Focusing tool

Here’s yet another use for Twitter: as a tool to help focus your stories. The suggestion comes from former Washington Post editor Craig Stoltz, who says the discipline of writing substantive Tweets helps to reinforce the key journalism skill of making every word count.

Fact is, it’s tough to convey any substance in 140 characters. You have to carefully weigh every word, letter and space. Even punctuation.

Now, if you’ve practiced the five-word focus exercise we recommend in the book, 140 characters is generous. But it’s definitely worth a try.

See? That last paragraph is exactly 140 characters. Thanks, Craig, for the challenge and the inspiration.