The Need to Get Off on Tangents

I can't seem to commit to writing well-thought-out full blog pieces, journal pieces, or any other pieces of a decent length. I've become addicted to Twitter and the 5-second release of creative juices it allows. I no longer feel the need to couch a pithy phrase or astute observation in the cushions of an entire, legitimate article of writing-- I can just splurt a single sentence out in 140 characters or less all over the face of the internet and get the release (and sometimes the validation) I crave.

This is ruining my writing skills.

It used to be that when I'd think of something particularly clever or insightful, I'd write it down in my journal or a notebook, so I could hang on to it and use it later in a piece of writing. These little nuggets of what I thought were snarky brilliance gave me a supply of clever thought to draw upon for writing and sometimes conversation. Now however, as soon as I think of anything even remotely clever, I can't wait to blow my wad all over Twitter. And once a phrase, statement, or idea is out there, it's out there. Even without the megalomaniacal delusion that anyone actually reads my Tweets, as soon as an idea leaves my mind and goes out there into the (not-so) real world, I stop mulling on it, editing it, or keeping it handy on the tip of my brain for later use.
I'd feel like a turd re-using a clever tweet in a later blog post, or in conversation, so those tidbits are just gone... used up.

All this has led me to the idea that Twitter is an electronic form of creativity-masturbation. You can get your rocks off quickly, but the process is devoid of a great deal of effort and ultimately, much less satisfying than the real thing.

I know that many of you would say that Twitter is no substitute for proper blogging or proper writing-- and you're absolutely right. It's just that the obscene amount of knee-jerk self-gratification in which I wallow on Twitter seems to be robbing me of the inclination and creative reserves necessary to write anything substantial.

Pictured above: The Doo doo Doodler


  1. George said,

    Kinda seems like the difference between tantric sex and beating off too much.

    Not that I know what either one of those is like...

    on October 13, 2008 at 3:20 PM