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.