I thought it might be an interesting diversion to show you the creative process. The author stuff that goes on behind the curtain. This is also known as “I got nothing.”
For today we’ll consider the creation of a tweet, an art form limited to 140 characters or less.
The process begins with the humble germination of an idea. There’s nothing quite like that flash of inspiration that goes off like the proverbial lightbulb over one’s head. It may even be prompted by physical stimuli, such as something cold and squishy between one’s toes. Whatever it takes because the tweet is the thing!
Whatever the source, capture that sublime moment of invention and write it down. At this point do not worry about form or brevity.
After taking the first load of cat vomit to the trash I can never find the rest of it, even though I know that squishy spot is somewhere out there in the carpet.
Not too bad for an initial effort. Our composition window says this is 161 characters which is way too long. We’ll have to trim it down. For this phase I usually remove all instances of the word “the.” That’s a real space saver!
We also have to be careful. Does this tweet communicate the story we want to tell? Is anything unclear? Are we getting across the ideas as we originally intended? Are we being deliberately obtuse so as to ensure sure we’re the only one who gets it? We have to keep these thoughts in mind as we shape and craft the tweet.
Taking first load of cat vomit to trash I can never find the rest of it, even though I know that squishy spot is somewhere out there in the carpet.
The word “after” that started things off was really irrelevant. It’s gone along with an extraneous “the.” Now it’s 147 characters long. We’re getting there but we’ve got a bit more to go.
Other key edit possibilities include removal of all narcissistic references of self like “I” and “me” and “my.” These often comprise up to 95% of my tweets. I’m not sure why.
Took first load of cat vomit to trash, never found the rest of it, even though I know that squishy spot is somewhere in the carpet.
Also, changing tense can often be a character saver. “Taking” uses a whopping six slots. Change that to “took,” however, and it only consumes four. That’s a 33% improvement.
After every edit comes a recount. 131 characters. Ah! Victory! At this point we could justifiably rest on our laurels and call it a day. But now, since we’ve been so successful, we actually have a little room to play with. Let’s get creative and sprinkle a hashtag on top.
Also, without fail, always remove every instance of the word “that,” a word which has absolutely no purpose and should be stricken from the English language. Never allow this fluff word to spoil your tweets.
Took first load of cat vomit to trash, never found the rest of it, even though I know squishy spot is still somewhere in the carpet. #puddle
140 characters exactly. There’s something about a 140-character tweet that excites me. I’m not sure why.
So, that’s it. Here’s the final product in all it’s glory. It garnered exactly zero favorites and zero retweets, the usual outcome of my efforts. My work here is done. Twitter is where my thoughts go to die.