Twitter; Worth the Work?

The Non-Writer’s Guide to a Writer’s World: (Part One) Twitter

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Twitter is a fantastic platform, in my opinion, and one that many people don’t seem to understand. I’m often met with blank stares from my non-writer friends (who are also incidentally not on Twitter) when they learn I’m on Twitter, “What do you do on there? Isn’t it just a waste of time?” they all ask.

Most writers I’ve met, on the other hand, know what it’s all about. It’s almost considered a sin not to be on Twitter. They’re quick to ask me my handle (username) and to pull out their phones to search for me. I do the same.

So for those curious, here’s a quick guide to the wonderful world of Twitter from a writer’s perspective:

As a disclaimer, however, I must admit I have no idea what ‘normal’ people (non-writers and those without businesses) do on Twitter. I can’t imagine what they’d Tweet about (but I will investigate) mostly because I’m always at a loss about what to Tweet when I’m not writing (which, more often than not, leads to me Tweeting about not writing). 

“What is Twitter?”

Twitter is a social media network wherein you can send out 140 character messages known as ‘Tweets’ to those subscribed to you (or in Twitter terms, those ‘following’ you) and, by extension, the internet. According to Twitter’s website, a ‘Tweet’ is ‘an expression of a moment or idea’.

“What do you Tweet about?”

Personally it depends on my day but in one word: writing. But that’s expected, after all I call myself a writer, do I not?

To expand on the answer above: I tweet when I’m writing and about my writing, what I’m reading and how I’m finding it, articles or posts that interest me and my everyday frustrations (to show I’m human as well as to vent a little).

There’s a real sense of community with all the writers on Twitter; it helps to know you’re not alone in your anxieties or your frustrations and to find others who are, at that moment, in the same boat as you.

“Why bother?”

You build friendships, connections, an audience, a presence and a community, one you can’t find anywhere else. And you learn how to write more concisely—140 characters isn’t a lot.

You shouldn’t, however, join just for the things stated above. I know social media is perceived to be very important in this day and age and there’s a humongous pressure to join all the social media sites, but at the end of the day Twitter is supposed to be a fun way to interact ‘in the moment’. If it’s a chore, or you think it will be, put some more thought into it—could the time you’re going to spend torturing yourself on Twitter be time better spent writing?

And that brings us the final question; “Is Twitter worth it?” 

Yes, but only if you make it so.

Through Twitter you have the potential to connect to thousands of writers, readers, publishers, editors and thinkers, people you might not otherwise be exposed to but in the end it’s still something you have to work for.

I love Twitter; through it I’ve met some amazing people and received daily encouragement to write. I quite honestly don’t think I’d still be writing today if I hadn’t joined Twitter all those years ago!

Are you on Twitter? What are your thoughts? 

Janna

The wonderful photo is by Garrett Heath

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3 thoughts on “Twitter; Worth the Work?

  1. LittlePlastiCastle says:

    I second that, even six months ago if you’d told me that twitter would change my life I would have told you to go and get knotted. Am happy to have been so wrong, the network of amazing folks that i’ve met and continue to meet everyday continues astounds me. *deeeeep breath* have joined up to online events, found all manner of bargains, Beta read for complete strangers, been suggested writing music (& linked to playlists) done blog tag challenges, suggested places to submit stories and even written in weekly drabble offs with my new friends. I really am sorry that twitter get gets such a bad rap with the public perception of it being hordes of people tweeting about what they had for breakfast or the particulars of their bowel movements. It does have it’s drawbacks like all social networking sites but with a deft use of the block/mute buttons all that disappears.
    Nice post , forgive my rambling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jannakaixer says:

      I’m the same – if you’d told me 2 years ago how much Twitter would mean to me today, and how much it’s helped me as a writer, I would have burst out laughing and left. Twitter opens a lot of doors for us writers; as you said you’ve joined in on many events you may (otherwise) have known about and found some amazing people. Same here! It really does have an awful reputation with the general public and I was very nervous about joining it because of what I’d been told and what I saw (this was before I learnt how to use hashtags like #amwriting to find writers).

      Thank you and thanks for commenting! I love rambling (and consequently ramble a lot) so it’s all forgiven.

      Janna

      Liked by 1 person

  2. AbsentElemental says:

    I love Twitter. While I’ve been blogging/writing off and on for nearly 10 years now, I didn’t begin to take things seriously until 2010. That came, in part, thanks to the experiences I had on Twitter interacting with other writers. It’s an invaluable communication and news-reading tool for sure, but it also provided me with great creative inspiration and motivation.

    Like

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