Write once. Edit repeatedly.
Lance Armstrong’s Motto: Every second counts.
My Motto: Every word counts.
Accuracy—choosing every word carefully and omitting unnecessary embellishment—creates good non-fiction and fiction. Today, enthrall or be deleted. Every word counts.
As part of the protocol surrounding my first full-time job offer out of university, the president of a local high-tech company interviewed me for a technical writing position. He asked me: “What is most important aspect of technical writing?” I answered: “Saying as much as possible in as few words as possible.” He replied pointedly, “No. Accuracy!” I sat silently.
In hindsight, I disagreed. In technical writing, accurate information buried deeply in too many poorly presented words helps no one. Architecting accurate information for optimal ease of use requires understanding and accommodating the user’s needs and preferences. Presentation counts too.
Can a novel, presented in short clips over time like a mini-series, on a website like a blog, in multiple dimensions like one’s thoughts, accommodate and enthrall today’s reader?
Since the writers’ website Medium.com now calculates post length based on average “reading time” rather than “word count”, Lance’s motto also applies: Every second counts.