I’ll make you cry

Here’s a golden rule of writing I follow as much as I can:


When you write an article, email, headline or post, reread it and cut out a word.

Then another.

And another, until it’s irreducibly compact.

There’s a tale about Ernest Hemingway, who laid a bet among his peers that he could write a 6-word story that would make them cry.

His tiny tale has passed into legend:

For sale: Baby’s shoes, never worn.

Hemingway spurred a tradition which endures to this day, as writers love to practice their brevity chops.

Next time you’re about to press send/post/publish, look again.

Is it too long?


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