I’m on the fence here.
See, I love word counts of all size. Thin books or thick, odds are there’s at least one on my bookcase.
Short word counts for a poem: I’ve been known to put twenty words to a stanza, have three stanzas and ten words of opening/closing lines. Even with my terrible maths, that equals eighty words a poem. I like this because it’s weightier than a haiku, and the format suits me. It’s not a sonnet in Shakespeare’s sense, but it generally gives me enough room to toy with words and fuss with meaning. I’m of the opinion (and I apologize now for any pretension) that when you limit your word count each word you do pick carries more meaning.
Longer word counts: flash fiction, short stories, novels. One time I tried a poem, then it ran to about forty lines and was vague enough that I didn’t like it as a poem. I decided it was basically an outline for a short story. Still mapping out general ideas on that, and have muttered promises in the dark of night that one day I’ll self-publish. (If Sarah mutters something in the dark of night and no-one hears, did she say anything?)
This isn’t to say I automatically appreciate a long word count. For instance, some of the Harry Potter books were made a bit weightier by exposition – running through a brief What Happened Last. If I did this I’d probably slash it from my novel, though I can see the uses of it.
I also find that my word count relates to my own habits, when speaking in conversation. Sometimes I’m verbose – have you ever sat down to chat and found yourself in a much longer conversation than expected? Sometimes I’m not, I convey meaning through one or two words. It kind of depends on my mood: sometimes I want to tell a lot and sometimes I don’t. Overall, I guess I just write to my moods, I don’t always track word counts. (Come back in November, ask how my Word Count Spreadsheet And PowerPoint are going) I don’t write to meet a specific word count, I write to express.
(Sorry for any pretension. I’ll be going now)