Yesterday I was farting around on Twitter because I was supposed to be writing and I am the master of avoidance. Anyway, I follow a lot of writers and I'm always amazed at the awesome advice I come across in those 140 character bursts.
For example, I read this post by Elizabeth Vail on Heroes and Heartbreakers site about painful pasts and tortured heroines. It was really helpful and since I didn't follow the website, I would never have come across it if it wasn't linked by @elizabethscraig who I find to be one of the most informative Twitterers in the industry. You should check out her Mystery Writing is Murder blog too.
I said all of this at a party I attended last night. Some of the people knew I was an author and asked me about getting started. Every time I said that it was important to connect with other writers via Twitter or Blogs I got the raised brow.
Isn't that a time waster? I was asked. Well...sometimes. But mostly it is not. Mostly...its an incredible asset to a writer.
Why? Because I connect with other people serious about their work. I network and hear industry news tidbits I find helpful information like what press is looking for submissions at the moment. I get funny anectdotes and hear whats going on with whom...Its a giant cocktail party/golf game with my peers.
Business people do it. Doctors do it. Politicians do it. Teachers, not so much, but they hang out in the lounge and eat junk food and gossip, which is the same. (My husband is a teacher so I have it on good authority.)
There are a lot of reasons to hang out virtually. I've learned so much from writers further in their journey than I. I've been reminded of why I write by people just starting out. I've made friends, realized how cool Steampunk is, and arranged to hang out at conferences.
None of that is a time waster. Its an investment in your career as an author. So get out there and follow and post and Tweet. You just might like it. :)
Until next time...Go Write!