Day 10? Without Twitter.

Oops – I haven’t been very good about keeping up to date with this blog, have I?

Which is mainly because …. I haven’t been thinking about Twitter very much at all.

Oh sure, there have been many times I’ve gone to log on …. there’s been an election, don’t you know? … but the urge has passed almost as quickly as it has come. It’s the funny things I miss; there was a BBC article about the fact that #hotsoundguy was trending after a fit bloke was filmed setting up Theresa May’s lectern. I was dying to go online and to look at the banter and to tweet about how appallingly sexist it all is. And to see the #dogsatpollingbooths thread. And to see the fall out about Theresa May leaving and the gallery of hopefuls jostling to take her place. I bet there were some really choice tweets.

I suppose one good thing is that instead of tweeting about the election, I signed up to be a polling clerk and spent from 6.30am to 10.30pm on Thursday in a freezing, draughty church hall, handing out ballot papers to voters. It was actually enormous fun – not least because I was allocated a polling station about ten minutes walk from where I live and I knew many of the voters. The banter matched anything on Twitter.

One thing I do very genuinely miss about Twitter is helping dear friends to celebrate their publication days. Last Thursday saw not one, but two, Sister Scribes celebrating book launches and I was very sorry not be able to tweet and RT them from the rooftops.  I hope the real life gifts went some way to make up for it and many congratulations to Susanna Bavin with A Respectable Woman and Kitty Wilson with Summer Love from the Cornish Village School series. Love you both and I hope they both fly!!

Day Seven Without Twitter.

‘I don’t understand why you would blog about not being on Twitter’, said a friend this weekend.

At the time, I’d had a couple of shandies and didn’t think anything of it.

Later, when I’d sobered up, I wondered what she’d meant. She didn’t understand why it would be difficult to leave Twitter for a month? She didn’t get why I would choose to write about my experiences? Or why I would choose to share the links on Facebook?

I don’t know.

Maybe you have to both be on Twitter and suspect that you’re spending far more much time and energy on it to understand the first. It’s seductive, it sucks you in,  leads you down rabbit holes and before you know it, an hour or more has gone by.  Or maybe it’s having a slightly addictive personality … in the same way that I can’t leave a bar of chocolate unfinished. I don’t drink, smoke or gamble, but maybe I am a Twitter-Addict. It can’t just be me … or maybe it is.

Anyone else feel the same?

As for the second, I’m a writer and I like to write about things. I like to write about my thoughts and experiences and if I can occasionally entertain, inform or educate, then so  much the better. Some things may resonate with people, most probably won’t. I don’t expect anyone to read everything  – or even anything – I write. If you don’t fancy it, don’t read it.

Back to the withdrawal symptoms … and I’m pleased to say the weekend was a doozie. I was out and about –  on the archaeological dig, at a party, at a family do  – and barely gave Twitter a thought. In fact, it was so far from my mind that I forgot to post. Today the urge came across me at the most random moment.  I saw that poor Nigel Farage had a milkshake thrown over him and I really wanted to see what Twitter made of that.

How random is that?!

Anyway, instead of giving in to my urge to read about Brexit, I signed up to work in a polling station on Thursday.

Onwards and upwards and thanks for reading!

 

 

Day Four Without Twitter …

…. and the craving is strong.

Reports of my having conquered my addiction are, sadly, premature.

I’ve been working on the novel all day today and, even though the words are flowing and I’m making good progress, every time I have a break, I really, really, REALLY want to log on to Twitter.

I want to connect and shoot the breeze with writerly chums.

I want to see what trending and what I should be getting outraged about!

I want to promote this post.

And I want to share a tweet from my daughter’s school which shows her inflating an artery as part of a cardiology workshop (she sent me a photo of it, in case you’re wondering.)

But I shall resist.

I will order some plants from the nursery to replace the box in our garden which is being munched by pretty green caterpillars.

I will order a birthday present for a friend.

And I will write 500 more words.

TGIF!!

Day Three Without Twitter.

Today I had a wonderful day with relatives who have flown over to the UK for a memorial service for a most-loved uncle at the weekend. It will be a real gathering of the clans.

I didn’t think about Twitter at all.

But then again, I didn’t do any writing either!

Methinks there may be a connection between the two.

xx

Day Two Without Twitter

Do you remember those days when we used to come into school and discuss the programmes we had watched the night before? I loved those long conversations about the latest episode of The Six Million Dollar Man or Dallas before school started: (I know: I’m showing my age here). And I love Twitter because it lets me do the same thing. Nowadays there is so much to watch, I’ve have rarely seen the same programmes as my friends (Fly Girl and Killing Eve excepted).  However, there’s always a Twitter buddy ready to discuss the OA or whatever weird and wonderful thing I’m currently watching. And  – even better –  Twitter lets you discuss programmes while you are watching them … honestly, I love the British sense of humour and the commentary is often better than the programme!

Confession time. I love the Eurovision Song Contest (please don’t judge me) and last year I howled with laughter as the savage and hilarious tweets unfolded . Like, proper tears rolling down my face/ sliding off the sofa kind of laughter. So when I saw the semi finals were on last night – and I don’t even know how I knew this without Twitter! – I felt a pang of regret that there wouldn’t be a repeat performance this year. But I settled down to watch it without my phone and then a lovely thing happened. DD actually came to join me and I’d like to think that our banter and random comments actually put Twitter to shame. And there is nothing, nothing so precious as laughing til you cry with a teenager who is slipping through your fingers.

Random thoughts … but happy days!!

Day One Without Twitter.

Bloody hell, this is hard.

I’ve been writing on and off all day, and I can’t count the number of times I’ve absentmindedly tried to click the Twitter link. It’s like a Pavlovian response. Open the lap top, open Twitter.

It’s the ‘news’ I miss the most. I want to find out who won the #Nibbies last night, but Google still brings up the shortlists. I want to see what and who is on @RNAtweets #TuesNews this week. I want to see if Jane Ayres has brought out a new ‘episode’ of ‘Much Bickering’ on her blog. I know I could find out most of these things other ways. but just one little click and all that information would be at my fingertips.

And, is anyone talking behind my back???!!!

On the plus side, the very lovely Literary Lovelies have moved onto Facebook Messenger for me. Isn’t that wonderful! I really hadn’t expected that at all, but here we all in a new home. Thank you so much Vanessa for suggesting and Catherine for organising.

And, another plus. I have got MASSES done. I’ve written two thousand words of one WIP and edited ten pages of another.  I’ve even done the hoovering, been for a walk and visited a friend for coffee.

Superwoman, that’s me.

Onwards and upwards.

Only 30 days to go!

 

Life without Twitter.

I’ve left Twitter,

Just for a month … but at the moment, that feels like a lifetime.

No shot of dopamine at a new notification. No getting outraged over the ‘news’ (especially selected for me). No shooting my mouth off about Brexit. No nattering with my lovely writing friends.

Two things prompted this self-confessed Twitter addict to go cold-turkey.

Firstly, my  daughter asked my a question and, when I answered, she said ‘that’s your non-listening voice.’ I laughed, but then I thought about it. She was absolutely right. I had been distracted and I hadn’t really been listening. And, of course, parents can’t be on hand to talk to their offspring day and night but at that moment I had been composing a tweet about how proud I was to have changed the Dyson filter all by myself while hubbie is away.  Which is more important? Hearing about my 17 year old’s exam or shouting into the ether. I actually feel a little embarrassed writing this.

The other reason is the effect of Twitter on my mental health. Writing is a perilous industry and even though writers are generally the loveliest and most supportive of people, sometimes it can get to you.  Maybe it will help to step away while I am feeling vulnerable and down.

So, never being to one to do things by half, I’ve deactivated my account.

Be good while I’m away and see you in a month!

Oh, actually, there’s one more thing about leaving Twitter.

I won’t be able to publicise this post.

Bugger!

Getting It Written

 

I’m knee deep into a new WIP.
It’s something quite different for me – a story set in the East End of London during the First World War – and I’m really excited about it. The details are for another time – another post – but for now my question is:

WHY DO I INSIST ON TRYING TO GET IT RIGHT BEFORE I GET IT WRITTEN?!

After writing (nearly) two novels, you’d think I’d know by now, wouldn’t you? Everyone talks about it. It’s all over Twitter. ‘Don’t get it right, get it written.’ And it’s not as if I didn’t learn the hard way the first time around; ages and ages spent faffing around on the first three chapters -crafting, wordsmithing, sobbing – only for said same three chapters barely even making the final cut.
This time I’ve even got a plan. I’ll never be a true plotter, but I have a five page synopsis type thing to guide the way – so I haven’t even got the excuse that I don’t know what comes next. Yet, here I am again; farting around the with the first three chapters, fretting that I haven’t got to the heart of the matter, that it all sounds really plonky … that it’s all a bit crap really.
Luckily, I have my friends to remind me that it’s meant to be all a bit crap – it’s a shitty first draft for goodness sake  – and I’m meant to feel that it’s among the worst things ever written. And at least I’ve caught myself this time, before I’ve wasted days and weeks …
Onwards and upwards.
Chapter Four here I come.
No more dithering and procrastinating!
At least I’m not the type of person to get side-tracked by dashing off the odd blog post …

New Year, New Me?

A very happy new year to you all!

(Well, it’s still January. Just.)

I hope 2019 has started off well for you. This year I didn’t make any resolutions. I usually do, but this year I actively chose not to. They never work – well, they don’t for me, anyway. By the end of January, the diet de jour – started so enthusiastically and oh-so-religiously – has usually ground to a sticky (and sweet!) halt. The ambitious new gym routine has often seamlessly morphed into a series of chiropractic appointments after one too many badly-executed burpees. And  I am left feeling broke, dispirited, a failure. Who needs that?  But there’s another reason for not making any resolutions. All those promises of a ‘new year, new you’. Well, this year, I decided I didn’t actually want to be a ‘new me’. I am quite happy being the current me, with all my flaws and failures and inconsistencies. There was a moment, two hours into the new year, when hubbie and returned from an evening with good friends. 19 year son was just back from clubbing and 16 year old daughter was hosting a gathering  – or was it a motive? – for a maximum of seven friends  – although I must have been seeing double after all the booze. 😉 We all shared a cuppa and I realised that I am utterly blessed and exactly where I want to be.

(I did have a little thought, though, that maybe if I didn’t make any resolutions, reverse psychology would kick in and I would effortlessly lose a stone and become lithe and supple. To date, I must report, it hasn’t happened.)

Anyway, all this doesn’t mean that I don’t have goals and aims for 2019 and this particularly applies to my writing. I am determined to give 100% to any opportunities that come my way this year and to keep the dream alive. One opportunity that I have been really really happy to embrace is to join with four of my writing buddies, Jane Cable, Kitty Wilson, Susanna Bavin and Cass Crafton to form Sister Scribes.  We have positioned ourselves as women writers about women writing. We will be appearing on the Frost Website every week and we’ve just got our own twitter handle.  Please do come and take a look.us