Vasilios Theodorakis – An Online Author is a digital repository of all my written work (in text and podcast formats)…

June 24, 2012

The Poet’s Online Dumbbell

Filed under: General — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 10:57 am

I’ve been writing poetry since 1983, so I figure that makes me a poet of sorts or at least gives me some credibility in terms of talking about poetry. My writing includes some good, bad and ugly verse but every poem has been an exercise in refining the skills of my craft.

Sadly, there are few online exercises (that I’d recommend) in order to help a budding poet with their poetry skills. One unexpected surprise however, is a unintentional piece of wordsmith “exercise equipment” called Twitter.

Poetry has always been about saying the most with the least amount of words and if you can do this eloquently, you’re on the road to success. Twitter, which limits your tweet/post to 140 characters, forces you to be very exact in your word selection.

I opened a Twitter Account on the 1st February 2012 in order to promote my own work, never realising, how useful it was as an exercise tool for poetry. And by this, I don’t mean using Twitter to write actual poetry like Haiku, etc. The simple act of forcing one to think about whether a word is necessary or not, or whether there’s a better word to convey one’s meaning is a fundamental skill that every poet needs to master and maintain.

Over 360 tweets later, and even though I haven’t used my Twitter account as intended, the act of tweeting has kept my word minimalist skills sharp and my enthusiasm for tackling more verse high.

In regards to Twitter verses Facebook, it’s no secret that I don’t think much of an organisation that openly collates dossiers on its users and makes money by selling that information. Even if I didn’t have this grievance, I can’t see the likes of Facebook ever doing anything as constructive in terms of wordsmith skills as Twitter does with its 140 character limitation. ;)

Cheers – Vasilios Theodorakis – June 2012

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