According to a post on Copyblogger, Twitter makes you a better writer.
For those of you who have been living in a cave for the past five years (I hope it was a nice cave), Twitter is a “micro-blogging” site that allows you to only write 140 characters per post.
News anchors and celebrities and bloggers are leveraging it to build a tribe and reach the masses.
But there's another aspect of Twitter that we've overlooked. It makes you a better writer.
Really, Twitter makes your writing better?
Yep. At least, according to Jennifer Blanchard, author of the aforementioned article. She explains:
What all of this means is, you have to be concise.
You have to know exactly what you want to say, and say it in as few words as possible.
Many writers, however, are “wordy” and often have long, drawn out descriptions and sentences, so it can be pretty difficult to create a message that’s only 140 characters.
In addition to forcing you to be concise, Twitter also forces you to exercise your vocabulary and improve your editing skills, says Blanchard.
I admit I never thought of Twitter as a means of improving one's copywriting skills, but she makes a point.
In fact, although I've been using social media for years, I've only recently learned how to use Twitter the right way. And it's making me a better writer.
Here's what I'm learning and applying:
- Get to the point, already!
- Action-oriented writing gets the best response.
- You have to write about others more than yourself.
- Frequency is key to building a tribe, but don't overdo it.
- Being responsive and available to your tribe is essential.
Mostly, I'm learning how to be concise
If you struggle with endless blog posts and run-on sentences, start tweeting.
We don't need more noise. We need more value.
Awhile ago, I learned that really good writers don't need to write long, drawn-out descriptions in order to communicate their message. They slice and dice; they edit like samurais.
Great writers cut out superfluous “fluff” and stick to the meat of their message.
They don't use nice-sounding words if they don't need to. If they do use complex verbiage, they do it in order to deepen the reader's experience, not to make themselves look smarter.
If you can get into the habit of cutting out the excess, using the right words (not the biggest ones), and editing yourself until you're as clear as can be, you'll become a better writer. With or without Twitter (preferably with).
So let's try it out
In 140 characters or less, tell me about yourself in the comments.
If you come up with something really good, tweet it. While you're at it, share this post: Tweet
Has Twitter taught you to be a better writer? How? Share in the comments (and tell me about yourself).