I just googled “It’s Twitter’s fault” and got 6,590 results, the top several from bloggers who posted pretty much the same opening line I had drafted (but have since had the good sense to delete). No one will ever accuse me of being the 6,591st at anything.
After hearing professional writers on three different conference stages recommend tweeting (and, likely more importantly, reading the tweets of “experts” and especially experts), I’ve kept an extra window on my web browser open for the last several days. That is to say, I’m now among the masses at Twitter. It took a while to orient myself to the whole set up/lay out/it-ness of it. And I’m positive I’m still unaware of all sorts of etiquette. But I have shown up. Finally.
As anyone who has waded in at least thigh deep will agree, the exponential power of this thing is overwhelming. And, true to the definition of “exponential” (I’m still irritated with Bill Maher for recently pretending not to know what exponential means) it’s all happening so quickly. It? The flood of information. It’s addictive and enormous and growing. And it’s rushing, too.
Time restrictions – strict ones – will be required. No more than 1 hour each morning. Maybe that’s too much. That’s too much. Perhaps 15 minutes is better: log on, acquire a worthwhile link to a useful article, and log off. Also, it’ll be important to differentiate between pleasure reading and research.
But pleasure is research.
And research is pleasure, my dear.
So, what has Twitter gotten me in my first week? Here are some random take-aways in no particular order.
1. Elmore Leonard can go fuck himself. (But that’s for another post.)
2. Strike #1. Really. I was lashing out from my insecurity, referring to a rather old NY Times article listing 10 Rules for Writing. Leonard’s admonishment over adverbs struck a nerve. Now that I’ve re-skimmed the article, I see I stupidly (used an adverb) overreacted. Besides, he introduces the piece by saying he uses these guidelines to help him remain invisible. I’ve always enjoyed visible writers – and visible artists in general. I like artwork that shouts, I’m here. I made this! Although, when Gus Van Sant finally receded and told the story of Harvey Milk, that was exquisite. Recalling it has prompted me to find this piece in the Guardian about how Milk’s true attitude towards open relationships was omitted from the film. There’s an intriguing quote from Harvey on love. (But that’s for another post.)
3. Unlike Elmore’s rules for invisibility, I found a rule I’m compelled to follow. Apparently black backed blogs lack readability. (I know, childishly employed alliteration and assonance also lack readability.) Anyway, please bear with me while I search for a new look for Mary & Bob’s Journal and don’t be too alarmed at the forthcoming changes. Feedback welcome. You can tweet me @ruthlefaive.
There’s more. But my biceps have weights to lift. Shifting gears to the exercise portion of my morning.
p.s. Ai Weiwei was released on bail today. (But that’s for another post.)