Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Is this blog on?

Although I am a seasoned (but not necessarily tasteful) blogger, I still find myself tentative when I explore the other social media outlets such as my new Twitter toy. It reminds very much of when I got my first tape recorder as a kid. I was so excited about it, but the first time a microphone was turned on in front of me I froze. Then maybe I'd dip my toe into the waters and murmer a soft, "testing, one, two, three."

The problem is and always has been thinking about what I want to say. I am a much better writer when I just write. And I am much cleverer when I am not trying to be clever.

Such is life.

I follow Rainn Wilson on Twitter. He plays Dwight on the Office. I follow him not because I particularly care about what he has to say, but because his was one of the first names I recognized when I signed up for Twitter and was given a list of people to potentially follow. I am one of about 1.8 million people who follow him. I can't even imagine a fraction of that many people reading what I wrote on the spur of the moment. But so far Rainn seems unfazed by the whole thing and tweets away random posts all the time.

I bet he doesn't even think about it. I would be sweating bullets over each word and then regretting it when I hit the button to post. That is the difference between writing and tweeting. A writer traditionally crafted his or her words carefully over time, edited them, reread them, submitted them for publishing, had them rejected several times and then if the publishing gods were feeling in a particularly favorable mood, published. Bloggers and tweeters just crap out the stuff and flush it into the digital ether.

Not that there isn't some art to writing and publishing almost in the same breath. That old adage about a thousand monkeys hammering away at typewriters eventually producing the complete works of Shakespeare holds true with the blog and twitter worlds as well. True greatness can be achieved by any monkey if you place the banana bits on the right keys.

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