What Does 500 Words Look Like

Exactly One Hobby

This is an exercise that I’ve created for myself to type out 500 words. There are a lot of times that I read that a journalist has to write an article of a specific length, but I’ve realized that I really do not have a concept of how that translates to the actual amount of time that it might take to put those words down. Thus, for this simple exercise, I have set a couple of easy ground rules.

First, this article is about no topic other than the goal of reaching five hundred words. Second, I am not going to go back and edit this article to find places to insert more words if I bring myself to a point of seemingly having run out of ramblings to stick into the article. Third, I am not going to deviate from the aforementioned topic in order to just add more words - this includes talking about the weather or local politics or attempting to explain the socio-economic implications of imperialist Britain on the indigenous populations of the eastern coast of Africa. Because all of those would both reduce the timelessness of this self imposed assignment, and while this article is not really meant for public consumption, someone at some point may actual read this writing with the idea of wanting to have a grasp for what perusing five hundred words looks like. So, to you, dear reader, keep going until you reach the end, because that’s when I will have stopped, too. For, alas, we are but half way through. Because, you see, as I keep writing, the word counter continues to tick up (point in fact, one word is added to this article with nearly every strike of the space bar). I can also point to this specific point in my ramblings to state that the number three-hundred-and-eight did, precisely, mark itself that numbered word within the context of this article.

As I bring this exercise closer to its conclusion, I am actually surprised by how little space on a page five hundred words takes up. For although I have one hundred and forty five words to go, I see that I have barely made it halfway down a page (with standard one inch margins, Times New Roman 12 point font). From start to finish, it seems that I can easily ramble on, without research, fact verification, external linking, or really any content actually worth reading. It would seem that it takes me approximately fifteen minutes to type it all out. It will probably take me another one to two minutes to commit this to the git repository, another few seconds to push it up to the origin repository, and then another fifteen or so seconds to wait for it to generate the page such that I can view it on my actual website.

Mercifully for the poor souls who actually make it this far, I have almost reached the end of this exercise. Thusly, I have written 500 words.