Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Survival Wednesdays - Twitter

My husband doesn't understand my Twitter fascination. He likes FaceBook and reading Blogs, but not Twitter. He thinks it's just a way to update your friends on what you ate for dinner.  The fact is, Twitter can be one of the best ways to grow as writer.

I'm not talking about working on brevity with its 140 character limit. I'm talking about connecting with other writers and industry blogs to keep abreast of whats going on in the publishing world.

You see, a many writers will Tweet things that are extremely helpful to you as a writer that you may not come across on your own. In neat little bits, you can get information on helpful articles, upcoming contests and conferences, new releases, even things that bug you don't make those mistakes.  People Tweet about blogfest you can join or critique circles.

And if you don't want to "Follow" a ba-zillion people, you can follow someone's "List." That way you can stay abreast of what's going on by glancing at what people on that list are talking about...its easy, manageable chunks of information.

The idea of what at RT or OH or Via in a Twitter post is can be confusing and a little intimidating.  For a great downloadable pamphlet by a truly funny guy, you should visit Brent Ozar's Blog. He explains everything from how to manage your account to how to reply...its a great step-by-step guide for the Twitter newbie.

Just know that people who regularly Tweet about writing often pass on some really great tidbits of information. I don't have the time to peruse all the Writer's Digest and Publisher's Weekly issues that come across my desk. But I do have a few seconds to scan the posts and click on an interesting link.

I encourage you to take a look at what's out there. You might be surprised. For instance, this post over at Burrowers, Books & Balderdash, first came to my attention as a ReTweet.  It's about why your first chapter is even more important in the Kindle Age. The blog post is both fascinating and instructive. Now that's something I can use.

What do you think? Is Twitter too much of a time waster for you? Do you find it helpful or frivolous? Let me know what you think.

Until next time...Go Write!


Justine Dell said...

It's not a tool for me to learn things, no. It's another one of my procrastion tools. ;-) But I love it.


Roland D. Yeomans said...

I am a man of high hopes and low tech. I fear I am like your husband. Twitter just seems a time-drainer ... at least for me. I'm glad it works for you. Thanks for the link to the blog post. Have a great Wednesday, Roland

Elena Solodow said...

Thanks for the links! I have a Twitter, but don't really use it. Starting a blog was hard enough, but I know I'll have to dive in at some point...

G3Texas said...

The other commentators are inspiring to me. Just knowing that others are challenged to get started. Justine used the "p" word, Elena says she doesn't use Twitter (thus I presume does not market well.) My dilemma is one of self-confidence. How does one break through?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm on there, but really haven't put it to good use yet.

Hart Johnson said...

HA! I had no idea that even got tweeted and I'm a Burrower! (thanks for the link share!) I am a woeful Twit on Twitter... I do it... I share blogs, but I need a tutorial on how to sort the stuff I care about from the chatter and 'inspirational quotes'

Jamie (Mithril Wisdom) said...

I was extremely apprehensive about Twitter first, since I considered it an extension of Facebook and its endless pointlessness. however, since using it I've found it a great way to get in touch with authors and publishers, as well as get some great tips from people in the industry. for writing/blogging and for the fantasy genre, I'd take Twitter any day!