Tuesday, March 16, 2010

All A Twitter and the Writing Life

No, I not writing to say that I have joined the Twitter crowd. But I know a little bit more about it since hearing a fascinating interview with Twitter founder Evan Williams. I just googled to try and get you a link, but no luck. All I found were articles about William' plans for the future. But last week's radio interview featured Williams' thoughts about the creative life. His years living on his parents' couch, up to all hours working on his many internet plans. Did he have any idea how successful Twitter would be? "No way." He said in the middle of all his inventions he had no idea if they would ever be successful. Even those like Blogger and Twitter gave him no early sign that he had hit the jackpot. Working on them you just never know, he said.

I am driving along thinking, this guy must be talking about writing. Not exactly, but definitely the creative process. In the middle of a book, we just have no idea if this manuscript is heading toward genius or mediocrity or somewhere in between. Right now I am communicating with you through one of his genius inventions, Blogger, a program he designed and worked on for years, including the month when it had been successfully launched, but no money was coming in, so he had to fire all his employees for a time and run it by himself.

Hmm. Writing, Twitter, Blogger. Williams started six companies; two have been successful. He didn't sound like a person who was going to slow down, settle back with his millions. More creating ahead for him. Sounds like a writer to me, except for the money part. CRM


  1. One of our local writers' groups offered a workshop last weekend called "Taming Technology" taught by Dianne de Las Casas. She was fabulous, and her website storyconnection.net is amazing. She showed us how to use Facebook (I have set up my own Fan Page now--hint, hint), Twitter, Ping, Blogger, and a dozen other tools. By the end of the workshop I was completely overwhelmed.

    My own website is pretty sorry. I just can't get into this whole Twitter thing. I love FB, but it can be a really enjoyable time-suck in my day. I follow Inkpot and sometimes check on a couple of others, but I just can't see setting a blog of my own.

    I struggle to find enough minutes in the day to write as it is, especially after working at my day job 40 hours a week.

    You are so right, Claire. We must persevere with the work, even when we can't know if or when our words will sell. I do know, however, that the words won't write themselves while I'm Twittering. One of these days, I'll go back and put more on that Fan Page. Today--I have more chapters to revise.

  2. Interesting connection, Claire. Like writing - he started six businesses and two have been successful -- much like writing 2000 words and finding two that work! he ha hee hee ... but honestly - I'm a big believer in the failing often to succeed sooner theory. The more we write, the more likely we are to hit upon something that works!

  3. Indeed. More words on the page by nighttime, than we had in the morning. CRM

  4. Doing what you want to do, are compelled to do, and are passionate about will often lead to something.

    By the way, here's Ron's interview in PW on the whole net thing...


  5. Thanks for sharing that link, Lisa. Great interview, and so very Ron-ish...

  6. I'm enjoying his inventions of blogging and especially how easy it is to subscribe to a blog-- a free magazine with pages into infinity--of sorts. I love my dashboard page.
    Blogging has some twists:
    It's out there forever, including any mistakes
    My mother reads it-- so I feel censored.
    I invited her because no one else would read it.

    The tips for great blogging from the "top blogs" collection suggest that anonymity is a no-no. Also infrequent or boring posts about cute cats etc. are frowned upon.

    To me blogging (and facebook) prove right away how far I have to go in my writing. If I can't glean a comment after 67 blog posts or 1 year of facebook sentences then I'm not engaging my audience. However, I also have infinite practice with immediate results at whether I'm successful in gaining any attention.

    And to add: I don't believe I care about attention, only writing, until I notice I'm not getting a response. So I guess I do. Writing is a two way bridge and I can't cross without an audience.