I didn't understand all the fuss about Twitter when it first became popular. Everyone started jumping on the bandwagon, and I honestly thought it was ridiculous. Why go to a site just to see what my friends are up to? Didn't facebook give you that information and a lot more?
I think I 'tweeted' (yes, every time I use the word tweet, the chorus of Rockin' Robin immediately imbeds itself in my brain) once, when I gave it a try, back in June '09. Something along the lines of "working on my novel". Because it was around the time I came up with my vision of Project Jane and was so excited about it that I was ready to shout it from whatever figurative mountaintop I could find. That was it. I couldn't remember (be bothered) to check it afterward. My account sat there, unused, for those few months.
Then I started this blog which lead me (through searching for other writer-based blogs) to find INKYGIRL's Writer's Guide to Twitter. It pretty much rocked my world. Especially the list for 10 Ways Twitter Can Help Writers. I quickly realized I had a LOT to learn.
There are other great articles out there about this as well, just do a Google search and you'll find them. The ways twitter can enhance my writing ability and opportunities that have stuck out to me so far are these:
- There are things called hashtags - they all start with the number sign (#) in front of them and they connect you to other people who are interested in the same thing that you are. For instance, I always search for #amwriting (click to see what it does for you). It brings up blurbs from all sorts of other writers, who struggle with the SAME things that I do. Some are further ahead of me in the writing process, so it's like a sneak preview of what I get to look forward to! Some are working on/through the same things that I am - so knowing that there are other people out there really leaves me with a sense of camaraderie. As distant as the other writers may specifically be from me, it's a great support group!
- The ability to "chat" with other writers at any time of day really helps to keep me on track.
- Through hashtags and other searches, you can also stay uptodate about and make contacts within the publishing industry! I'm a few months away from being ready to send out any queries (letters) to agents or publishers yet, but to get on the radar ahead of time could end up being very, very beneficial.
Sometimes when I think I've written enough for the moment, I'll see what other writers are up to on twitter. 9 times out of 10 they're pushing themselves to keep writing and setting high word count goals for themselves. It's inspiring - and has led me to work past my set daily goals as well.
Even if you're not a writer - I would be willing to bet that there are tweeting groups out there for your trade as well... Give it a whirl! Sites like JustTweetIt.com give you directories to find twitterers in your industry.
And don't forget, you should definitely