Could I have written 3 additional novels last year instead of tweeting?

This morning, I noticed that I sent my 19,000th tweet, which is honestly an absurd number when I think about it. Nineteen thousand tweets, in just over a year on Twitter? Seriously? What the hell have I been blabbering (and probably annoying people) about?

How much time have I spent “writing” on Twitter that perhaps could have been used more wisely? Let’s break it down (for my own rationalization, of course).

• I first became “active” on Twitter in January 2011; call it 14 months ago.

• According to the Oxford University Press, the average tweet is 14.98 words (call it 15).

• According to Publisher’s Weekly, the average (median, actually) length of a novel is around 65,000 words.

• I’ll estimate that 20% of my tweets are RTs, not original content.


19,000 tweets x 80% (original tweets) = 15,200 tweets

15,200 x 15 (average word count of tweet) = 228,000 words

228,000 / 65,000 (median novel length) = 3.5 novels

Therefore, I’ve come to the conclusion* that I could have written three and a half additional novels in the 14 months I’ve been tweeting, by simply replacing tweets with sentences in a story.

I’ll never tweet again. Right after this one. Oh, and this one. And of course the kitteh one. And…


* OK, it’s not really a conclusion…just a bizarre comparison I thought of before my coffee hit.


  1. Tim Barzyk - March 28, 2012 10:12 am

    You know you like it…
    Mark my words: someday, “The Best Tweets of All Time” series will be published, and you’ll be glad you spent all those hours expressing yourself in 140 characters or less.

    • shayfabbro - March 28, 2012 11:59 am

      We should totally start on that book…right after I check my G+ and Twitter

      • Tim Barzyk - March 28, 2012 12:59 pm

        Ha! Yeah, polish ’em up! There will be one on writing tweets, one on humor tweets, one on science tweets! It’ll be great. What else would be a good one?

    • shayfabbro - March 28, 2012 1:09 pm

      We could do snarky tweets also! 😀 I like the science ones, as long as we can add some Star Trek or perhaps Dr. Who in there somewhere…

      • Tim Barzyk - March 29, 2012 8:47 am

        Snarky would definitely be a best seller!

  2. shayfabbro - March 28, 2012 11:58 am

    Psshhtt! I never tweet or FB or any of that…*sneaks off to check Twitter, FB, Pinterest, groups*. I am totally disciplined when it comes to writing. *types 3 messages to FB groups, checks gmail, sends 3 tweets, RTs 5 posts, pins totally geeky Dr. Who stuff*. You just gotta make yourself FOCUS on the book ya know? *googles Hunger Games and how to get Harry Potter on Kindle, notices a few more notifications on Twitter and chat message that pops up on FB*

    See? Just be more like me and you’ll go far! 😀

  3. Jessica Marcarelli (@jmarcarelli) - March 30, 2012 1:15 am

    Oh my goodness. Can I say that I could have written this? Now I can’t stop counting my tweets….and FB posts…and blogs…and blog comments…and forum posts…gaaahhh!

    Visions of Other Worlds


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