I spent a long time the other day writing a new short story with a Christmas theme for a contest in Words Magazine. The word count was a measly 1,000 words and I did struggle to fit everything I wanted to say into such a short space, but eventually after a tussle and a lot of hacking, I got it down to 997 words including the title and was reasonably happy.
And then I re-checked the guidelines to see how and where I should send it, and found that the word count was actually... 2000.
Goodness knows where I got the lower figure from but now the story is too short, feels rushed, and there's a danger that I haven't expanded the theme strongly enough to really make the point I wanted to. I'm going to have to sit down and try to fit some more detail in, but without making it feel padded in any way. It's a good job the deadline isn't till June because I've a feeling I'm going to need the extra time.
Memo to self: read the guidelines first, stupid. 8-)