How Twitter stuffed my blogging brain

A couple of weeks ago I composed a little tweet along the lines of ‘I used to be quite good about updating my blog. Then I discovered Twitter.’ One of my tweeting pals replied saying I should blog about this fact. I agreed and then proceeded to fail to write said blog for a silly number of days. Why? Because Twitter really has filling up the bit of my brain that compels me to write blog posts.

twitterTwitter is like and endless supply of mini snacks. A jumbo sack of 10p bags of crisps or a pic and mix of penny chews. A tweet is almost instantaneous. You don’t have to think about it for very long before firing it off (unless you’re about to wade into a spat or tricky discourse) and it takes no time at all to type it. Sometimes it does take a number of seconds to delete it down to the appropriate number of characters, but it’s still a very small time investment.

Blogging takes a little longer. A post will sit on your site rather than disappear down a timeline and it just straight up demands a little more in the way of words – and commitment. Also, blogging doesn’t seem to have quite the same addictive quality Twitter has. These days, I can go quite a while without thinking about blogging, but I seem to check my Twitter feed an awful lot. I don’t know why I’m surprised, crisps and penny chews have always been my downfall.

And then there’s the potential for instant feedback, which is so much more likely on Twitter, and feeds into that same writerly longing for confirmation when doing something alone that takes ages. It’s like the difference between writing a flash fiction you can sub in a number of days and a novel that will take you years. Which is more tempting when you’re in need of just a teeny wee ego boost? No question for lonely, affirmation seeking writers who happen to be drinking cold coffee and wearing a blanket.

So what am I saying? Basically Twitter has shown me that what I really want is distraction, conversation, attention and crisps.

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7 responses to “How Twitter stuffed my blogging brain

  1. I’ve avoided it so far – I read a few feeds and I’ve been tempted to weigh in with my thoughts, but then been grateful I don’t have the ability to. In your (ace) analogy, my blog posts might be like the pizza I choose to ‘treat’ myself to ‘about once a month,’ but ends up being at least once a week.

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    • Mmm, pizza. Probably for the best, although pizza twice a week doesn’t sound like the end of the world. Still, the more time spent not being annoyed at things on the internet, the better.

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  2. I don’t look at twitter very often but when I do, and specifically when I interact, I really enjoy a quick chat. As a freelancer, I work on my own and I suppose twitter takes the place of the office kitchen (where tea is made. I’ve never chatted over a water cooler). Blogging is much less instant, much more lonely and in my own head, more like a journal than a conversation, something I do to be good to myself as much as sharing thoughts. So to me, twitter is a cup of tea. Blogging is lentil stew. Both are good, but they are very, very different.

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  3. Pingback: When blogging becomes the day job… | Lynsey May writes down the night

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