Guys, I love your detailed, nerdy hearts, I do! And I am one verbose lady!
But I’ve got some letters in my inbox that are over 1500 words long. Those will never get answered, because I will never read all the way through them and I don’t have time to edit your thoughts and your needs down to what’s really important to you. Even when you get at interesting stuff, I find myself skipping your question for the short and snappy one that catches my interest and that I can knock out pretty quickly.
300-400 words is a good maximum length for question. Feel free to go shorter! 140 characters is also a good length, and I’m on Twitter as @CAwkward. Maybe type the draft where you vomit it all out, and then reshape it into the thing you send?
5 thoughts on “A Plea”
Penelope Trunk said the New York Times has a 600 word limit on their editorials. If the most important ideas in the world can be expressed in 600 words, chances are so can your question.
For that matter, if a New York Times editorial can fit in 600 words, so can …
I don’t know if the middle of November is a particularly inspired or a particularly unfortunate time to warn against prolixity.
Yeah, save those extra words for that “novel.”
You might want to add a FAQ that includes the word count rule. People who find you later may not backread everything (though they totally should!).
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