Tweetox and the #amwriting Hashtag


So, there you are – you’ve got 20 minutes between finishing the dishes and settling down for Doctor Who. No point writing anything, let’s fire up Twitter and see what the world is up to…

…whaddaya mean it’s still fired up from the last 20 minutes 40 minutes ago?

You, yes you, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

I’ve tried to be good – when I #amwriting, I shut twitter down. On those glorious, rare and blissful occasions I actually get the house to myself for four WHOLE HOURS I can still crank out the wordcount – and Twitter goes OFF.

But it’s the snippets, the corners of time between one thing and the next, the not-quite-getting-round-to-it and the I’ll-do-it-in-a-minute…

…who am I fucking kidding?

After coming back from EasterCon, I entertained a little cold turkey – quit the booze (to give my long-suffering liver a rest), for a start, but also took a moment to wrap twitter’s beak in gaffer tape and shut it the hell up.

What I found out should be no revelation.

Those twenty minutes matter. Those corners of time, those fragments of finger-twiddle between this thing and the next… even if they don’t count towards your final wordage total, they keep the ideas moving, the characters talking, the plotline unrolling (okay, occasionally writhing) in your head. If you default to tweet, soon you find your characters wandering off into the middle distance – and when you DO have time to actually write, you spend a precious hour going to look for them – and bringing them back.

And that’s wordcount wasted.

I can’t pretend I didn’t miss it (my Facebook updates became rather more frequent and I really missed both twitpic and blip.fm), but the tweetox was well worth the insight.

With absolute respect to those who use the #amwriting hashtag to network, community build and connect with other writers to help each other and all move forwards, I still can’t get my head round it.

When I #amwriting, Twitter gets shut down. And that should now go for those errant 20 minutes, as well – yes, all of them.

No mercy! :)

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