confessions / distractions / first-drafting / writing

Twitter Break November 1-7, 2009


Twitter is a beautiful, dangerous thing. If you use Twitter—really use Twitter—you know what I mean. It’s interactive. It’s fun. It keeps you in constant contact with people all over the world, not like you need to be in constant contact with people all over the world, but you can be, and so why not be! On Twitter, you can learn up-to-the-second news not even on the news sites. Or rumors, which are even better. You can find out what your literary agent had for breakfast. You can spy on friends and enemies, keep tabs on cute boys, stalk celebrities, discuss all the many places in New York City to buy a cupcake, and discover, if you dare to, just exactly what your coworkers are thinking on the other side of that cubicle wall.

Oh, for authors there are professional reasons to be on Twitter, too. Yeah yeah yeah, you can promote your book and stuff. You can connect with editors and agents and librarians and bookstore owners and book reviewers and prospective readers—and especially with other writers. If used properly, and in moderation, Twitter is a wonderful tool many authors make great use of.

Good for them.

Me? I’ve been known to spend an hour discussing cupcakes when I should be writing chapter 8.

Fact is, I love you, Twitter.

I love you so much, I have to quit you. At least for a little while.

See… there’s this little old manuscript I just shook up my whole life to have some more time to focus on. It is—no exaggeration—the most important thing I’ve ever written, ever, and I have a contract that says it’s due in three months. And so I sit down to write and what do I do? TWEET RANDOM NOTHINGNESS AT RANDOM PEOPLE.


I am beginning to think that Twitter kills novels—or let’s say the chances are that Twitter could kill 1 out of 1,000,000 novels, then mine might be the unlucky 1 killed dead, and I will not, I CANNOT let that happen.

So I’m taking a break—the first step toward tweeting like a grown-up.

This is why Suzanne Young—the author of the upcoming deliciously naughty Razorbill novel The Naughty List—and I have decided to face our shared addiction head on. We will be on Twitter Recess from November 1 through November 7 and we’re calling on other writers to join us. We can’t be the only ones with this problem. Hey, did you hear Twitter kills novels? Don’t prove it true!

So if you think you have a problem too, why not do it with us? Stay off Twitter for a week. Have some restraint. Your novel will love you for it.

November 1-7 may well turn out to be the most prolific week of our entire lives. We may just look back on this week and perhaps we’ll miss what everyone had for breakfast, and probably we won’t be able to discuss vampire soap operas with random strangers, and maybe all the editors of the publishing universe will reveal all their secrets they never tell writers and we’ll be missing out… but oh the pages we’ll write!

Stay tuned for updates on being Twitter Free. And check in with Suzanne Young too, help us stay strong! (Cupcake deliveries accepted; email me for my mailing address.)

Oh, and p.s., we’re staying off Facebook too.

Are you with me? Leave a comment with your Twitter name so I know how to find you.

Are you not with me? Tweet away. Just please try not to be too interesting while I’m gone.

Wish me luck,

27 thoughts on “Twitter Break November 1-7, 2009

  1. Cupcakes are a beautiful and worthy topic of Twitter discussion!!!

    Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I look forward to joining you on your recess, and *gasp* hopefully actually work on, you know, writing books🙂

  2. Though my family will believe it when they see it (or rather, don’t see me on Twitter), I will do it! I’m not going completely 20th century: I will check email morning, noon and night. And then go back to work on my NaNoWriMo.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    debbieduncan (on twitter) (email)

  3. This is very timely since I just put myself on a self-imposed Facebook exile. The only things I have responded to are direct messages. I told everyone to email me. I will join you on your Twitter break. I’ve gotta get the last revisions/edits on my current MS and get my queries ready to go, all while starting NaNo on the next one. I may have to invest in many cupcakes though🙂

  4. I was just thinking about this today when I minimized my wip to check Twitter again. I think this is a great (and scary) idea. Count me in! I’m valeriekwrites on Twitter.

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  6. I might try it. But for me, who lives alone and has lots of time to write, it works as a break with people when I want to that I can leave whenever I want to. I might go insane. But I’ll think about it. I mean, I live surrounded by woods and students. I’m not in the big cities with the most of my friends.

    • I see exactly what you mean. I think if I didn’t have all these distractions all around me, it wouldn’t be too much noise in my head… Twitter would work as a great break then.

      But please just keep on writing however it works for you, because I can’t wait to read your next novel!

  7. I’m with ya – elizaosborn.

    What happens if we get itchy and need to Tweet a thing? Do we get punished for breaking the rules? Do you take words away from our WIPs?

    • Wow, I didn’t think of punishment!

      When I’d get in trouble as a kid all it would take would be a look of disappointment from my beloved mom and the GUILT would be enough to make me want to be better next time.

      So… I’m certainly not going to punish anyone. But if I break my vow and tweet something I’ll just be horribly disappointed in myself and give myself a guilt trip. Maybe try that.

  8. I don’t Tweet yet, but I have an excruciating Facebook habit, so I’m joining you from 1 to 7 November. I need to write words, words, words and FB drains my writing time.

    No Scrabble – how will I cope?

  9. I think this is brilliant. And brave. And brilliant.🙂

    I don’t know if I can do it – I love Twitter, too – but I am going to try. Thanks for inviting us along. My editor is on Twitter now, so it’s doubly tempting to keep an eye on things over there… But I can do this!! *tries to convince self*

    I should be getting my first ever editorial letter next week, but even if I don’t I have a story due for an anthology. I have no excuse not to be working 1 – 7 November.



  10. Oh crap. I think I’ll commit to it. TWITTER ONLY. I don’t need to throw FB in the mix and FAIL at something else. But I, Laura Manivong, novel-in-progress writerly person, do swear to avoid the cupcakishness that is Twitter for one whole week no cheating or else I’m a big undisciplined loser so there. The end.

    Thanks a lot, Nova, you stand up gal, you.

  11. Oh little green apples – I so need this. Twitter is what I do.

    So, yes – count me in.🙂

    *runs screaming for the hills*

    Twitter name: @LizUK

  12. This is really tempting, but I like my Twitter breaks, people will miss me, I’ll miss them…Maybe I do have a Twitter problem. Those breaks seem to take up a lot of time now that I think about it. A week without Twitter (or with a serious Twitter limit) might just be exactly what I need to get thousands of words written.

  13. Sheesh, I need to unplug myself from the whole internet for a week! But this is a good idea. Good luck! I can do no twitter for a week. But no facebook too? Wow, that’s crazy stuff! I’m gonna try it!

    Twitter: @lauraraeamos

  14. So tempted, particularly since I start reviewing for my exist exams but I’ll be reviewing so.. I don’t know. But then again, WordPress tweets those automatically for me, thus negating the need to open Twitter. Ah, I wish you luck!

  15. I’m in! At the last minute, I decided I’m going to try this too.
    I’m nanmarino on twitter. See you there on Nov 7th

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