Can’t wait to finish this : ) so can work on my #novel

US artist Cory Arcangel has written a ‘novel’ based on selected tweets which include the phrase “working on my novel”

novel388_0.jpg - Can't wait to finish this : ) so can work on my #novel - 6656

US artist Cory Arcangel has written a ‘novel’ based on selected tweets which include the phrase “working on my novel”…

There are a lot of novels currently in-progress if Arcangel’s collection of Twitter users’ literary amibitions is anything to go by.

Opening with the perhaps slightly misguided, “Now that I have a great domain name I can start writing on my novel”, Arcangel’s new book features another 127 tweets which each suggest that the particular would-be author is, yes, finally getting down and working on some text. Finally doing it. No distractions! Nope. Apart from Twitter.

The tweets were originally sourced via the artist’s Twitter account at @wrknonmynovel and, in book form, have been ordered into a kind of journey from optimistic beginnings through to self-flagellation and time-is-running-out cries for help.

But along the way there’s a distinct buoyed-up feeling of finally getting down to some writing, however deluded this might prove to be.

In one sense it’s a book about distraction. Many of the tweeters are keen to list (blame?) the things that are keeping them from working on their novel: films, cafes and drinking feature. (This would also have to include being on Twitter).

But it also says something about how people find the time to be creative and how they deal with this when they do. Free time, it seems, can be such a rare event that, in finding it, many feel they have to tell people about it. But as soon as they’re done hashtagging – it’s back to the book. #iamwriting.

Working On My Novel by Cory Arcangel is published by Particular Books on July 31 (£5.99). Arcangel’s site is at

  • Mark

    Seems like a cheap shot for a quick buck to me.

    Fair play to all those working on their novel, they’ve made more progress than me.

  • King Krab

    A quick Twitter search will sate your interest and save you six quid.

  • Kate

    I like the idea, it would be interesting to collate more groups of tweets and represent them in other ways such as art and design works. I think this book could also be a good motivation and support for other struggling writers.

  • Eneka

    I like the idea as well, very interesting to read and it would be great to see more tweets represented this way. I find it increasingly more difficult to read a book as there is no time or I’m just exhausted. But I would love to read this novel.

  • Honest Rob

    So he stole other’s musings and made them into a “book” without their permission?
    How does THAT work?

  • Mark Sinclair

    @Honest Rob There are three pages at the back of the book which detail the sources for each tweet (a link to the tweet is provided, along with a personal website if the tweeter requested it – which to me suggests he asked for permission and was in contact with them). In the book itself, each tweet is credited to the writer alongside a date and time.

  • Alex

    Cute idea, I thought. A collection of people hard at work reminding everyone they’re working on a book. Why do people writing a novel feel the constant need to inform everyone they know about it? I’ve written one, but I keep it to myself. It’s narcissistic to keep going on about it – perhaps what this book’s about. Social media’s outing of the ego.

  • G


    You’ve literally just informed everyone here about your novel-writing efforts.