Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Coming Soon...

A new book by Aaron Goldman

My Life Is Interesting Dammit!
A Tweet-o-biography


Tweet-o-Biography







A Tweet-o-What?


Yes, indeed, I'm working on a Twitter autobiography -- a Tweet-o-biography, if you will. My hope is that compiling tweets from random -- and not-so-random -- events, observations, and general musings throughout my life will not bore the hell out of readers like so many people's "status updates" do.

Let's just hope Twitter doesn't trademark (and enforce) the word "Tweet" and send me back to the drawing board.

Tweet-o-Why?

I've always wanted to write a book. If you couldn't tell by my 15-ish blogs, I love to write. I just never found the right combination of topic and time to cobble together anything more than 1,000 word-bylines or the occasional 4,000 word blog post and 80-page RFP response.

For Topical Application Only

As far as topic goes, I can tell you that, when it came to writing a book, I never thought I'd write anything remotely autobiographical. The closest thing I've done to writing about my life is ghost-writing my daughter Eliara's blog.

Most of my writing revolves around my day-job in digital marketing. Some feeds my URL-aholism or scratches my rhyming itch. And all of my writing is infused with (what I think is) a healthy twang of punny sarcasm. I'm sure what results in my Tweet-o-biography will combine all of the above.

What really pushed me over the edge to move forward on this project was a book I recently read -- Daddy Needs a Drink by Robert Wilder. It's a great book but, with all due respect to the author, I couldn't help but think every couple chapters, "I could've written this!"

At dinner with my wife one night -- I must've been about half-way thru the book at the time -- I shared that sentiment and asked if she thought my life was interesting enough to have "book potential." The answer, of course, was "no" but that didn't deter me. In less than 30 minutes, I came up with some 20-odd memories -- scribbled on the placemat at the restaurant -- that would surely make for an interesting read.

Then I hit the phase that I'm sure every would-be autobiographical author goes through -- dread over sharing intimate stories from one's life for fear of embarrassing one's self (which I could surely get over) and one's family and friends (which I don't think I -- or they -- ever could). But, maybe just maybe, if I struck the right balance of censorship and embellishment, I'd be able to get away with it -- right, James Frey?

That's how I got to thinking about microblogging my way through a book. What I love about Twitter is that it's lowered our standards for things like spelling, grammar, even fact-checking because it's all under the guise of "Hey, it's just a quick 140 characters!"

Methinks I can use this to my advantage both in terms of Frey-ing up my book a bit and covering my ass with friends and relatives that might be offended or embarrassed by something I write. Come on, guys, lighten up... it's just a tweet!

Another thing I love about Twitter (ok, not really) is how it makes everyone think that somehow every little thing that happens to them is unique and worthy of broadcasting to the world. It's as if everyone on Twitter -- and Facebook, for that matter -- is screaming, "My life is interesting, dammit!"

Needless to say, I'm ready for the challenge of proving that mine really is.

No Time Like the Present

In terms of time -- that other major barrier I've always had (or imagined) around publishing a book -- what really appeals to me about a Tweetobiography (spelling without the dashes for SEO purposes) is that writing a book one tweet at a time makes it digestible both for me as the writer to crank out as well as (again, hopefully) for the reader to rip through.

As a chronic Type-F, it's enough of a struggle to find time to read my email, much less an entire book. And the same goes for the audience my Tweet-o-biography will (hopefully -- ok, I'll stop including that "pretending to be humble" caveat now) resonate with.

This book is for the kind of folks (like me), that enjoy Seth Godin's publishing style -- fast and furious. In fact, I do have to give Godin a hat tip for inspiring this endeavor. His book Small is the New Big, a collection of his blog posts, has sat next to my toilet for years continually reminding me of the power of a good compilation -- not to mention, the almighty #ToiletTweet.

I should also point out that another influence here is David Sedaris. I just love the way he tells stories and is not afraid of to poke fun at himself. If Godin and Sedaris sat down together to write a book in 140 character Tourette's-like spurts, I'd like to think it would be this one.

Now, the hard part will be knowing when my Tweet-o-biography is done. I suppose I'll just draw a line in the sand and say I'll publish it by this time next year or when I hit 1,000 tweets, whichever comes first.

Tweets-Ahoy

I just set up an account for @Tweetobiography and will post every now and then when inspiration (or memory) strikes. You can also follow along on the left rail of this site with my last 20 tweets. Can't imagine that my tweets will read chronologically and tell the story so I reserve the right to edit when it comes time to cull the book together -- may also need to add some italics in the book version to get my puns across.

I can also see myself needing to delete and MRT (modified retweet) every now and then to tighten things up. Will try to do so transparently, though, and keep whole tweets intact as much as possible. So bear with me if you see near-identical tweets come thru simultaneously time and again.

In true Twitter fashion, I hope my Tweet-o-biography will spark some conversation. In fact, I can see including @replies and tweets with hashtag #Tweetobiography in the book. Perhaps, you may even be inspired to try and "optimize" yourself into my book through an offline interaction Truman Show-style.

So help me a Twitta out, willya? I can't make my life interesting all by myself!

Update: Subscribe to be notified when the book is published.

Update #2: This project is on hold indefinitely while I work on a book that actually has a chance of getting published.

1 comment:

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