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Writers and Twitter: Yes, it’s a Good Thing!

June 7, 2010

I owe my husband an apology. Initially when he set me up on Twitter, I was skeptical (see blog: ‘Tweetie Bird Fly Be Free’). But now that I’ve been on it for awhile, I’ve had a change of heart.

As a writer, I love it! Here’s why:

Shared Experience
I love the immediacy of Twitter’s connection, the ‘nowness’, the commonality of our experience in the same time/space continuum.

I find it very reassuring to know that right now, at this very moment, there are writers all over the world diligently pursuing their craft, tearing their hair out, staring out into space, joyfully daydreaming, and talking with their characters in their heads…

Through Twitter, I’ve learned that all writers are ‘aspiring’. Even the published ones. Everyone has a Work In Progress. Publishing is almost incidental. Writers just write. We write, write—and guess what? More writing!

And it doesn’t feel competitive at all, but positive and uplifting, like you’ve just had your writer battery charged. Everyone’s making it happen, in spite of the pitfalls, and you can too.

(So get writing).

Craft Chat
On Twitter, there is a lot of discussion re: the writing craft in the form of quotes, tips/advice, or via individual personal experience—and while you may not agree with everything said about writing, I think it’s good to engage with it: it helps you to define and refine your own vision of what the writing practice means to you.

Sometimes what shows up on Twitter can be very fortuitous . There’s a kind of Serendipity to Twitter: benefits arise seemingly ‘by chance’. Who you meet, what tweets you stumble across, it’s all ‘happenstance’. Trouble with dialogue? That day, a tweet about dialogue ‘magically’ appears…

Twitter gives good metaphorical kicks in the pants. It’s like the world-wide-web is saying: Here’s what you need, no more excuses.

(So get writing.)

Publishing Try-Out

Each Twitter is a form of self-publishing. Even if all you do is twitter ‘hi, I #amwriting’ someone can read it! (See Johanna Harness’s blog for  an excellent description of #amwriting here.).

When I first started putting tweets out there, I was quite nervous. You’d think I was auditioning for chief columnist at ‘The New Yorker’! But as with anything, your comfort level grows the more you do it. I’ve grown braver with each Tweet, even connected to other blogs via Twitter and left comments, a little sprinkling of my point of view here and there.

Each time, its been a bolster. And when someone (anyone!) has read my blog, via Twitter, it seems to affirm it even more. “Look! I’ve been read!”

Ergo, I. Am. A. Writer.

(Thanks, Twitter.)

8 comments

  1. Hi just popped in for a look (from Twitter where I am @banana_the_poet) and I LOVE your drawings!! The writing is great too of course – but I LOVE cartoons and would sacrifice a body-part for the chance to be able to do them at all – let alone to your fantastic standard.

    I’m gazing in awe as I write this comment. HOW MUCH DO I ENVY YOU YOUR TALENT? 🙂


  2. You make many good points. Like you, Marissa and I were nervous about Twitter and are just starting to find our feet. But the ability to connect and the serendipity ARE the best parts.

    Happy tweeting,

    Martina


  3. Here… via Twitter 🙂 And I have to say: I agree with every point here. Interesting that my initial approach to Twitter was very similar to yours. I wasn’t even sure what to do with it. But now, I can’t imagine not being online and sharing with other writers.


  4. I just read your blog via twitter! And I am now following you on twitter, too. I joined a couple weeks ago. I’m still not sure of why, but I’m giving it a try!


  5. Now on topic this time 😉 Twitter is a very useful and fun place to be. I agree about #amwriting also #writechat and (although I have missed it a few times as life has been rather traumatic lately) #funnybookclub is another great one. #litchat is also good – but more structured than the others so I’m not very good at it – because I get over-excited and want to chat indiscriminately. I’ve been told off there a couple of times LOL

    As long as you don’t Tweet anything offensive or overly personal (there are many who do) – it is not anything to get too self-conscious about. It is more like talking than writing – and so people are fairly forgiving. I am more active of Facebook right now and that has taken a lot of getting used to for me – Twitter is much more simple to use – but they are both brillian =t in different ways.
    🙂


  6. I too have reached you via Twitter! I have to agree 100%–Twitter has become my new favorite networking tool. It’s so easy to reach out to others in the industry, to other writers. I love blog-jumping, but it always goes back to Twitter for me now.


  7. I absolutely love twitter. While I can visit many writer’s blogs it isn’t really a true social situation. Twitter brings an immediacy to sharing thoughts and ideas and connecting with others. I love it when I manage to be up early enough for writechat, though usually it is just finishing as I’m waking up here in Australia. Need to make sure I get up earlier for it.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on twitter.


  8. All so very true!



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