The average Tweet is 12 words. The average novel? 50,000. So if you’ve sent more than 4,000 Tweets, that’s enough words to almost finish up your first manuscript.
Twitter is an interesting device for writers. It can serve as a total time suck or it can be used as a daily writing exercise. After all, creativity flourishes despite (or even perhaps because of) limits.
This peculiar writerly conundrum is the basis of artist Cory Arcangel’s new slim collection, Working On My Novel, a curated compilation of 128 Tweets by aspiring authors that all include the phrase, “working on my novel.”
One can argue that if you are Tweeting about your novel, you are most likely not working on it. It’s similar to the literary paradox in the novel, Dracula, which is told through a collection of first-person journal entries. I mean, how can you be escaping from Dracula right as you are writing in your diary that you are escaping from Dracula? The novel’s literary motif would be better served if it was set in the time of 24/7 life-streaming via Google Glass.
Arcangel has carefully arranged the Working On My Novel Tweets so that the reader can experience the type of emotional roller coaster that is typically associated with writing a novel, from early literary ambitions and delusions of grandeur to misguided egos, desperate pleas and tiny, little Twitter-sized distractions.
The Working On My Novel ebook is available now on iTunes. The paperback edition is expected in stores this fall.