Tweets I Could Have Tweeted
Tweets I Could Have Tweeted While I was at the Leighton Artists Colony Writer at Banff Centre for the Arts & Creativity in Canada, Except That I Quit Social Media Cold Turkey for the Purpose of My Writing Residency (from a human with anger, anxiety, energy, solitude, loneliness, panic, and procrastination problems)

Saturday 5/26:

  • Word count: ~ 1400 words ?
  • It’s incredible how much time not looking at social media saves. For real/no joke. I have loads of time right now. #socialmediacleanse #nosocialmediaonresidency

Sunday 5/27:

  • Clarity has opened up to me. Now I know what Zadie Smith was talking about when she said that you should write as though an enemy were reading your work. #becritical
  • Shit is that a stroke, or just altitude sickness? I’d better make a green tea and clear the clout from my brain.
  • Punit on my many questions and doubts re: writing my novel up to the standard that it needs to be: “If you put in the time, the right things will happen.” - #stuffmyhusbandsays
  • Word count: ~3200 words (including character profile which is 500 words, so 2600 words of ms writing today, 3200 total)

Monday 5/28:

  • Who called me? Who called meeee???? #theres2missedcallsonmydeskphoneinthecabin
  • Banff: the *only* place to go for a writer’s residency
  • I *f***in hate this” - 15-mile bike ride up a hill
  • I’m going to die at 1 in the morning mountain time. #sunstroke #exhaustion #sunburn #coolingcloths #panic #teethchattering #fear
  • Word count: ~1700 words

Tuesday 5/29:

  • Does Linkedin count as social media? #procrastination
  • My arms are still burning from the fucking 15-mile uphill bike ride without sunblock yesterday afternoon from which I thought I had sunstroke at 1am last night. #fuck
  • 6:45pm: #lonelyinstudio
  • 7:35pm: #armsarestillsunburntandburning
  • Word count: ~2700 words
  • Lots of mental addition #mathproblems--I can get ⅓ to 50% of the novel finished by the time we leave!
  • What is the cost to change a plane ticket on Air Canada #extendmystay?
  • How much of my meds do I have? Oh, I could actually stay for 3+ weeks and extend my stay by one week!
  • Not sure if I should extend my stay. It’s kind of expensive. I could just take a writing class in Boston instead. Yeah.

Wednesday 5/30:

  • It took me two hours to look over the first 25 pages and make any last-minute edits before sending to editor. It took one fricking year to make these edits, and I wrote this material in the last four days.
  • “You? Afraid?” #sarcasm #stuffmyhusbandsays #thejigisup #i’mafraidofeverything
  • WTF I’m getting over 60 texts from EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY OUT HERE in my cabin in the woods, but I can’t actually read them! #Canada #roamifyouwantto #somethingisup
  • Andddd….my brother is having a girl. #aunt
  • Word count: exactly 3375 words

Thursday 5/31:

  • Sent a congratulatory email (text messages to non-Apple phones don’t work here in the wilderness of Canada) to my brother on knowing the sex of his second child, due late this year.
  • Moving quickly this morning...wrote 1,000 words in one hour, back to my usual pace. #withspeed
  • #youbelligerentfuck #reactionstoreadingthenews #mangomussolini
  • Now playing on my Spotify: Rufus Wainwright singing in French.
  • After I share a scene with my husband featuring naked ladies and a branding ceremony (I’ve been reading too much about initiation rites in cults), Punit says, “Um, what happened? You have an outline, right?” #stuffmyhusbandsays
  • Word count: ~5200 words

Friday 6/1:

  • Starting point for today’s word count: 19,353 words (don’t have blue notepad with me—it’s at the studio)
  • My brother didn’t respond to my congratulatory email….he’s kind of a jerk sometimes. (I’m mitigating language because he’s about to have another child)
  • Maybe I’m being a jerk for expecting a response from my brother, a person with a child who is busy.
  • Yeah, but maybe not.
  • Word count: ~2685 words

Saturday 6/2:

  • Punit took me on a punishing hike AGAIN. I am so fucking pissed. This was up to Sulphur Mountain. Then we took the Gondola #afraidofheights
  • #wtf
  • I’ve been typing away for the past week, but now it seems time to slow down and OUTLINE. #dontknowwherei’mgoingwiththisstoryexactly
  • I’m 22,000 words in: officially in the *muddle* #nospellingmistakehere
  • Some major changes & updates made to the outline today. Going in some new directions. A mistake or a genius update? Hard to say. Word count: ~1150 words (writing *about* the ms rather than actual pages)

Sunday 6/3:

  • Nervously sipping green tea hoping that it won’t put me out of whack today like it did on Friday.
  • Also sipping green tea nervously because I’m not quite sure where this novel is heading right now.
  • Alright, it’s Mozart, deep focus time. No more rocking out to Sia, Eminem, Rae Sremmurd or the Weeknd. 3,000 words today: #letsgo.
  • Called both those bitches…. No answer. #sistas
  • #period day 1...not the best feeling when you need as much iron as you can get for the altitude #fatigue
  • Word count: 3,000+ words

Monday 6/4:

  • Sitting and staring at the computer screen at 3:50pm. This fucking novel isn’t going to write itself. #leggo
  • ...Even though it practically wrote itself last week.
  • #muddle
  • Hard core on the rag today, day two #period #womenstroubles #irondeficiency #altitude #concern
  • Took an afternoon nap. Hubby said I was snoring. #tired.
  • A tourist group of some kind is wandering in the woods outside my cabin, and I’m blasting sexual music from The Weeknd and working on my hero’s journey plot point structure as a kind of mountain picture on my white board in the cabin. #appropriate
  • If Gladwyne, Pennsylvania (a possible setting for a part of my novel) was not named Gladwyne until 1891 or thereabouts, would it have still been named Gladwyne if a witch had taken over the American Revolution? #thoughtsivebeenthinking
  • I didn’t drink any caffeine today, and yet still my hands are shaking as though from nervousness or jitters. #why? #sweatyhandstoo
  • My period is on full and consistent blast today, as is Pearl Jam’s “10” album on Spotify. #evenflowindeed
  • Now Playing: The Beatles’ “Twist and Shout.” #next #don’twanttohearjohnlennonscreamingandshouting #zenmoments
  • My feet smell like popcorn.
  • 9pm ON.THE.DOT. Word count: 3000 words

Tuesday 6/5:

  • Hard core period day: staying in bed. #altitude #anemia #period = #extremefatigue
  • I don’t even know what to say (there is nothing to say in this miasma of shame in which I exist when I have panic attacks/think I have altitude sickness/have anemia from having two periods in a month) except that iron supplements work for anemia & lethargy and what you *think* is altitude sickness.
  • Took a cab to and from the hospital to get checked out for extreme fatigue, anemia, possible altitude sickness and found out that going to the ER costs a minimum of 900 Canadian dollars, so we took the taxi right back up the hill back to the Banff Centre.
  • 400 words on the dot. Better than nothing.

Wednesday 6/6:

  • Wanting so badly to chill. Don’t know where to go with this novel rn. Watched clips from the Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 8am instead of writing.... Sloowwwww motion.
  • Memory of the day: “You’re too slow.” - Giovanni
  • Listening to Rihanna’s cover of Tame Impala’s “New Person, Same Old Mistakes” or something like that. #yourewelcomerihanna #thankyoutameimpala
  • #headache
  • Word count: ~2,000 words (~1,000 ms and 1,000 outlining)

Thursday 6/7:

  • Second to last day at Banff: In the studio by 8:30am today, I found a stained, yellow Post-it note folded and tucked in between the logs of the bathroom wall. It read:
    • “If I am not for myself, who will be for me. If I am not for myself alone, What am I/ If not now, when?”
  • I needed to hear this. Truer words have never been said. It felt like the note was made just for me.
  • My secret is that I’m lonely when I’m alone in the studio. I didn’t expect to feel that way, but I do.
  • Spent the afternoon rewriting large sections of text in the first person and copying and pasting old sections of the novel into the new doc, which sounds lazy, except that it isn’t because it’s necessary work to be done and there’s a lot of good stuff there.
  • Word count: ~6,400 words *easy shit

Friday 6/8:

  • Byeeeeee
  • I contemplated extending my stay to three weeks to get more progress on the novel, but in the midst of that planning, almost died of loneliness, panic, and phantom altitude-sickness in addition to quitting social media and finding out I’ll be an aunt to a baby girl. Hey, I wrote more than 30,000 words (100 pages) in two weeks in Banff and ended up appreciating the time here, but wanting to get the f*** home. 36,000+ words of my MS is not too shabby in my book--pun intended. #ignorethemath #kthanksbye
About the Author

Kirkley Mehndiratta

Kirkley Mehndiratta earned a BA in English and Cinema Studies from Oberlin College and studied film production at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts as an undergraduate. She has an MA in English (with a focus in American Literature and Critical Theory) from Temple University. She recently completed her first writer's residency at Leighton Artists Colony of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Canada. Kirkley’s work has been published in Turk's Head Review's best pieces of 2016, 34th Parallel, and in Extract(s). Currently, she is at work revising a novel of historical fantasy and a memoir about bipolar disorder and family. She teaches writing at the undergraduate level in Boston.

Read more work by Kirkley Mehndiratta.