16 to 17 words?

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Chop up long sentences into their functional components and aim for an average length of 16 to 17 words.
'--Cappon pg 37

At first glance, I remember thinking, SIXTEEN WORDS? That's a lot? But then I took a second to really think about it, and I'm realizing that my sentences are a lot longer than that. This sentence alone was over 20 words...

I really tried to take this chapter to heart. Like any writer, I have my strengths and weaknesses. One of my strengths is my ability to write very detailed sentences, but, as it turns out, it's also a weakness for me. When I write anything--news, essays, whatever--I always seem to write very lengthy sentences. I've never actually counted the words in each sentence, but I think I might consider doing that next time I write something for the school paper. I think it would be useful and help me improve my writing skills.
There were a lot of useful ideas in this chapter. Usually when I write, I try to find ways to avoid choppy sentences. I include words like "as" and "when" (Like the words they insist that we omit from copy in order to shorten sentences.). I really think that by making sentences shorter, it helps to avoid wordiness--something that, at times, seems unavoidable.
I look forward to using the tips from this chapter in my writing, whether it be just my news writing, or all of my writing in general.

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