In an era of text lingo that’s full of “LOL” and maybe sometimes “wtf,” many writers bemoan the decline of structured communication. However, though the days of handwritten notes and cursive script may be on the decline, writers can take comfort in the fact that the art of communicating isn’t dead. In fact, firing off a series of tweets can actually help a writer improve at his or her craft. Here’s why:
- It forces you to get to the point
Most writers dread the editing process. It can feel painful to scrap a sentence that you’re attached to, even though you know the piece is too long. However, wordy documents are a chore for the reader to consume, so editing is a necessary evil. Luckily, Twitter helps a writer get into the habit of editing. When you’re on Twitter, you have 140 characters to get your point across. That means that you have to find a way to shrink that witty observation or story down. As you’re carefully shaving off adverbs and adjectives, you’re editing. It may feel different than sitting down with a red pen, but the concept is the same. For those who have an aversion to the “delete” button, Twitter can help to make the process easier.
- It makes you choose your words carefully
In real life, you don’t get punished if you use three words to describe something when you could use one. In the Twitterverse, this kind of behavior will eat up characters and prohibit you from sending a tweet. When you’re using Twitter, you have to get creative with your word choice. Instead of stringing together a slew of adjectives to describe your lunch, find one, succinct way to paint the picture.
- It forces you to put your content out there
Many writers hem and haw when it comes to putting their work out for public consumption. It can feel daunting to let others read your thoughts. Twitter gets a writer in the habit of pushing the “send” button and never looking back. So your tweet about last night’s episode of Mad Men could have been funnier. It doesn’t matter. You’re putting your content out there and getting comfortable with other people reading it. This is good practice for your manuscript, article, or blog post.
- It puts you in touch with your audience
If you’re unsure what your audience wants to read about, just take a look at what their tweets are saying. It can help give you insight into what’s popular and important in that moment.
While tweets certainly don’t stand a chance against the Great American Novel, the act of writing a tweet can actually provide some benefit to a writer. Stop hitting “delete” or saving your witty remarks for your account’s draft folder, and get comfortable with sharing your thoughts with others. In 140 characters or less, of course.
The team at Grammar Chic specializes in a variety of professional writing and editing services. For more information about how we can help you, visit www.grammarchic.net or call 803-831-7444. We also invite you to follow us on Twitter @GrammarChicInc for the latest in writing and editing tips and to give a “like” to our Facebook page. Text GRAMMARCHIC to 22828 for a special offer.