Tweet On

twitter-logo-1Once upon a time, writing was really a very solitary activity. Writers would hole up in a room by themselves, channel their inner muse (and hope that she showed up), and tap away on their typewriter (or – GASP – word processor) until a finished manuscript managed to produce itself. This was before the time of the internet, of course. Certainly before Twitter.

Now writers spend half their time chatting with other writers on Twitter about the difficulties of writing.

And that’s okay.

(What? You thought I was about to get preachy, no?)

Sure, Twitter can be a major distraction, but it’s also a tremendous source of encouragement. I’ve learned more about the writing process, the fourteen different stages of going from writer to published author (Okay, you got me – I picked that number at random. It may not actually be fourteen.), and the sheer determination (in addition to talent) needed to keep going on those days when it seems like the only thing you’re good at is pressing the backspace key as many times as you hit all the other keys combined.

The writing community on Twitter is an overwhelmingly positive source of support and encouragement, and provides an endless supply of knowledge from those writers who are one, two, or ten steps ahead of you in the writing journey.

I can’t lie. Shamefully, when I first joined Twitter, my intent was to stalk. I wan’t online to interact. I just wanted to learn. Putting my own sentiments out there into the infinite space of the web was not high on my list of things to do. (Ha! Says the lady who is now blogging…) Besides, what knowledge could I possibly impart onto others?

Guess what? I was wrong. (Really, someone take a screen grab of that… My husband will want to frame it.) Seriously, though, even though I feel like I have little to share with emerging writers, the fact is, I still have encouragement. And the longer I’ve been involved with the online writing community, the more info I have to share.

One of the best ways to get involved and to befriend other writers is to enter online writing contests, contests like #PitMad, #PitchMadness, #PitchWars, and #QueryKombat.  (There are lots more, but you get the point!) Most of the time, the outcome of these contests will leave you crying in despair, wondering if you’re ever going to make it. But the object of writing contests isn’t to “make it.” It’s to encourage interaction and fine tune your craft. To learn.

And it works. The evidence is in the dozens of writers who see an uptick in interest in their work after entering contest after contest. Contests aren’t a measure of your worth as a writer. (Or, for that matter, as a human being!) They are a measure of your skill as a writer, your potential to construct a query that will grab an agent’s attention, and your ability to sell yourself and your work in a simple elevator pitch (one preferably without the “Uh’s” and “Um’s”).

So the next time you find yourself on Twitter and you suspect you might be stalling (because, admit it, you’re stumped on that one scene), give yourself a free pass to continue tweeting. It’ll make you a better writer.

And if it doesn’t?

Well, you’ll have new friends, and that’s always a win.

8 thoughts on “Tweet On

  1. I’m not a writer but I san say that this also applies to bloggers. I never realized that interacting with the community would play such a large role in the growth of a blog! Being an introvert – like yourself – I was not too happy that constantly talking to others seemed to be the direction it was going. But now that’s kind of my favourite part of it all!! Forces us to be social, no matter how big of a tantrum we throw lol

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  2. I do try to tweet but sometimes (actually all the time let’s be honest), I feel like a little lost thing in the middle of a crowded show of some famous band that I never listened to and while everyone is singing I am just there, smiling and pretending I am not out of place. Well, you got it hahahahaha
    I guess I feel too awkward to actually make conversation.
    But it’s good to know some of those tags! I will try cheking them out!
    (Though I need to admit I’m very good at the stalking part)

    Like

    1. Oh my goodness! That was me back in the beginning of tweeting, too. The writing community has really been *so* welcoming, though. It’s wonderful! I hope you’ll participate in some of those contests soon, and even if you stalk a while longer – welcome anyway! It’s good to have another writing friend! Some of the most encouraging writers I’ve been following are Michelle Hauck (@Michelle4Laughs), Brenda Drake (@BrendaDrake), and Heather Cashman (@HeatherCashman). They are full of great advice and encouragement!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! It’s good to talk to more writers!
        I guess I am having some problem too because english is not my first language, so I always feel like an impostor, but I hope I can soon begin to interact more with the writing community!
        And I just followed your recommendations! (and followed you too)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome post! I agree social media has made writing much less lonely, though I often find myself getting distracted and it has a negative affect on my sense of accomplishment. I feel much better about myself after a solid day of writing rather than a solid day of socializing on twitter. I do think social media is invaluable no matter how distracting it is.

    Liked by 1 person

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