So maybe you watched this video and thought, 'Yeah, duh! EVERYONE knows that.' I watched this video and realized that Twitter is evil. Or at least, seriously bad for me. My addiction (and I do think it's an addiction) had become so extreme that I was checking Twitter after every sentence I wrote. This is clearly not a very efficient way of achieving your (measly) word count target of 1000 words a day.
I started the new book on Tuesday and I wrote 1000 words. This took me all day, what with all the Twitter/FB/email/other random internet stuff.
Same deal on Wednesday and Thursday. I wrote some words, but I was flailing. It felt like I'd started the story in the wrong place, I had no idea who the characters were... it. was. all. disjointed. and. a. bit. crap.
Then I watched Charlie and KAPOW! I realized I could shut down Twitter. A miraculous discovery, don't you think? So that's exactly what I did. For a whole hour yesterday morning. I'm not going to lie, I was kind of twitchy at first. (And when I say 'kind of', I mean 'VERY'.) But I persevered and wrote some words. Then I wrote some more. And before I knew it, an hour had passed and I'd written just over 1000 words. Yes, my entire day's word count in a single hour and the story had started to flooooooooow. So I went back on Twitter for half an hour. It was still there. I hadn't missed anything. The world hadn't ended. I went dark for another hour, which resulted in another 1000 words. Two days' work in two hours. Man, I felt like a right muppet. I was all 'So THIS is how writers manage get their work done! Why didn't anyone tell me?!'
That's how I used to write, pre-Twitter. AND MY GOODNESS IT FELT GOOD. I've done the same thing this morning - another 1k down. I might go for another hour soon. It's hopefully the start of a new regime for me. Even if I don't do it every day, at least I know it's possible. And that's enough.
So, thanks Charlie! And thanks to the brilliant Kaz Mahoney, who's hosting the Spring into Summer writing challenge over on her blog. I'm woefully behind on the word count for the challenge, since I started nine days late. But it doesn't matter. It's nice to hang out with people who are trying to churn out the words, just like me.
Writing can be a lonely business, which is probably why lots of us love Twitter so much. We get to hang out with our colleagues with the added bonus of not having to change out of your jammies if you don't want to. But I need to find some balance in my life if I'm going to make a career of this writing malarkey, and this week I feel one step closer to doing exactly that.
If you feel like joining me in the whole 'switching off Twitter to get stuff done' thing, the hashtag is #goingdark. Come... join me on the dark side. You know you want to.
This post was brought to you by The School of the Bleeding Obvious. Thanks for listening.