Twitter, Write.as, using your words.

Most of my nattering is on Twitter now (@CZEdwards, follow me!) because that’s where people say things that make me wonder just how often they fell out of trees onto their heads as children. But that usually prompts me actually write something on the social/psych/behavioral side, or at least go digging statistics and documentation to refute.

And then I get about 50 new people on my block list because my patience for ass millinery (Hats for asses) seems to get shorter every year. It’s an all-around win.

The big issue is that I don’t like this interface (which isn’t what you see here). I’ve never really liked the WordPress app, I don’t like writing live on wordpress through the web interface and…

No, I just imprinted on Livejournal. For all of its flaws and the steepness of its learning curve, I felt comfortable there. And I loved the commenting system.

Yes, I know about Dreamwidth. It’s not the same. It’s like… there’s a scene in late BtVS S6 where Willow, having fucked up yet another relationship with a fundamentally good person, animates Tara’s clothes with magic. That’s what Dreamwidth feels like to me. Like if I close my eyes and willfully ignore everything, I can pretend it’s not my own magic forcing the feeling.

I understand the principle of keeping everything under one roof. That makes it easier for me, right? Not really. Twitter forces a level of concision on me. I must use my good vocabulary words, it makes me make my verbs count. When I’m tweet-storming, I use far fewer gerunds & passive verbs — they take too many characters. Even have to vs must, or going to vs will. They’re fine distinctions, but since I DO have a known tendency towards WAY TOO MANY WORDS, forcible concision is an exercise I need.

Yes, I know. A 200 tweet storm isn’t concise. IF you’re gonna do a blog post, just do a blog post, right? Actually… at the sentence level, it is concise, and trust me, those 2000 words in that storm is about 25% of what it would be over here.

A tweetstorm has the advantage of being absolutely bite-sized. It’s popcorn chicken. Which means it’s easy to over-indulge, but think about it more in terms of a small child who has associated eating with pain. If you keep serving up one bite-sized piece at a time, the kid is highly likely to eat enough. If you hand them a bucket of chicken, the kid gets overwhelmed and refuses all food.

That’s why tweet-storms work. And why I’ll keep producing them. Especially about how to present deeply radical liberal ideas to a reasonable conservative. They need to be tricked into eating the popcorn chicken.

Also, because I’m usually talking about behavior and social psych, which have hundreds of thousands of moving parts for even the simple stuff. If behavior was so simple, we’d have more expertise. Humanity is only in the early stages of understanding what makes us tick, without any means of doing experiments.

But… I also know I need a whiteboard. A place for my graffiti, something between the 0th draft of Twitter, and the polish that goes into fiction. Thus https://write.as/czedwards . That’s a good place to cut and paste tweet-storms I didn’t manage to unwrap before they aged out.

Maybe yes, I will bring everything together? I don’t know. The compartmentalization appeals to me right now.

And that’s the wisdom I have: do what works for right now, and be willing to revisit your decision later.

Happy New Year – write what you want, write where you are, write on the walls if that’s how you need to use your words. Just write. If a blank page is too much, copy & paste a few sentences from someone else and react to them. Even if it doesn’t relate to your WIP, the more you express yourself in words, the more you express yourself. The more you figure out if you think what you believe, and learn to reject the idea that you must believe everything you think, and the easier it gets to hear the voices of your characters.

If a word processor page is intimidating, get a big newsprint pad and nail it to the wall. Write yourself notes. Doodle. Then take pictures. Writing is a practice, so practice.

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