full circle in the hundred acre wood

In an occurrence of true serendipity, my blog housekeeping project turned up a few pearls buried in the dust. Until now, I’ve never had a grasp on Twitter or how it might be useful to a writerly practice. Here’s the serendipity part: about halfway through my category/tag blog cleanup project (more than 10 years of messifying a big file cabinet and nearly 2000 posts), it hit me. Every few posts a sentence, or sentence fragment would jump out at me and I would think, “Damn, I could use that in a story.” Just a little glowing coal. I mused about the easiest way to keep track of these little nuggets, and boom, there it was: TWITTER. So I reactivated my account and went to town. Each time I looked at an old blog post and one of those fragments jumped out, I plucked it out, reconfigured it, and turned it into a tweet.

Huh. This has become fruitful in a couple of ways. One is a steady supply of story ideas, and the other is that some of the tweets seemed to fit into the #cnftweet Tiny Truth venue, so I labelled some of them thusly. In case you don’t know about Creative Nonfiction magazine’s Tiny Truth contest, read below:


Can you tell a true story in 140 characters (or fewer)? Think you could write one hundred CNF-worthy micro essays a day? Go for it. We dare you. There’s no limit. Simply follow Creative Nonfiction on Twitter (@cnfonline) and tag your tiny truths with the trending topic #cnftweet. That’s it. We re-tweet winners daily and republish ~20 winning tweets in every issue of Creative Nonfiction. Not sure what we’re looking for? Check out this roundtable discussion about the art of micro-essaying with some of the more prolific #cnftweet-ers.

When several of my micro-essays were selected by @cnfonline as Tiny Truths, I laughed at first, then realized I might be onto something. Don’t know yet if any of them will be published in the print edition of Creative Nonfiction, but will be tickled if one is.

Meanwhile, now I’ve got to go back and review the other half of the old posts to pluck out any shiny little bits and save them on Twitter.  Great fun, actually.

My Twitter feed is @bethwestmark. The ones selected by #cnftweets as Tiny Truths are these:





4 thoughts on “Tiny Truth Tweeting

  1. What a great use of those gems! Way to figure out how to use them, Beth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beth says:

      Thanks, Richard! Great fun.


  2. Elizabeth says:

    This is fantastic! I love reading them — some I think I even remember from when I read them on your blog? I might have to check out this “contest” and do it myself. I always have little things running through my head and have never thought to use Twitter.


    1. Beth says:

      I hope you do; we can be like an antiphonal choir! 🙂 Twitter as a “networking” tool or some dumb game of getting “followers” is a time-sucking waste, but I’m running into some other writers and poets who use it as a kind of mental bookmark, or creative starting point, and it serves nicely to provide a timeline that’s easy to review and use for expanded memoir, essays or fiction. Plus, it’s fun.


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