idea and make her cram in 23 chapters of fluff.
Some of the most popular stories on Medium are minute-long reads. Plenty of them are mini-novellas as well.
Good art gets appreciated. And there are no parameters around art.There are no parameters around art. Click To Tweet
Lord of the Rings is 3 hours. The Emperor’s New Groove is less than 90 minutes. I happen to love both of those movies.
The Avengers 2 was somewhere in the middle. But it felt like 3 days.
(By the way, when people say “that movie was too long,” what they usually mean is “that movie was too boring”)
Here’s a good guideline – write nothing more or less than it takes to get across your idea.
If you are looking to provoke thought, don’t be afraid to keep it short. Not everything has to be a list of 37 things.
If you are looking to instruct, buff it out a little bit. Don’t sacrifice what you think are too many words when those might be the words you need the most.
Ideas belong to humans, not machines. Therefore, I write for humans. Sure, I have an SEO plugin, but I’m certainly not going to put much effort into it.
There is no game. There is no trick. There is no limit. I’m waiting for the day where someone like Steven King releases an entire novel on Medium. Or in a movie theater. Or scrawled on a building.
Bottom line – Create for human beings. Cater to what they care about. Respect their time enough to actually think “does anyone really care about this?”
Leave the cut-and-paste “content” to the hucksters.