I am a new writer. My work is focused on real people. I ask a series of questions and go from there. Its all about their personal journeys with health. I like to capture the feeling of what people have gone through, and put it into words. I have no problem telling a great story. The problem I'm running into is word criteria. I have a limited 750-word count. I always go way over (3,000), then I just can't seem to trim and still be proud of what I have written. How do I achieve both?
Sometimes editing to fit a requirement makes you a stronger writer. And sometimes the onerousness of the requirement means you're in the wrong genre.
If you said you have a 750 word limit and sometimes you push 1000 words, then we could give you all sorts of advice about how to trim things to make it work. But 3000 to 750? That's not trimming. That's changing your format.
My suggestion: Find places that accept 3000 (or maybe 2500) word pieces.
If that's not possible, then break your stories into parts.
If you can't do that, then you will have to focus each story on something far more narrow than you're doing now. For example, instead of documenting someone's journey with diabetes, focus on their diagnosis, or on their dietary changes.
You can still be proud of more narrowly focused articles. There is an art to capturing the feel with only a piece of the story to work with. Which approach you take depends on what options are available to you and the details of who you are writing for (your publisher and your audience).
Don't think of it as trimming (which simply isn't possible when you're cutting 3/4 of what you've written). Try not to simplify: you just can't document a large journey in 750 words. Instead, focus. Narrow the scope and then fill it out from there.
The problem is you are asking us how you can erase 75% of your writing.
We can't help you. If it was 25%? Sure. 50%? Maybe. 75% isn't possible if you still want it to be the same thing.
In this case, I recommend starting from scratch and making an outline that you follow to a Tee. Pick one event in that person's life and write about it. Do not use adjectives or adverbs unless mandatory for accuracy. Do not be afraid of 3-4 word sentences. Try to avoid going over 7 words in a sentence when possible. Always try to find a way to use contractions when possible. (i.e "Michael is going to the store" -> "Michael's going to the store.") If you can shorten your word choice further, do so. (i.e. "Michael's going shopping.") Focus on making your word usage intentional and as direct as possible. Any elaboration and purple prose can then be sprinkled into your writing after you have finished the draft and seen how many words you still have available. Don't be afraid to be a miser with the words you use. Make a plan and stick to it and you should be fine.
Don't cut down, restart from scratch and build up. You've already done the major work.
So, write a summary for your 3000 word document.
Summarize the 3 most important points that you want someone to get out of it (or even the 1 most important point).
Start with a sentence. Then write a paragraph. Then flesh it out more. Repeat that last step as often as necessary to get the word count you want; each time adding more detail.