I’ve always considered myself a good writer. I got straight-As in high school English and literature classes, and have been writing a lot in nearly every one of my jobs since college. I can write anything for business: proposals, status reports, white papers, strategy documents, and anything else you can throw at me. It comes pretty easily, when I’m motivated; even when I’m not, writing is never a chore. I think I’m pretty good with grammar and spelling, and I know the difference between Sentence case and Title Case, among other writing fine points that many, many of my colleagues (even superiors) don’t really understand.

But I’ve never thought of myself as a “writer.” I can write. But I didn’t call myself a writer.

Until now.

Just the other day, as I was working on a blog post, it struck me. I like to write. I’m good at it. I’ll bet I’m probably in the top 1% of people in terms of writing skills and comfort. By golly, I might just be a writer. And you know what? Blogging and Twitter made me a writer.

I’ll bet, if you’re a consistent blogger or Twitterer, you probably feel the same.

So why are we better writers now than we were a few years ago?

First of all, becoming good at something takes practice. In this new world of microcommunications, we are all writing far more than we ever did when the phone was our standard means of communicating. We write Tweets, Facebook updates, and texts every day, plus countless emails. Many of us also write blogs or Tumblrs. That’s all on top of the stuff we write for work, for school, or just for fun.  I wish I could find a study on this (I looked – do you know of one?), but I’m sure that the total number of words produced today far outstrips whatever we were producing even just five or ten years ago.

Next, new forms of writing, with Twitter leading the pack, are forcing those of us who use them to become more concise, action-oriented writers. Making better word choices, including a call-to-action in our writing, and better self-editing impacts how we write outside of Twitter as well. I’ve definitely noticed this in the past few years in all of the forms of writing that I do.

Additionally, blogging in particular can help create your writing voice, bringing consistency across all of the writing that you do. I started my personal blog in 2005, and have been an active blogger ever since. With all that practice in these past six years, I’ve noticed that my voice stays pretty consistent across various blogs and projects, whether personal or professional, which I think is good (some may prefer to have different voices for different things).  Of course, there’s a spectrum: more casual for personal stuff, less so for work stuff, but overall, if you know my writing, you can see a thread across all that I write. This makes writing a lot easier for me, as I’m not creating a voice every time I sit down to write; I already know how I sound and feel comfortable expressing myself in that voice.social-media-better-writer

The impact of all this writing could have an immensely positive effect on future generations, too.  Consider the multitudes of kidbloggers who are writing every single day on a wide variety of topics, including books, politics, fashion and more. Granted, kids may no longer learn how to write cursive, but they’re certainly learning their way around a keyboard.

At this point in my life, I write every single day. I might only write 140 characters (times five or ten most days), but I write. I write a two-paragraph email. I write 700 words for a blog post. Three pages for a proposal. Or a competitive analysis in PowerPoint. I now have all of those outlets for expressing my thoughts on a page (web, electronic or paper), and it stretches my brain in a good way to make that writing, whether personal or professional, as useful, succinct, and clear as I possibly can. For me, my writing skill is no small part of what enables me to earn a good living.

How does writing help you?

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About Stephanie Schwab

Stephanie Schwab

Stephanie Schwab is the Principal of Crackerjack Marketing, a digital marketing agency specializing in social media planning and execution. Stephanie is also the founder of the Digital Family Summit, the first-of-its-kind conference for tween bloggers and content creators and their families. Throughout her 20-year career, she has developed and led marketing and social media programs for top brands and has presented on social media and e-commerce topics at numerous conferences and corporate events. Stephanie writes about social media at CrackerjackMarketing.com, sometimes hangs out at Google+, and tweets @stephanies.

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Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=38312892 Steve Gerl

    Writing in the social-media-sphere is like swimming in the ocean.  If you don’t do it, you’re not going to last very long.  There are days when you doggy paddle to stay afloat and there are days where you feel like you can swim for miles.  It is a necessary part of a social media day and it will continue to be so in the future.

    Great post, Falls!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=38312892 Steve Gerl

      And great writing, Stephanie!

      • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

        Thanks, Steve! And I so agree about writing being crucial to social media success. Bad writers might get some initial traffic but it’s tiring to read over the long haul.

  • http://askaaronlee.com Aaron Lee

    Great story and post Stephanie, for some reason never considered myself a writer, maybe language was never my strongest skilled in school or college. However what gets me to write is I love sharing. Reading and sharing something is my passion and I love to share what I have learned. That gets me to “write” (copy and paste tweets). 

    I do blog but my true passion is sharing and it gets me to write. So how does writing helping me? Spread what I have learned :))

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Right on, Aaron! 

  • http://www.brainsonfire.com/blog Amy Taylor

    So true. One of the most exciting/challenging parts of my week is coming up with a new blog post each week for the Brains on Fire blog. Knowing the expectation is there to create compelling, relevant content that touches the minds and hearts of our kindred spirits, and embodies our distinct point of view and beliefs is a weekly personal challenge that I have grown to love. And I have seen my writing (and thinking!) flourish as a result. 

    Great post. Thanks for sharing!
    Amy 

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Amy, I totally know the exciting/challenging feeling, I think many of us bloggers share it. Love your blog, thanks for commenting here.

  • http://twitter.com/GabrielleJeans_ Gabrielle Jeans

    Social Media has definitely improved my writing. You have to be engaging to be successful in social media and engagement involves constructing words in such a way that it grabs people’s attention. That in my opinion makes a good writer. Loved reading your post.

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Thanks, Gabrielle!

  • http://twitter.com/Collectual Collective Intellect

    Twitter has definitely helped me simplify my thoughts. Using only 140 characters to convey an idea really sharpens your focus on word choice. I’d like to think that type of simplicity has influenced my other writing or perhaps I see a full page, like a blank canvas, and try and  use all the colors.

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Great analogy, thanks for sharing.

  • http://twitter.com/Collectual Collective Intellect

    Twitter has definitely helped me simplify my thoughts. Using only 140 characters to convey an idea really sharpens your focus on word choice. I’d like to think that type of simplicity has influenced my other writing or perhaps I see a full page, like a blank canvas, and try and  use all the colors.

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  • http://www.writingVA.com/blog.php maryhruth

    Truly excited to read this post. Been saying this since 2008, when I first hopped online in earnest. Especially love how you think this is good for the kids. 

    Like you, I always took writing for granted. Not many people care much about whether their writing is good. But being able not only to say but also to convey your meaning is a wonderful satisfaction. 

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting! It’s wonderful to find kindred spirits online.

  • http://edwinaowenselliott.com/ Edwina @FASHION+ART

    As others have noted, this is very true. Writing daily, whether it’s a blog or simply posting or responding to posts on Facebook and LinkedIn, has improved my skills greatly. I don’t belabor over which word to use or sentence structure like before. It comes to me much more naturally now. Another plus for social media and online interaction! Now to dust off those two novels under my bed…

    • http://www.crackerjackmarketing.com Stephanie Schwab

      Ha! Definitely get back to those novels. I’ll bet the words will flow much more easily now. Thanks for commenting. 

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