Five Tweets That Teach You How to be a Writer

You can’t say much in a Tweet. 140 characters won’t change the world. But they might change the way you think.

Just five Tweets could be enough to show you how to be a writer.


Read. Read everything. Read anything. Books, poems, adverts, cereal boxes. See how others write and learn how they get their message across.

Only reading as much as you can get your filthy mitts on can teach you how to write. Read blogs in your niche. Read blogs outside your niche. Read trashy novels and Pullitzer prize winners.

Read every single sentence you come across and ask yourself what it does, how it does it and who it does it to. Then read the next one.


Write. A golfer practises putting for hours on end, so she’ll sink the one that counts. Write constantly, and you’ll improve with each word.

There’s no reason not to write every day. Write articles. Work on that novel. Write love letters to your cat. Write for any purpose you can ever think of, write for every person that you’ve ever heard of.

Practise makes perfect isn’t just a cliché. It’s also the best piece of advice you’ll ever have.


Listen. Writing is a way of communicating, and that’s a two way street. Listen to worries, needs and aspirations. Learn about your audience.

If you want to be able to speak, you first need to know how to listen. Listen with your ears – hear what people are saying about products and experiences. Listen with your eyes – pay attention to reviews and complaints.

If you don’t take the time to listen to your audience, you’ll never know what to say to them.


Speak in your own voice. Copywriting isn’t copying what people write, it’s finding the correct style and tone of voice to connect with them.

Just because you’re reading what others are writing and listening to their needs, doesn’t mean you should emulate them. Retreading old ground and mimicking other writers doesn’t make for exciting, engaging copy.

Your job is to give a product, company or brand a voice. And that voice needs to be unique.


Quitting gets you nowhere. You won’t ever get everything right the first time – so keep trying. Persistence always pays off in the long run.

A first draft is never right. Learn to take constructive criticism, and always be prepared to make a change for the better. Throwing in the towel gets you nowhere fast.

Persistence is the best quality anyone in any industry can have.

Share your 140 characters of wisdom in the comments thread. Who knows? It might help someone out.

4 Comments comments for "Five Tweets That Teach You How to be a Writer"

  1. Rowena says:

    Great post, I think it exemplifies what my 140 characters would be…

    To deliver a clear message, you don’t need to spell it out in plain copy. Use new ways to illustrate facts. Find angles. Tell stories. Play.
    .-= Rowena´s last blog ..Competitive scrawl =-.

  2. Holly Earp says:

    I agree, practice definitely makes perfect. The more you write the better you’ll get, and you can never learn too much from reading everything you can. Examine the style and approach other effective writers use and build on it.

  3. Bill McCracken says:

    Cracking post Andrew, some really interesting stuff here.

    I think the great thing about Tweeting is that it encourages clarity of thought and clear communication. With only 140 characters to play with, users can still deliver a message without clouding the issue – as you highlight so well in the examples above.

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