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Saturday, 5 November 2011

What Twitter Tells Us About Writers

From now on, the Greek letter psi (below) will be at the head of any posts originating from my psychology brain.

Among the accounts I follow on Twitter are a good number of writers, some already successful and others on their way to publication. Keeping track of what they all appear to be saying, doing, feeling, thinking, enjoying and dreading makes really interesting reading. It also reassures me that I should continue to call myself a writer, as I identify so much with the common trends.

Here are ten threads which crop up time and time again, and if you're a writer (at any level), it would be great to know if you recognise a number of these.

1   A true passion for writing. Those in full time writing don't contemplate any other career,
     while others are finding time to write and are hoping eventually to 'give up the day job'.

2   There are sometimes lulls in the creative flow, but these are rarely 'wasted'. Rather, they 
     are used for a different creative activity or to polish off jobs from the 'to do list'.

3   As much of the work of writing is done in the mind, writers find it hard to switch off at
     night. They may take ages to get to sleep, or wake in the night with an important idea or
     a solution for a work in progress. (If this applies, so might my earlier post about sleep!)

4   Editing is seen as a greater task than the original draft. While editing, writers often take a
     short break to tweet about their efforts and problems with it, and this usually elicits not 
     only sympathy but also encouragement and an invitation to keep everyone updated. This
     is hugely supportive, and gratefully received.

5  Even the most experienced and successful writers appear occasionally to suffer anxiety 
    or self-doubt before an important launch or talk. I think this reflects a felt need to'write
    more and write better'. This kind of urge seems more common in creative people.

6  I may get kicked for this one, but a trend is for women writers to reveal their feelings 
    and uncertainties about writing more readily than do the men.

7  Euphoria quite rightly goes with publication or launch, but may be followed by a slump in
    creativity - though the slump is well tolerated and doesn't last long.

8  Champagne or sparkling wine ...

9   A great sense of humour.

10  Most successful writers have partners who are extremely supportive. Excellent!

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