If You Give a Writer Twitter

If you give a writer Twitter, there’s a good chance that she will turn to it for camaraderie in the middle of an otherwise lonely and boring editing session.

“Love being able to delete large swathes of text first thing in the a.m.! #editing,” she will start to write, and then stop, because Twitter is the only way she connects with some of her professional contacts, and some of them are published and even have agents, and…

“Is ‘swath’ the best word choice? Is that even how you spell the plural? Swathes, swaths…”

The writer will definitely need an online dictionary, and while she’s there, she might as well take a look at the etymology of swath. “Did you know that in Middle English, ‘swath’ was a specific measurement referring to the width of a path cleared by the arc of a mower’s scythe?”

If you give a writer an interesting etymological tidbit, there’s a good chance she’ll want to share it with her friends. She’ll get halfway through typing another tweet before she realizes a Google infograph is not a reliable primary resource, and she would hate to mislead anyone, so she’ll start looking for scholarly resources related to farming practices in feudal England and get all the way through the abstract of something really boring before she realizes that she could have avoided this entire scenario if she changed “swathes” to “chunks” in her tweet, and besides, she’s much more interested in trying to remember what it’s called when you read a word so many times it stops looking like a word.

“Semantic satiation. Oh, that’s always fun to talk to writers about…”

But then “semantic satiation” eats up too many characters to be a good topic for a tweet, so instead, she’ll start to write a blog post instead. She’ll get halfway through a page before she has to look up another word and remembers that she was supposed to be making progress on the boring edits. With a deep sigh, she’ll save the post for later and return to her manuscript.

After she makes a fresh cup of coffee, of course, because the first one is already gone, and everyone knows it’s pointless to try to edit anything without coffee.

Inevitably, the first note she reads will speak deeply and universally to the plight of all writers, alone at their keyboards. “Excessive gerunds,” the writer will think. “Everyone hates finding excessive gerunds in their work! I bet my Twitter friends can relate.”

5 thoughts on “If You Give a Writer Twitter

  1. Hey, don’t knock goofing around on the internet. Some of my best ideas have come to me that way. That said, maybe there’s a reason why so many writers cut off their internet during writing time :)


    1. The internet has its inspirational uses, for sure. I just need to cut myself off when I’m doing something I hate doing…like putting in edits.


      1. Oh, yes! I should find you on there. That’s actually what kicked me into getting the read-through done…thanks for reminding me that I should also be using it for the edits. :)


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