Being Mindful of Twitter Power

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There are always two (or more) ways to frame something, reminds Ellen Langer. Remembering that is part of being mindful.

I've heard people frame Twitter as a mindless pursuit. But... may I suggest a different perspective?

Last year I wrote a post called 10 Reasons to Write (Or Not) a Book About Writing. Someone I didn't know, called @fictwriter, tweeted the post. Not long after, Jane Friedman, who was working for Writer's Digest at the time, clicked through the tweet link and left this comment on the post...

Found your post through Twitter (@ficwriter). I work at Writer's Digest, and understand the dilemma! But if you decide you want to do it, we'd love to see your proposal.

Jane's words stuck with me, even though I categorically decided I would *not* write a book about writing. In fact, I was too tired to think about writing anything at all, having already put myself to the task of book-writing several times.

Still, when I went to a picnic this June and got my title handed to me, I remembered Jane's words. It made me think the project was not just fun but also viable.

So again I turned to Twitter. One Saturday morning I asked my friends, "If I was, say, writing a book on writing, what would you want included?"

Their answers helped me shape the book. A lot.

Today the power of Twitter has come full circle to Jane. Remembering her comment so long ago, I mentioned that I had actually done the book, largely thanks to her comment. As a result, she read the book, and today I am tweeting her post, which excerpts the book that Twitter brought to life.

Twitter a mindless pursuit? Not for me. :)


Care to join us at The High Calling for a bookclub discussion of Mindfulness, by Ellen Langer?

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Blogger Lisa notes... said...

I love how this came full circle. When Ellen Langer wrote Mindfulness, she probably couldn't have even imagined Twitter. ha. Yet here it is as another example to prove her point.

And I WILL be getting your book. So glad you were mindful.

6:32 PM  
Blogger Deborah Henry said...

This is a wonderful example of being mindful, even when online. Or especially online. Through Facebook, I have begun relationships that have grown organically and have led to my writing DIARY OF A MAD NOVELIST: Journey Toward Publication in the Digital Age. There are many stories of a similar type in this journal I created to fulfill an MFA thesis requirement. Just wonderful to hear a new form of communicating is actually, if mindful, authentic and valuable.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Jane Friedman said...

Yay! Will be tweeting this. ;)

6:54 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

What a neat story. I wonder if there is any research yet on twitter as a memory aid? Just sayin'...

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Landis Vance said...

Funny yet about circles and more circles. I received Jane Friedman's tweet about this and then saw your website and saw that we are working in the same area only I am aiming my work toward spiritual practice to maintain spiritual wellness when faced with cancer or similar debilitating diagnoses. So I am now a follower!

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Ruth said...

I'm relatively new to Twitter & this is not the first time I've said this: Jane Friedman's tweets are my own personal version of grad school. I'm so grateful each time I follow one of her links. (Thanks, Jane.) & Thank you L.L. Barkat for writing a book I can't wait to get my eyes on.

1:07 PM  
Blogger Megan Willome said...

Me neither! I love hearing more of the story of how "Rumors" came to be.

5:04 PM  
Blogger limen said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Susana Short said...

This would make a wonderful Twitter Story — how twitter has helped a writer write their book. I will nominate it to @TwitterStories myself.


5:39 PM  

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