I'm a big fan of Twitter. BIG fan. I was unsure about it when I started (who cares what I ate for breakfast or how many words I wrote today?), but once I started using it effectively, it was amazing. I can credit it with two of the biggest things in my writing life.
See? TWITTER IS AMAZING. It's like a writer's conference that never stops. Want to make friends with fellow writers? Tweet. Want to chat with agents and editors? Tweet. Want to talk with established authors? Tweet. Want amazing writing tips and advice? Tweet, tweet, tweet. Of course, it's true that no one cares about what you had for breakfast. So here are a few things I've learned that have made Twitter an awesome tool for me. (These are not the basics. If you want a quick tutorial, check out this.)
Figure out your focus. You can tweet about anything and everything. But to be a little more effective in networking, it's helpful to have a bit of a focus. For instance, I can always count on Dan Wells to share fascinating and often odd articles about science, history, or the world in general. Elizabeth Craig always links to fabulous articles about writing. So think about what you want your "brand" to be-- how do you want people to know you? And be specific. Mine could probably use some work. My focus tends to be on my writing progress, funny things from my family life, and my current nerdy exploits.
Don't be afraid to chat. Even if you don't know the person, that's okay! People tweet because they want to talk. That doesn't mean make a nuisance of yourself, but if you have something to respond, go ahead. I recently commented on a Twitter friend's tweet and ended up in a hilarious conversation about the merits of the band Hanson with several other people. It was so fun, and I became better friends with some great people.
Find some places to hang out. Hashtags aren't just for witty asides. If you tag your tweet with #amwriting, for example, you've just hopped into a water cooler kind of area. If you click on the #amwriting hashtag, you can see who all is participating, and make some new writer friends. Some other good ones are #myWANA and #writechat. There are some weekly chats for writers on Twitter, too. Here is a great list. Twitter chats are a great way to make friends, have fun conversations, and learn new things. Another favorite is #askagent.
So, my friends, are you on Twitter? Do you love it or hate it? Have you been avoiding it, or you just don't care? If you're not following me, you can find me here!
(Post topic requested by my awesome sister-in-law, Kami McArthur. She's new to the blogging world, so go say hi! Or follow her on Twitter!)