It gets a bad rap, in my opinion; it’s the best! Be it gets a bad rap because Celebrities tweet controversial or hateful tweets; Cancel Culture running amuck on keeping Celebs accountable, and some tweets just being utter nonsense … I get why Twitter isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But to be honest … I could not imagine my life without Twitter! Especially ever since the Covid era started, Twitter has literally been my gateway to the world and let me feel like a global citizen even whilst stuck at home.
Okay, so we know Twitter can be a wonderful tool to connect with other human beings on this planet, but did you know it had other perks, too? For me, it has helped me become a better writer. Ten-fold! Is your jaw dropping in shock? Hear me out on why Twitter is GREAT for writers, and not just for the #writingcommunity – which is an amazing community in of itself.
“Like all sweet dreams, it will be brief, but brevity makes sweetness, doesn’t it?”
Aside from writing relatable #mood tweets throughout my day which clears some mental space for my peace of mind, Twitter has helped my writing in many ways. But the short answer of how Twitter helped my writing I can say in one word: Brevity.
Believe it or not, brevity is a skill that is hard to master. I won’t go as far to say I’ve mastered it, but Twitter has helped me because of it’s character limit.
Question for you, when you first joined Twitter, did you find the character limit originally annoying and limiting? Yeah, I totally did too! But the more years I’ve spent on Twitter (I passed my ten years wohoo!) the more I’ve learned to embrace it. Not only because that is one of the defining characteristics of my favorite platform, but because that is the secret sauce of this post on why Twitter has made me a better writer. The delete key.
“The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible.”
Yes, while sometimes it might be painful to remove prose that sound so amazing in your own mind, it can also be freeing. Because with only 280 characters (I admit, I was so happy when that changed from the OG 140 characters!) every word truly matters in each tweet. Many times have I had to “kill my darlings” to make a tweet fit. And that has been super helpful in my writing! It has made me a better editor, which was chief complaint of my novel the Quest of the Prodigy.
One tip that has REALLY helped me with Twitter, be it helping my writing, my anxiety or both! Is to create a tweet, sigh a heavy sigh, and then select all and delete. So satisfying! Because not every thought has to be a tweet. Although the temptation is just that. But I’m working on thinking out loud on Twitter less and only sharing my true opinions that matter most.
The other great thing about Twitter for my writing, has been reading other tweets! Especially as previously mentioned, the #writingcommunity. Although I complain that the #writingcommunity lately has had way too many “Writers Lifts” lately (essentially “follow for follow” strategy and basically equevlant of paying for followers a big no-no in my book!)
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
― Stephen King
If you read enough tweets by fellow authors, you start to feel like a “real author” because you start to think like one. And that is really powerful! The other helpful thing about reading so many tweets in a day, not a “waste of time” or a “time sucker” like many mental health websites try to claim social media to be (and it can be if you use it in an unhealthy way of comparing your life to others and put their life updates ahead of your own achievements) is that as an author, I also get to peek into the POV of a reader! I get to see what styles they like, their pet-peeves, their fave thing about reading, etc. That is an incredible tool to see what people love about fandoms, books, etc. Because when you get inside the minds of your readers, you get to service them better as a writer. And, that includes blog writing in my book.
I could HONESTLY go on all day about how amazing Twitter is. From improving my mental health status with life-long runs in the family and can’t get away from it depression to being motivated and inspired by fellow authors to get inside my readers’ head …. Well, let’s just say Twitter has helped my writing in countless ways. The main way has been in editing mode with deleting ‘pointless’ words to fit in a Tweet; but it has also helped connect me with other authors and readers, think more like a “real author” (trust me, imposter syndrome is so real!) and simply enjoying writing every day via in the formats of tweets … being an author on Twitter is a MUST! Not just for clout of follower count, it helps build you up as a writer!
So has Twitter helped your writing process? I would love to hear about it! Please leave a comment below! I would love to hear from you!