Marco Arment on Long-Form Articles

“Too many people now ask for (and produce) “long-form” when they really want substantial. It’s entirely possible to be substantial without being long, and good editors have helped writers strike that balance for centuries. Emphasizing and rewarding length over quality results in worse writing and more reader abandonment.”

Anecdotally, I actually have saved articles to Instapaper simply because they were too long to finish in the allotted time, but otherwise I agree with Marco here. I've noticed a lot of fetishizing of word-counts in recent years, as if writing more words about a topic earns the author bonus points. It doesn't.

On the contrary, I prefer when a writer gets to the point in as few words as possible. There's a subtle sort of power and beauty to that. My work may not always live up to that goal, but I do my best to keep it in my sights.