Nothing Novel About Twitter

There are more people out there writing novel-length prose. The problem is they are all doing it in blurbs of 140 characters.


Look at your Twitter account right now. I double-dog dare you. (I'll wait...)


Now look at the number right above the word "TWEETS".


For some of you its in the tens of thousands. It is my opinion that it's OK for you to be proud of this number. It's a pretty significant accomplishment.


I'm even a little proud of my 9,062.

How many words is that? Well, if I count the number of words in my last 10 tweets (7, 24, 9, 2, 23, 23, 19, 8, 24, 21) and divide by 10 I get an even 16 words. That is 144,992 words in the last two or three years. That is one hefty tomb or two decent-sized novels.


Now I'm fairly certain stringing those tweets together to form a book would at the very best be confusing and at the very worst be unreadable.


But it does bring about some truths for us writers.


We can write novels. Almost all of us.


We just don't.


We choose not to.

Let's look at something else. How many words do you think you say in any given day. It just so happens that the University of Arizona studied this and came up with the number of about 16,000 words per person. And despite well-publicized "studies" to the contrary, this 8 year survey using voice-activated recorders on hundreds of college students showed that men and women are about equal in how much they talk.

16,000 words. My goodness that's a lot of words. In a week, if we could somehow harness that power to put sentences together and lay it out on the computer screen, we'd have a 112,000 manuscript.


Hmmm... so if I (a) tweet less and write more and (b) shut up and write, I should be able to pump out novels at the rate of one or more a week.




Thanks for reading. Off to not tweet or talk... yeah, that's gonna happen.





  1. Fascinating. So interesting : )
    I think my husband would say I say too many words a day!
    I am tweeting this brilliant post right this second.

  2. we just choose not to...so true man...its our responsiblity how we choose to use words...i wonder too if it is daunting to people as well the large task but when you break it up into bite sizes...


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