The first draft of this essay was 140 characters or less

From time to time I sit in front of a computer wanting to write, and nothing comes of the urge. Writing in a browser can be very hard work since every other open browser tab wants you to read, not write. You could easily spend hours clicking and not ever utter anything more complex than “like” or “favorite”.

The one place where writer’s block never seems to be a problem is within Twitter, which for better or worse has been the home of 21,158 of my most pithy observations. Because the Twitter writing environment is so spare, it’s relatively easy to produce something or react to something in a way that doesn’t require a fully formed idea or any of the other agonies that accompany longer format writing.

Here is a recipe for writing more in this blog. Don’t worry about how much you tweet, because you are treating those tweets as the short form of your work. When the muse is silent, go back to your own tweets and see which ones of them deserve to be longer. Even the stereotypical “eating a sandwich” tweet can be stretched into 200 words if you want, by turning that throwaway observation into a recipe. Almost anything worth visiting in 140 characters is worth revisiting in longer form; take advantage of the short form as a stockpile of ideas to pull from when it’s time to write longer.

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