Working with Words

I have come to the conclusion that writers tend to think about the world a little bit differently than others. Speaking for myself, I yearn for experience (though not something which might actually destroy me…). Any experience as long as it teaches me something about how my characters might react in any situation. I find that’s why I’m generally (generally speaking, we all have our days) quite keen to do anything.
And, naturally – then there are the words.
More to the point, the amount of words.
We’ve had to write some articles for work again on all sorts of interesting things which can potentially go wrong in any chicken’s life. Admittedly, I had not been very excited about it – as I had written an article for my boss a few weeks back – only to have it shot down with the words: Let’s wait for the vet.
I had used credible sources, yet – because I am only me, my words weren’t good enough.
For these articles though, I sensed that the content might not be scrutinized as much as my article had been and, reluctantly, I agreed to spend two days at work to hack away at them. We were told that the articles much must short. A page or two. No more.
Of course, the writer in me immediately went… Well, how many words?
My colleagues didn’t understand.
“About a page,” my senior colleague had offered when I confronted her with it. “You know. A page.”
I looked at her and instantly realized that she had not yet explored the various word count options that a page could offer you. If you decrease the margins, or increase of font size, or change the font type, it could have a drastic effect on the amount of words that you had to write.
Pages could be manipulated, words couldn’t.
If you wrote bullet points, or long paragraphs, that also affected how much information you could give through in your words on an A4 piece of paper. But, I was like a lone voice in my pressure for a word count.
It was only at the end of today that my colleagues finally understood why I had wanted a simple measure with which we could unify our work. When all the articles were laid out, and all brought down to the same font and script, they varied tremendously.
“Ah,” My colleague had said as I stared over her back, not sure whether I should feel justified or irritated that she had not taken the time to listen. “I see why we needed to get a word count finalized. You were right.”
Yes. Of course.
I am a writer after all.

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