Saturday, July 23, 2011

Does Twitter Make Me a Better Writer?

I have realized that the time I spend on Twitter actually does make me a better writer. Hear me out, okay?

Those 140 characters, that's what gets me. Watching the number of available spaces diminish as my hands flutter over the keyboard really makes me aware of the words I use.

Lately, I've found myself editing my tweets. Not the usual changing "to" to "2" or "and" to "&" - since those new keystrokes take up less characters, but I've been more in tune with the number of words I've used and how I could say the same thing with less.

This can only mean good things when it comes to my writing, right? I would think so. Since an overabundance of words can slow the pacing.

This isn't the only reason why I'm a better writer - there are so many people who post links to really great articles about writing. These articles talk about craft as well as the publishing industry as a whole. Learning as much as a writer can about the business side is also important. Conversations between people also provide a lot of information. Just recently, I saw a person ask about self-editing books. She was flooded with recommendations. Other writers post tidbits about craft in their 140 characters.

Twitter chats are a plethora of information. I try to attend #kidlitchat and #yalitchat each week. #kidlitchat is on Tuesdays at 9pm, EST. #yalitchat is on Wednesdays at 9pm, EST. Both of these chats are attended by writers, illustrators, agents, and publishers. It's AMAZING the amount of information that flies by in those 140 characters. Never, other than in the internet world, would a wannabe writer have access to these industry professionals. Part of me wonders why more writers aren't participating in these chats. You are missing out, people!

So, does Twitter make me a better writer? Craft-wise, probably not that much. But it does make me feel more connected and informed of more than what I would normally know from here in my living room in Michigan.

Do you tweet? Do you find it something you "have to do" or are you enjoying this new explosion of industry information?