When I started using Twitter, I, like many, was blasé about it. What am I doing here, I thought. A put up some short statuses, tweeted about some food stuff. None of it felt right, and my account stood there inactive for a long time. Until, I started pushing from my Google Reader to Twitter. I used the share with note feature of Google Reader, and I had the note portion be pushed as my tweet.
At first I Just let my note get cut off, I didn’t really care about Twitter, but then I started to feel bad, like I wasn’t living up to the community standards of twitter. I started to edit my notes so they would it inside the 140 char limit, and something magical happened.
As I cut my notes down to size, to fit, I realized that my brain was coming up with big arguments, and points. Things that would take whole blog posts to explain. The simple act of turning my brain from regurgitation mode, to editor, turned on my creativity. I find this helps even when I am trying to shorten someone else’s headline.
Besides getting a couple lessons in brevity, which is always a good thing, I also figured out how to turn twitter into a great warm-up exercise for writing long-form.