I’ve had a twitter account for almost 2 years now.  I’ve tweeted 6 times, none of them earth-shattering, brilliant, or even anything close to pithy.

I amaze myself with my boring, deeply uncreative approach to twitter:  am I truly this dull?

I tell myself the problem is that as a writer I simply have too much to say.  tweeting is like writing a synopsis:  coming up with a meaningful tweet is–for me–akin to taking an entire 350-page book and condensing it to one page.  my inspiration does not seem to come in short-and-sweet, pithy, or concise varieties, and my little-teeny ego does not like to be edited.

that being said, I am always one for self-improvement.  matthew kelly said it best (and then I painted in on my mirrored dining room wall): it’s our job to become the next best version of ourselves.  no matter how great I/we/whomever might be today, there is always an opportunity for us to become even better/richer/deeper tomorrow.  thus…can you feel this coming?  I’m assigning myself a new task.

writing synopses and “book cover copy” is an important part of being a writer.  we’re told if we cannot describe our project in a sentence or two, we’ll never be able to sell it.  agents and publishers accept and reject projects off of information gleaned from one-page query letters and brief (one-paragraph to three-page) synopses.  it’s crucial that a writer learn to be succinct.  (I just chopped off the last two words of that sentence, “when necessary” because they weren’t really necessary. )

so my new self-assigned task is to work on my tweets.  not that I expect my tweets to save the world, inspire others, or change lives;  I simply see it as a skill that I have an opportunity to develop.  I am setting a goal of tweeting something every week that is neither copied from someone else nor a weather report.  neither an action recap (rode my bike today!) nor a wish list (wish the sun were shining so I could ride my bike!) but a statement in 140-characters-or-less that is, somehow, worth reading.

yes I’m nervous.  I’m already thinking I’ll have to start a new “tweet” notebook to jot ideas and notes in, and that I’m going to be spending an inordinate amount of time worrying about this.  but because I’ve said it, I’m now going to do it.  and to help keep me honest I’m posting my twitter address (do they even call it that?) here so you can check up on me:


watch me learn how to tweet!  (and then someday I’ll learn about hashtags.  maybe.)

hey, it’s hard to get someplace if you’re not willing to do the work.

if three words are good, two are better. maybe.

I give my files quirky names.

I could be (should be) better organized, placing everything properly in labeled folders so that I could find things more easily, naming my files descriptively, deleting old versions, all of that.  but instead, I name files whimsically, capriciously, and suffer the consequences later.

sometimes I remember what I did, and sometimes I don’t.

what brings this to mind is that I’ve been working on a synopsis for my latest manuscript.  I hate working on synopses.  verbosity is my friend; concision isn’t.  yesterday I had to provide a 500 word synopsis for an agency:  I began with my 978-word synopsis (which was labeled synopsis attempt 17) and started whittling.  pain.  agony.  frustration.

I had to leave the table and then return.  I printed out the 978-word version (which had been culled from a 3-page, 1200-word version) and took my precise-V fine-tip pen and struck through words and lines, squiggling out half a paragraph.  then another sentence.  two words.  an “and,” the word “unbelievable.”  I ate lunch.  struck another clause.  napped.  returned, once again, to the table.

I had it down to 513 words after an hour’s diligent work had passed.  sweat gathered on my brow.  another chop, and then, who needs that sentence, voila, 497 words.  which 3 could I re-add?

I saved that version as “synopsis attempt 18.”  I may or may not remember that this is the 500-word version.  perhaps I should rename it “synopsis attempt 18: 500 words.”  that would be logical, possibly helpful in the future, definitely wise.  but wordy.    a more organized person would probably label this file “500 word synopsis” and call it good.

editing superfluousness is always a challenge.