I have a strange fascination with three hundred, not the “This is Sparta” kind but having to type a triple century of words. For some reason I have it in my head that this is the ideal length of a blog post.
I may have got this from reading some random article that suggested anything less than this mystical figure was punishable by Google. I think it reflects the crazy notion that an obscure site in some corner of the interwebs needs SEOing to death (even though SEO is basically snake oil for the digital age).
I even have set goals for where I need to be before adding the button to:
Why do I do this though? I have plenty of short post ideas like my occasional music series posts in the AV Club;
But I have also gone on to do some really long form posts such as my review of Les Miserables or my multi-part Valentine’s Carol story. Yet I still watch the word count and race toward the three hundred mark.
It is almost as though this is the perfect length for me to write, it fits nicely into a 20 minute sit down on the train, and I start to run out of things to say afterwards. It is enough words to make a point but not too many to start labouring it.
Restricting myself to an artificial word count also allows me to decide if what I am writing about is worth it. If I can’t get past a few paragraphs then all I am writing is a tweet.
In the end how much I write is an arbitrary amount I have set, it’s a goal and it keeps me on the right path. Sometimes a goal I’ll do enough to hit.