Really: this actually shocked me.
Suddenly I started writing shorter tweets without even trying to! Editing to make things clearer and shorter has been a hobby of mine since I was young—of course I love writing tweets!
So, how could this happen?
I began using a different interface to write tweets on. It was narrower, so 140 characters takes up most of four rows of text, instead of just two rows like the tweet box at Twitter.com does. And somehow, autoMAGICally, I began writing shorter tweets.
But now, I get that “too long” feeling immediately. It’s because my writing now flows over three and four lines due to this new interface. I didn’t realize that it subconsciously made me edit and shorten my writing sooner than I used to. It was weird. And cool!
It took me a few days to realize this was happening. I had this strange feeling of freedom that had been building. I always seemed to have characters left over when tweeting. Now I’m trying to figure out how to use the principle for writing blog posts, too
This probably won’t work for everyone. If you don’t already use an interface that’s narrower, and you want to experiment, try this: Press the “Enter” key on your keyboard about in the middle of every line you tweet. In other words, don’t let the text of your sentence run to the right edge of your tweet box.
What interface made my tweets shorter? It’s a tool that will get you more clicks and retweets—so you should definitely try it! But I’m not using it in the way that most people do, so it might not work to shorten your tweets. (You can read all about how I use it here.)
What are your “how to write shorter tweets” tips? I’d love it if you’d leave a comment!