Bye bye birdie! Why I've deleted my Twitter account

Plus, my monthly adventures in writing update, and Trek vs. Wars!

Bye bye birdie! Why I've deleted my Twitter account

Usually, the first email of the month is my Adventures in Writing roundup, but in all honesty, the last 30 days have largely involved hammering the keyboard (two issues of Star Wars: The High Republic, issue three of Union Jack The Ripper and a DC superhero short) interspersed by meetings about hammering the keyboard, which hardly makes for scintillating copy (although there was a road trip for me and George Mann where we went to all kinds of interesting places and saw some interesting sights!)

The 2024 tally has gone up, though: 

TV series proposal: 1
Comic series proposal: 2
Comic pages written: 194

Still, not a lot more I can talk about, so I'll jump straight to a question asked by subscriber Paul Osworth via my AMA form:

Why have you deleted your Twitter account?

Paul, you’re right. I have deleted my Twitter account. I actually mothballed it months and months ago - October last year, I think? But, in the last week or so, I finally hit delete! 

Why? Well, I originally shuttered the account because I wasn’t comfortable with the choices the new owner of Twitter / X was making or the views he was sharing. 

Then, there was the engagement factor. I had over 25k followers at the time I deleted the account, but the engagement had dropped through the floor, barely anyone seeing my posts.

Finally, there was the time-sinkery!

(Is time-sinkery a word? It is now!)

I could lose hours scrolling. Hours and hours. Not posting largely broke that habit, but I still checked in occasionally. When I did, I can't say it was an enjoyable experience because I would immediately start doomscrolling or looking at culture war nonsense that would send me into a spiral. It was like picking a scab. I knew I shouldn't keep going there, but I couldn’t help myself. Pick, pick, pick! Deleting the account meant I couldn’t return to the same old sinkholes as the app needs you to sign in to read or search. Problem solved! 

I’ve also found that cutting back on Twitter has removed my urge to spend time on social media in general. I’m on both Threads and Bluesky, but forget to check them for days at end. I’m still fairly active on Instagram, but that pretty much scratches what little remains of my social media itch. Even then, I’m trying not to spend as much time checking the app, so much so that most days I activate Freedom on my phone mid-afternoon to block the ‘gram until the next morning. 

The result is that, instead of reaching for social media, I’m reading a lot more, whether that’s books, magazines or newsletters. I’m also trying to ‘single screen’ as much as possible. If I’m watching TV, I don’t want to be checking my phone every five minutes. Same with books. Most of the time, I try not to even have my phone in the same room if I can help it. 

I also use Freedom to shut me out of my work email after a certain time every day for the same reason, hitting block usually around 6 or 7pm, (lasting until 8am the following morning, so I can’t check it first thing when I wake up!) Boundaries are important!)

I loved Twitter, making real connections on the network, and adored the community that built up around the High Republic, but everything has a time, and for me, the time for Twitter has passed.

But I do have time for another question...

Trek vs Wars

Subscriber Harvey Harmer asks:

What's your favourite Star Wars ship and Star Trek ships? And who would win in a fight between them?

This is difficult.  Not when it comes to Trek, that answer is simple - the refitted Enterprise from the movies, still my Star Trek era even after all this time. But Star Wars? Star Wars is hard. I mean, there’s the Falcon of course, but I think I love the Ghost more, mainly because it reminds me of watching Rebels with my kids. But in Star Wars, ships also include starfighters and when I think Star Wars, I think TIE fighters, specifically Vader’s Advanced x1. 

But how would the x1 cope with the NCC-1701? Badly, I would think, unless Vader himself was at the controls and then his mastery of the Force could play merry hell with Enterprise’s systems, enough to stretch Mr. Scott's miracle-working anyway!

What does everyone else think? Enterprise vs. TIE Advanced… who would win? 

👍 Stuff I enjoyed and think you will too!

It’s been a while since I recommended a book, but this weekend, I finished Fearless by M.W. Craven, who has made the jump from his Washington Poe series of Cumbrian crime novels to US-based thrillers.

Fearless introduces an intriguing new hero in the shape of Ben Koenig, a former US Marshall who cannot experience fear due to a freak brain injury. There’s a lot here for Jack Reacher fans, but I couldn’t help but notice the influence of a certain British spy. Maybe it was just me, but Fearless gave me the same buzz as reading a Bond novel with its overconfident villain, vicious henchmen, remote industrial base, and a stoic hero with very specific tastes in food and drink!  

Fingers crossed this turns into a series. 

And while I'm in recommendation mode the Guardian's new podcast series about the AI revolution, Black Box, has been both fascinating and chilling in equal measures, although there is more than just fearmongering at play here as Michael Safi looks for the human connection in our AI present and future. Have a listen and let me know what you think!

‎Black Box on Apple Podcasts
‎News · 2024

That's all from me this week. Don't forget to check out the books I have coming out this month, including the introduction of some brand-new characters (and the return of some old favourites too!)

Until next time, look after yourself and each other.