Sunday, April 05, 2009

Twitter ate my blog...

No, I'm not really blaming Twitter for my slacking off on the blog posting. But it's just so damn easy to do my navel gazing in 140 character spurts than it is to sit down and write a blog post. I won't lie and say that the idea of shutting my blog down entirely hasn't crossed my mind. I have friends who did it and they don't seem to regret it. I miss reading their blogs, but if they're on Twitter I can still keep up with their goings-on.

It wasn't until I realized I was writing an email yesterday in "Twitterese" (abbreviating, leaving out pronouns) that it hit me: relying on Twitter to communicate so often not only takes away from my blogging time, but also that it has impacted my ability to think and write in complete sentences. I'm still writing essays, so I know I haven't lost it entirely, but I've also noticed that some of the editing I've had to do with my essays lately is different than the editing I did a year ago. A year ago, to get a 900-1200 word essay, I'd write about 2000 or 2500 words, then tighten everything to get my final, shorter word count. Now I write almost exactly to word count and during the editing process find myself having to flesh out sentences, change abbreviations, clarify thoughts, and basically translate Twitter-esque sentences into something that the general public will be able to read and understand. And I've been on Twitter for just about a year now.

Don't get me wrong - I love Twitter. I love being able to keep up with friends, find great links, find new blogs to read, and communicate faster online than ever before. I'm definitely a #twitteraddict. But if I don't keep up my regular writing here, I'm going to end up writing and speaking in 140-character bursts and completely forget how to express myself like a normal human being. Or a writer. It reminds me a little bit of "IM speak," something I fell prey to a few years ago myself to the point where (I admit this with some embarrassment) I actually SAID "O M G" and "I D K" (yes, out loud). I'm over 30 and shouldn't talk like a teenager. I blame my nieces and modern technology in general for that phase. And cheerleader movies.

This isn't an excuse or a promise to blog more often. This is the ultimate in navel-gazing: Me telling ME that I need to step it up. I still plan on Tweeting about what I had for lunch, about my puppy's behavior, about the weather. When you work from home and have little contact with people during the day, Twitter is like a group of online co-workers. But I also know I need a little self-intervention in the form of writing in full paragraphs. I also have VisualCV, LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, and my other blog for my book to keep up.

I hope blogs aren't dying. Watching print media take a dive has been bad enough. I still love reading blogs and my friends are funny as f*ck, so I hope they won't stop writing them. I've had this little corner of the web since 2003 and I'm not going anywhere soon. I'm going to keep navel-gazing, making lists of things that make me happy, rambling on about my lack of cooking skills, curing my social phobia, mocking family members (my mother hasn't managed to find my blog in six years, my younger sister still doesn't have internet access at home, and my nephew can't read yet), and bitching about politics, the neighbor's dinosaur that won't stop pooping in my front yard, how much I love naps, and my television addiction.

p.s. I was going to write this yesterday, but I was almost finished with Kate Christensen's "The Great Man" and couldn't put it down.

p.p.s. I was going to write this earlier this afternoon, but decided to give the dog a bath instead so she would smell like apples instead of wet dog ass.

p.p.p.s. You can find me on Twitter here.

8 comments:

  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    Sarah

    http://adoptpet.info

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  2. oh, I so identify with this! Between Twitter and Facebook, my motivation to blog has completely evaporated and I have more 'writer's block' than ever. I think I'm going to have to cut off from them for a while and establish a writing routine.

    Looking forward to your new posts!

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  3. I have been going through something similar recently. About six months ago, I moved my blog to Squarespace and intended on updating the five different topic blogs with impressive regularity. Then, I got addicted to Twitter and my blogging went down hill. I think I was just a bit too ambitious and now I am down-sizing back to a single blog format and hope to keep it up.

    I am glad you still want to blog here because I have been reading for a few years now and I am always happy to see an new 'unread' post in my Google Reader.

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  4. Thanks, all! It makes me feel better that I'm not the only one. I still can't seem to kick the Twitter addiction, but am limiting myself unless I post something in actual written form to the blog as well. Carrot on a stick, so to speak.

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  5. Please don't stop blogging. I'm one of those finally clueing into how fun it is. I'm also recently addicted to Facebook and Twitter, so I guess I'm ambushing the buffet.

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  6. Hey, Kelly, I so get this. Today was my turn to blog over at A Good Blog is Hard to Find and it was almost as labor-intensive as coming up with an essay topic for print publication and revising it over and over again! I'm avoiding twitter like the plague, especially after reading this entry. Is blogging just twittering or facebooking, with better grammar and longer words??Hope not!
    Augusta Scattergood
    http://ascattergood.blogspot.com/

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  7. Oh Kelly, I DO hope you mean what you say and will continue blogging. I just found you, (thanks to Augusta) and I literally laughed out loud reading the last section of this post! (No abreviations here!)

    I have been toying with the idea, but haven't yet taken the leap into "twitterdom". I'm sure I'll wait a while. Facebook is enough for now, and I'm sure waiting will allow me more time to catch up on this wonderful blog!
    Your new fan, Lisa J. Michaels

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  8. I finally signed on to Twitter, but I just hate it now.Or rather, I hate what it seems to do to the way I think. Robert Frost said, "Talking is a hydrant in the yard and writing is a faucet upstairs in the house. Opening the first takes all the pressure off the second." If you substitute "tweeting" for "talking," that's my feeling about the effect it has on my writing. I just don't feel like I can go shorter than my blog posts or eventually I'll start writing in shorthand! Still trying to decide whether to erase my Twitter account and break the habit.

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