Saturday, February 19, 2011

It’s Saturday!

What website am I profiling today? Twitter. Yes, really.

It’s a great resource for writers. Of course, most of you already know that since you link to your accounts on your blog or I’ve found your blogs via your accounts. But there are some still unaware of the boon that is Twitter. I know. I can't believe it either.

First of all, it allows you to connect with other writers. In a way, it’s like an extension of your blog, which is usually a one-to-seven times a week thing. Your Twitter is short bursts of conversation where it’s easier to go back and forth. On your blog, that is usually restricted to comments or maybe email if you’ve linked those up. That type of exchange is great for some tasks—exchanging books, discussing an issue—but it’s not designed for instant communication. One could call a blog a speech with questions at the end; Twitter is more of a party where everyone gathers in groups to talk. And people there are friendly! If you need advice on a subject, you’re bound to find someone who knows about it.

Next is Tweetchat. On Twitter, one can use a hashtag (#) to signify a specific subject. For example, one popular one is #amwriting. Hashtags are also used as parts of chats (#YALitChat, #WriteChat, etc.), which are gatherings at specific times, usually monitored by a special host and with a specific subject (genres, publishing, marketing). This is my favorite part of Twitter, I admit. To see what chats there are, I suggest looking at Content Maven Meryl’s list, which is absolutely excellent (just note that the times listed are Central Standard Time; remember to adjust). When the chat you want to visit rolls around, visit and type in the hashtag. It will connect to your account and act as a kind of chat room that automatically adds the hashtag to your tweets, keeping you right in the middle of the conversation.  

Finally, there’s following. Many literary agents, agencies and publishers are also part of Twitter. You can follow them for inside information. I wouldn’t tweet book ideas at them—that will only serve to get you blocked—but paying attention to what they say can give you an edge. Maybe an agent will tweet they’re open to submissions on their website, even though it says they aren’t. Maybe a publisher will tell you what’s hot in the industry right now. The point is, it’s another learning tool, and a powerful one at that. Just be sure to block anyone who tweets at you to “Get paid to Write! Visit this Link!” They are dirty liars.


  1. I agree totally: Twitter is a great place for writers. I've got a separate account in my other professional capacity (as a tai chi instructor / bringer of woo), and that crowd is nowhere near as cool.

    You've got to love writers: we like to communicate.

    Looking forward to reading more from you as the crusade continues.

  2. Hey there fellow crusader, I'm making the rounds and to follow. I have to admit that I haven't yet gotten into Twitter. I hope to. Thank you for the information!

  3. I've been debating the whole Twitter thing. Just when I think I'm going to get around to it, I don't. One of these days I'm going to jump in and do it... Not this weekend, I don't think.

  4. I completely agree~ I've been following agents and editors for the past couple of months, and feel like I've learned a lot. Plus, you can get a feel for the personality of an agent you want to query, which is really cool :)

  5. I didn't have high hopes for Twitter when I first signed up. I thought 'what could possibly bee achieved in 140 characters?' I was so wrong. I love Twitter. It's such a great way to meet other writers, and actually converse with your favourite agents. And the tweetchats are great. Such a wealth of info.

  6. I'm slowly coming around to twitter. I only joined about 2 weeks ago. Like Sari said, i was wondering how my wandering mind could possibly say anything in 140 characters. Still struggling, but i am beginning to get it.

    Can see it being very useful

    Thanks for the post,
    go crusaders


  7. wow, and all this time I've been thinking twitter was the most ridiculous thing ever... I think I shall definately have to make one now. Thanks.

    <3 Gina Blechman (fellow crusader)

  8. Hi fellow YA crusader!

    I've found Twitter absolutely fantastic for connecting with the writing community. I honestly didn't expect to get as much out of it as I have - for example, I wouldn't have known about the crusade if it wasn't for Twitter. I wasn't aware of Tweetchat, and am looking forward to checking that out next time I participate in a Twitter chat.

  9. Yikes! I've been avoiding Twitter because it seems like just another time suck. Maybe in a year and a half when all three of my kids are in public school I'll have more time for Twitter.

    Happy Writing!

  10. I've been listed at twitter, but haven't touched my account in months....


Please validate me.