Sunday, July 29, 2012

Why Twitter is Good for Me

My mother often tells me that I talk too much.  I say things in a round-about way that takes longer than necessary. I am sure this is true, although I have never had to listen to myself speak.
This bad habit shows up in my writing as well.  I realized this in high school, so I developed a way to work around it.  I didn’t want to have to stop the flow of my thoughts as I was writing in order to use words more economically.  Instead, I wrote whatever I wanted, however I wanted.  When I was done, I’d cut out anywhere from 25-30% of my writing.  By putting my ramblings on the chopping block, I ended up with a better product than I would have had otherwise.  Of course, this is just one aspect of the editorial process.  I still have much to learn about writing prose that says what I need to say without rambling, but I hope I am getting better.  
I think Twitter will take me to a new level of using words economically.  When I have to express my thought in 140 characters or less, I have to choose my words more carefully.  Hopefully, over time, I’ll get better at writing well-crafted, more powerful sentences the first time around.
I’ll know I’m getting closer to that goal when I take my work to the chopping block...and only leave 10-15% behind.  I’ll really know I’ve arrived if Mom no longer has to remind me that I am talking too much.
(18% was left on the chopping block for this post. I still have a way to go.)

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