Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Should you enter Twitterland?

I'm a known addict of Twitter. Maybe I should try to sound professional and say my reasons for using it are related to work or writing, but I'd be twisting the truth.

I first went on Twitter because it was mentioned in a writers' email loop and it sounded as a good way to meet other writers, both published and not published. I don't know any English ones in Spain and the long journey to publication can get pretty lonely. My first aim was met in only a few days and I have been meeting people related to the writing and book world ever since. You get advice, courage, and understanding from other writers and authors who've suffered the same frustrations and fears. In fact, I've been pleasantly surprised by how approachable many of the successful authors are. They are more than willing to share their experiences and advice.

I've also met people who aren't related to the writing world but I have still learnt from them or they've simply made me laugh. Somehow you tend to find people you have something in common with and this makes you feel part of a friendly community.

However, I have seen people stalk and pester other people to achieve their career objectives and it makes me feel anxious for their victims. For instance, Carole Blake, a well-known literary agent, often has to remind her followers that you do not pitch your books on Twitter unless you're ready to risk being blocked if you do. On the other hand, there are job opportunities announced on Twitter, but the advertisers are asking to be "pitched" or will indicate an email to do it correctly, and I suggest you do follow their guidelines.

But all in all, my real reason to visit Twitter day after day is the fun and the need to cry out to someone when I'm alone at my desk. Working at home has many advantages but there are times when you really miss having someone to talk to, even if it's only to complain about the insurance sellers who call day after day to drill into your head all the catastrophes that are looming ahead.


  1. I joined Twitter after attending a talk on how to use the internet to improve your chances of getting published. We were encouraged to try both Twitter and blogging. Joining Twitter was brilliant. I've met lots of lovely writers (including you, of course!) and I've found out about writing opportunities by following some of the many links that float across the corner of my screen each day. My only criticism is that if I'm not careful I spend more time tweeting about writing than actually writing!

  2. I love Twitter! But I'm keeping my mitts off it right now as I'm working VERY HARD on my novel and can't afford to be distracted. That deadline is looming too large in the window ...

  3. I joined twitter last year and despite living in the Canary Isles, I have met some wonderful people. All have inspired me, made me laugh, smile a lot and sometimes even cry. And reading lovely Blogs like this are also part of the twitter community, I love it!

  4. Rosalind, you're right, I've found so many interesting blogs on how to write through Twitter, it has definitely helped understand some of the mysteries in writing.

    Jane, so that's why you're keeping so quiet. Good luck with your deadline Superwoman.

    Pauline, how lucky to live in the Canary Islands and thank you so much for such a nice comment.

  5. I love Twitter! It can get pretty lonely, sitting at home, day after day, writing away and whatever the time of day - or night- there's usually someone around to chat to on Twitter. It keeps me sane-ish!

    It's also a great resource, lots of links to great blogs and great articles with tips for writers. It's fast becoming my go-to source for news, too.

  6. I forgot to add that Nicola Morgan ( has done a series of posts for writers on how to use twitter. It's like twitter for beginners, but interesting for regulars too.

  7. Kath, I think you and I will end up together in one of the twitter rehab centres.

  8. My friend convinced me to make a Twitter account a year and a half ago. I thought it was silly at first and tweeted something maybe a couple times a week. I didn't really get into it until I began blogging and discovered such an amazing writing community! Now I really like it. It's a terrific source for chatting with other writers and hearing about helpful articles and blog posts.

    Just so you know, the "Follow Me" Twitter link on your sidebar doesn't work!

  9. I was afraid if I started Tweeting I'd get addicted, so I resisted it for ages. And it turns out I was right. My name's Kate, and I'm a Twitterholic.

  10. Twitter saved my sanity when I started working at home after being used to a busy office. Through Sarah I've met some lovely writer friends and it always amazes me how approachable people are.

    Great post Sarah.

    J x

  11. Laura, Kate, Jude, it's great to talk to you on Twitter.


Recent posts