Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Twitter Schmitter - How To Remain A Reclusive Writer

You're a writer. What care you for social media like Twitter? But, its expected now by agents and publishers and so you've signed up for an account while shuddering at the thought of your inner writing sanctum being invaded.  Well fear not... I'm here to help you rid yourself of those pesky followers. With Seven Simple Steps...you too, can tank your Twitter following!

Step One: Make sure your account is locked so that no one you follow can follow you back. This keeps your Tweets confined to you and your family members -- who call if they have anything to tell you. Excellent start so far!

Step Two: Choose your name like you're trying to encrypt your identity. Don't make your Twitter handle your real name...or that of your blog. No! That's too easy for others to catch on to who you are. Make it something like H82Twt so that you remain true to your reclusive writer persona.

Step Three: Use the lines in your profile to make obscure statements and claims instead of telling people who you are and what you do. Death to all Palladins...Me like chocolate...Joss is Boss. These are all excellent ways to hide your true identity. Be creative!

Step Four: Take a strangely cropped picture of just your eyes or maybe an avatar of you as a purple dingo and use that as your profile photo. That really helps to ward off recognition. You don't want people to recognize the picture on your book or blog as that of the person they've been interacting with...no, no!

Step Five: Follow the Rule of Five...Make sure you either Tweet every five minutes or every five days. That's the magic number. This enables you to flood the feed of prospective readers and writer buddies with absolute junk...and then you disappear for days. Trust me...this works wonders!

Step Six: Ignore others. Don't retweet interesting blog posts, contests, funny articles, or anything that might be of interest to other people or help them reach others. Remember, the goal is to remain unengaged with the world at large.  Also...if someone does follow you...DO NOT FOLLOW BACK. That will just encourage them.

Step Seven: Stay away from searches!  Don't look up topics that interest you like #amwriting or #writetips. These discussions and Tweet threads will suck you in and you'll be tempted to answer someone's question, comment on their Tweet, or otherwise join in. Don't fall for it!

There are of course, many other ways to sabotage your Twitter account. Keep in mind that while these methods are effective, they are not foolproof.  

Bots will eventually follow you and it is your duty to open their direct messages about phones and pet meds and CLICK THE LINK....this spams all of your four followers!  They love that.

If I have missed anything, feel free to leave your suggestions for successful Twitter tanking in the comments. 

All kidding aside, writers can gain a lot of good from Twitter. I've heard about contests, open calls for submissions, and new agents on the block, all from Tweets. I've connected with writers going to similar conferences, been introduced to critique groups, and learned about extremely helpful blogs via Tweets. Social media can be an advantage.  The trick is balance. Make sure you leave time for your first love...writing.


Deborah Walker said...

*laughs* Good one. I'm guilty of number 6 and feel mildly anxious about it.

Christine Tyler said...

Lol. You crack me up. Useful advice--I mean, the opposite.

Anonymous said...

haha, I love this post, it's sooo true! I love twitter but I do make mistakes like you've listed (umm, #5, hello) but I hope scheduling tweets with hootsuite will help there
- andrea

Anonymous said...

There's one more thing to add to this list: hide your twitter link on your blog to make it difficult to follow you ;)
- andrea

Crystal said...

*Snort* Oh, the poor Twitter birdie!!! This cracked me right up. I am a former Twitterphobe (I knew instinctively how addictive it would be...) but after being on it a couple of months, I'm starting to have a lot of fun with it. And I'm not THAT addicted... really... (runs off to send urgent tweet)

DEZMOND said...

he he the pic is hilarious :)

Plus you can always tell your publisher that you WANT to be a mysterious and reclusive writers and that mystery will be your marketing and not hanging on the Internet :)
I personally think it's better when a writer keeps a certain distance from his/her readers ... because in that way you keep a certain illusion around your image and it helps when you're a famous person.

Laura Marcella said...

Hahaha, good one, Raquel!

Raquel Byrnes said...

Deborah - Retweeting is a great way to share interesting stuff...give it a go.

Christine - LOL! Thanks. :D

wordyliving - Hootsuite is a great idea! And the hide it on your blog is a great addition to the list.

Crystal - Hee Hee...I hear you. Twitter is fun, but intimidating at first.

Dezmond - A lot of people agree with you on that one. :)

Laura - Thanks...so good to see you again. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Those are hilarious! I've seen a few with obscure Twitter names. It's like with license plates - if only you know what it means, why bother?

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Very funny. I always wonder about the people who use a picture of just their eyes. It creeps me out.

The Golden Eagle said...

LOL. I'm not on Twitter, but should I ever join, I'll have to refer to this list. ;)

Sarah Pearson said...

I'm not on twitter either, but it doesn't stop me from reading everything about it, and I love that picture.

Just thought I'd return the visit and say hi to fellow campaigner :)

D. Ann Graham said...

Oh, my goodness -- having had the former opinion of "How much good can come out of a 15 word limit (or whatever it is)" -- I now feel like that dead bird. So, am heading over right now to get one of those Twitter account things. Especially, since I followed my very first "tweet" today and saw a fantastic and informative interview with...

Heavens, I think I actually have a "re-tweet" here, so I better save it for the appropriate spot after I sign up. On second thought, I'm going to tell everybody right now, considering how much trouble I usually have signing up for things. I heard it from Agent Wendy Lawton, that there was a great interview with Agent Rachelle Gardener over at Michael Hyatt's (Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers) site. And it was great... for any of you authors that want to head over.

Thanks for all the good tips, Raquel. So nice to have someone to follow through this dense publishing forest. Looking forward to reading PURPLE KNOT, too!

Anonymous said...

Used effectively, Twitter and other social media can be very effective for writers.

Really enjoyed this post! Irony is a truly a great tool, and you did this SO well!!
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

David Powers King said...

That just made my sides split!

Hilarious post, Raquel. I don't have twitter yet. Mostly because I haven't reached a point where I can afford the expensive unlimited texting and a nifty phone to text with. Someday, though. I'll work the budget somehow. Thanks for the entertaining advice!

Penny Zeller said...

I loved this post, Raquel. I laughed at the poor Twitter bird! I think I'll fly on over right now and tweet about this excellent post on Raquel Byrnes' blog :)

Angie Cothran said...

This is hilarious. I'm glad there is another person out there who isn't in love with twitter.

I'm excited to see you the campaign :)

Michael Offutt said...

I bought your book from Barnes & Noble yesterday for my Nook. Just wanted you to know, I have never in my life read a romance so you are the author by which I shall judge all romance books :)

NO pressure at all.

Raquel Byrnes said...

LOL! Nice, Michael...not biting my fingernails or anything.

Hope you like it. :D

Raquel Byrnes said...

Alex - license plates...that's right. That is what they remind me of.

Susan - The eye things is kinda unnerving.

Golden - Well, if you do, look me up.

Sarah - So glad to see a fellow campaigner!

D.Ann - Thanks for the great site suggestions to visit.

Ann - Thank you. I'm glad my humor came across.

David - LOL! I'm glad I could amuse. If you do join, let me know.

Penny - That is so nice of you to RT this post. Thanks!

Angie - Hello to a fellow campaigner.