When I first started my Twitter account in August of last year I didn’t really understand what it was all about. Being somewhat verbose I found it difficult to express myself within the 140 character limit that Twitter allows, and I felt rather as if I was shouting into an empty cave with only the echoes of my own voice to keep me company.
Then I discovered the hashtag #amwriting and realised that there was a vast writing community on Twitter who actually speak to one another. When you get beyond the incessant self-promotion and pleas to follow, follow, follow and buy, buy, buy, what you actually find are people just like you, sitting at their computer, sipping on their tenth cup of coffee, trying to create something out of nothing.
I started to interact with a few of these people, and began making some online friends. I created a list for them so that I could keep an eye on their tweets. I made a decision to start following other #amwriting writers and to do my best to get more people talking to one another. Slowly but surely people started following me back. I started to get excited about what was happening.
I don’t remember making a decision about how I would use Twitter as a writer. My posts are very much an extension of myself. They mainly contain wisdom, thoughts, ideas and prompts that help me in the writing process just as much as anyone else. I suppose I’m a community builder and writing enthusiast who likes nothing better than to see that spark of creative energy in others.
When I reached the one thousand follower mark I decided to plan my posts to go out throughout the day. I use Post Planner for this and it has really helped me think about what I am posting, when, and how often. This then gives me time to get down to the epic novel I’m attempting, and to write the occasional blog post.
I made a decision from the get-go that I would follow back pretty much anyone. My only exceptions are girls touting for business and highly offensive accounts that I simply don’t want to look at. I’ve also left my PMs open for now for anyone I am following. If things ever got out of hand that would have change, but right now I’m enjoying the dialogue with other writers and the sense of community that is building there. I don’t however follow on Facebook, Instagram and or any other social media platform, nor do I buy from someone, agree to review their books etc, on first message. I equate that to introducing someone to my parents on a first date. It feels all wrong, so please don’t do it! Get to know me first…
This week, my wonderful tutor from my recent writing retreat, Chrissie Hall, became my 10,000th follower. It’s lovely that this ended up being someone I have actually met, but it would have been just as exciting if it was a new online writing buddy. I now have four lists I manage, and have created a new prompt “Attention all Writers” to get people sharing about their writing experiences. From their replies I have been able to utilise the new Twitter tool called “Moments,” and am really enjoying the responses.
A number of us have also recently rallied around the hashtag #WriteOn as we are challenging one another to finish one piece of work by the end of the year. All fellow procrastinators and starters of multiple unfinished pieces are welcome to join in.
I have absolutely no idea where things will go from here but I am certainly enjoying the journey. If you are a writer on Twitter and use the #amwriting hashtag, feel free to give me a shout out. If you are new to Twitter and have no clue where to start, feel free to drop me a line and I’d be glad to show you the ropes.
7 thoughts on “A Writer On Twitter”
Hi Olivia, your post makes so much sense. You have filled in some of the gaps. I’m a fledgling tweeter exploring how to post effectively. My goal is to drive it and not let it control me. Thank you.
My pleasure. I’m still learning every day how Twitter can best be utilised but thought it would be good to share what I have discovered so far. Glad you found it helpful. Liv
The constant, “hi, buy my book” is taxing. Personally speaking, I prefer the interaction over the trading post mentality.
Yes, I have a project in the latter stages of publishing, but when the time comes I WILL NOT be another desperate writer begging you to buy my trash. Having a genuine presence like yours will build solid platform, one brick at a time.
Very good and inspiring post.
Thanks Rick, appreciate the encouragement. Just out of interest, what are you working on right now?
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I always give away far too much, I can’t help myself.
I wrote a story about a group of high school kids that inadvertently awaken a witch who was burnt at the stake.
Kyle is a 17 year old who learns that he wasn’t there by accident. It’s a coming of age supernatural thriller/horror, but my amazing editor calls it a supernatural romance in disguise, and I don’t think she’s lying. The whole story revolves around finding a way to put her back in the grave and keeping her there.
In my mind it is amazing, I hope I did it justice when putting it on the page. It’s still in the editor’s possession, but I should have it back soon.
My WIP is something altogether different, too early to tell 🙂
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If it wasn’t for the fact that I have an overactive imagination and can’t read horror without it giving me nightmares I would love that story and buy it. You definitely have some great story ideas. I shall look forward to hearing about your current WIP and wish you all the best with the other one.
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Reblogged this on bohemiotx and commented:
Salute to Twitter and its #amwriting community.