It’s been 7 days since I went on my Twitter hiatus, hoping to jumpstart the book-ish research process. How are things going? They’ve been…going.
My Twitter hiatus has combined with newsletter deadlines and with two trips. So while I hoped that shutting down Twitter would mean the floodgates would open for my writing and thinking, it hasn’t been so.
But I’ve noticed that I have a lot of stray thoughts that otherwise would have ended up on Twitter and died there. I write down more than 140 characters worth of an idea. I’ll write a little more, let it sit there for a bit, and maybe turn it into something. I do feel like I get to think about my writing more (even if the deadlines have kept me from actually doing some of the work).
Yes, yes, I know, I should manage my time better so that I have time to work on the book. A little every day makes a difference. I know; that’s how I managed to finish my dissertation. But right now I’m just anxious to get some work done before I leave for NYC next week, and so I’m prioritizing.
My brain feels uncomfortable prioritizing the work I’m paid to do over the creative work that I’ve been trying to focus on (and that’s how I end up procrastinating on my work with a blog post), but I pay my bills that way. Bills have to come before the creativity at the moment. So I have to find little tasks that I can do when things like this happen. I had planned this week on reading a book and discussing it here in terms of my project, but that hasn’t happened. With the amount of writing and editing I’ve had to do this week, I don’t have the energy to jump into a book and read it and analyze it. I’m trying to recognize that and move on. Sometimes it works.
Anyway, since I’m supposed to share book research progress, I’ll write about something I considered last week. I’ve been thinking about why postcards are so much popular than letter writing, both as analog media that are sent through the mail. I considered the briefness of postcards, the price point, the visual aspect…and it made me think about how postcards are kind of like status updates (or tweets, because I’ve gone on a Twitter hiatus, right?). That led me to think about postcards as analog social media. One of my writing buddies, Liz Covart, pointed me to this book, Writing on The Wall: Social Media- The First 2000 Years. I’m hoping it gets me thinking more about postcards as a way of communicating, as (analog) social media. Where am I going with that? I don’t know. But perhaps it’s time to stray away from big research plans (very academic-minded) and follow along with ideas that seem interesting at the moment.
The other big thing I’ve done for the postcard project is that I am going to use Scrivener for it. I have finally taken the plunge! (I’m also using it for blogging, as you can see in the screenshot). I usually start brainstorming in Evernote, but I’m taking Scrivener for a test drive. Just inserting the folders for future book chapters made me feel like I’d been productive. Maybe playing with Scrivener is what I’ll do when feel like I haven’t done anything book-related.
- I’m listening to this song A LOT: The Julie Ruin’s “Girls Like Us https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wmL97Ape7o&feature=kp Could it be this decade’s response to Cake’s “Short Skirt, Long Jacket?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7aDstrDMf0&feature=kp
- I’ve returned to old habits, so I’m watching the latest season of The Bachelorette. I like that Andi sometimes (sometimes!) goes for less-than-glamorous dates…they’re just like the rest of us! (Unless any of you readers have a helicopter you can use at a moment’s notice…in which case, why haven’t you told me this?!)
- I read this yesterday and felt it was an accurate portrayal of My So-Called Editorial Life: “7 secrets about editors every freelance writer should know.”
- I wrote this for Women in Higher Education: “Can Student Moms Afford Childcare? Schools Can Help”