A Novel About Working On My Novel

Monday, July 28, 2014 - 10:42 AM

(Cory Arcangel/Penguin Books)

Cory Arcangel is an artist whose work often deals with the way we interact with technology. His latest project is a book comprised entirely of people tweeting about how they're working on their novels. You will be not at all surprised to learn that it is called Working On My Novel.

I first heard of digital artist Cory Arcangel way back in the early 2000's when he was hacking Super Mario Bros. to turn it into a cloudscape generator. Since then, he's appeared on my radar a handful of times, always working on crazy projects like this. I knew about his Working On My Novel Twitter feed for ages, but the book version will be out this Thursday.

 

There's something so uniquely satisfying about turning these tweets into a book. On the one hand, the book is a shimmering monument to procrastination and how the internet provides distractions that keep us working on things we care about. But on the other hand, some of the tweets that the Working On My Novel Twitter feed aggregates just touch on the universal agony of creating, of letting projects fall by the wayside, of disappointment. Anyone who feels that itch to create has some project that remains interminably unfinished (mine is a song about how people should unfollow PJ on Twitter. It'll be out sometime this year, I hope). Working On My Novel captures both people's capacity to brag glibly about their creative output and their grim determination to finish long dormant projects. 

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TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by Meredith Haggerty. You can subscribe to the TLDR podcast here. You can follow our blog here. I tweet @manymanywords and @tldr.

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