Saturday, April 16, 2011

Heeding the call – of Twitter

For a few months I’ve been paying lip service to Twitter but a couple of weeks ago I converted for real.
The command didn’t come down from on high. There were no angels involved unless you count Toni McGee Causey, which I sort of do.

Toni (if I may be so familiar) is a wonderful author and a great blogger. I share her post “Dear God the stick turned blue” in the humour class I teach to journalism students. More recently, her post on home towns had me weeping on my iMac.

Then she announced that she was going to sacrifice her Murderati blogs on the altar of Getting More Done in the rest of her life. I’m delighted that I can look forward to More Toni Stories, but I love her Murderati posts. They’re the reason I turn on the computer every second Sunday.

I was happy for her but sad for me, so I checked Twitter. And there was a little beacon of a TMC mini-post. That’s when I realized I could still get an occasional fix while I wait for her next book. That’s when I truly saw the light.

I can Follow (this is different from Stalking) people who entertain and enlighten me and they will entertain and enlighten me at intervals that range from hourly to daily or weekly. I’ll get the laughs I crave without having to go on my own quest; I’ll find delightful quotes without reading erudite books or even trolling quotation sites for hours; I’ll learn about the world while I remain hunched safely in my cave.

The corollary is, of course, that in turn I must create funny mini-posts, jot marvelous quotes from the books I read, and adventure out of the bat cave so I can share the fun with the people who have shown enough interest in me to click Follow.

Looking for the up-side…still looking…ah!

Create an image, be funny, impart an insight – basically tell a story in 140 characters. This is, like, the ultimate writing test: How much can you show with how few words?

And there’s the irony of writing, encapsulated in, well, 140 characters – I lovelovelove words, and I spend most of my time trying to pare them away.


  1. That's the ultimate irony for any writer. At least any writer worth reading. Although I strongly suspect James Joyce didn't do much editing. On the other hand he's nowhere near my list of favorite writers.

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