How Long a Zettel is Too Long?
Most of my zettels are in the range of 100 to 400 words, including metadata. I like the shorter ones (100 to 200 words); they seem appropriately succinct and pithy. They capture one idea and it is relatively easy to assign tags and make connections to other zettels. But sometimes I need to go a bit longer. If after getting a good draft of a zettel, it’s in the range of 300 to 400 words, I consider that I’m getting a bit wordy.
However, recently I’ve been writing zettels that try to capture a specific memory from some time in my life. There is often a bit of background, for context, then describing my memory of the event or experience, and finally (sometimes) discussing a “lesson learned”. This tends to increase the length of the Zettel; these types have varied in number of words from 500 to 1000 words, with a few upwards of 1500 words. Is this too long? I don’t see any logical way of breaking these personal memories into shorter bits. That is, I could do it, but the breakdown would seem arbitrary and forced. It’s pleasant just to read about the experience as one story, without having to jump from link to link to read all of it.
As a matter of stats, I have around 300 zettels (I know, still in the early stages). About 50 of those are of the “personal memory” type. Of those, around 40 are in the 500 to 1000 word range and 10 are greater than 1000 words.
Can you share your experiences with or thoughts on this?
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