I consider myself a relative newbie to the Twitterverse, so it amuses me that friends and fellow writers ask me for Twitter advice. The #1 question I get is whether Twitter is worth the time investment—that is, what the heck do I get out of it?
So I figured I’d share my answer with you all, lovely readers and Tweeters. Feel free to chime in with thoughts on what Twitter gives to you!
- Connection. Twitter connects me with other writers, providing me with a virtual water cooler where we chat, encourage each other, and make friends.
- Networking. I guess this is a subset of #1, but it feels like its own perk because I would participate in Twitter even if it weren’t theoretically good for marketing and networking. It’s just a bonus that it *is* good for marketing and networking.
- Getting out of a funk. This is another subset of #1, but merits its own mention. Ever have one of those days when the kids are grumbling, the cat throws up, the dog gets into the garbage, you got a nasty email, and your mood is NOT conducive to writing? Interacting with friends and fellow writers on Twitter is the best way I know to get re-grounded, maybe because interacting with others drags me out of my head and back into the world at large. Whatever the reason, it works and has saved me many a nonproductive morning!
- Craft information. Twitter is now my #1 source for blog recommendations. Writers such as @elizabethcraig, @4KidLit and @inkyelbows regularly pass on links to blot posts that help me grow as a writer.
- Market information. Threads such as #pubtip and #writetip (and probably others I don’t yet know about—did I mention I’m a relative newbie?) are filled with market news and updates.
- Accountability. When I post my day’s writing goal to the #writegoal or #amwriting threads, you better believe I’m motivated to meet it! People will be checking up on me :-)!
- Entertainment. Okay, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that sometimes Twitter is just plain fun. After all, it was a Twitter friend who introduced me to Damn You, Autocorrect! (Warning: these are milk-out-your-nose funny, but some of these are rude.)
- Exposure. I’ve been blogging for years, but Twitter lets me put my blog out where people will notice it. It’s exciting and motivating to have more readers stopping by and engaging in conversation here!
- Getting help. Twitter is filled with generous folks willing to answer questions and make suggestions. It’s like having access to the hive mind :).
- Helping others. Twitter is a two-way street, and I find it just as rewarding to offer my snippets of craft advice, writing quotes, market info, and encouragement as it is to be on the receiving end.
Does Twitter make your life better? How?
PS: In case you’re a Twitter newbie or wanna-be, too, I’ll post a roundup of Twitter resources this weekend. There are some great articles on how to use Twitter by writers much more learned than I
*Me and my writing friend Wendee Holtcamp, in Surfside TX.