Recently WordPress suggested that posts be tagged ‘longform’ to enable readers drawn to weightier fare to find it more easily. What an ugly word. I’m not doing that, even supposing it did mean losing countless visits. But with all the competing verbiage around, I have wondered how well-read my longer posts are. So I’ve decided to try writing shortform. I learnt the discipline of working to word limits while writing reviews for a listings magazine. If I remember correctly, I was paid £14 for 300 words. Didn’t seem a fortune at the time. Now it feels generous, for what it was. Imagine if I got £14 for 300 words here! My U alone would be worth £56.
Everything I’ve ever written has been thoroughly considered. I need to force myself to give in to the here and now. Any finessing will come in attempting to squeeze what I have to say into exactly 300 words.
Only me being me, I’m going do it 300 times. Over time, to no particular deadline. 300 x 300 = 90,000. By the end, I’ll have a book. I can’t help thinking in terms of books. They’re what I was bred on, what I always aspired to write. So much of what I’ve written has been in the form of parts of something larger, a book to contain it all. The web has changed everything. Like water through all but the most watertight system, words find a way to their readers. In comparison, a writer can start to believe that what books do is hide words away. But I am still in love with the book, and I want one all of my own, like the Clash wanted a riot.
300 words. That’s all. No other prescription. Anything as a subject. How hard can it