Why Writers Need Twitter (#duh)

 

If you’re a writer, you need to be on Twitter.

In 2017, this is a truth so universally acknowledged that even saying it out loud feels trite.

But it’s totally true. More than any other social media platform, Twitter is where writers hang out. And it makes sense; there are plenty of GIFs, pictures, and funny videos to go around on Twitter, but ultimately, it’s all about the words.

My love affair with Twitter started back in 2013. I was off all other social media at the time, but my sister kept telling me I should get on Twitter. “You’d like it,” she said. “It’s all about being funny.”

That was four years ago, before our current political moment. There is plenty on Twitter that is definitely NOT funny (i.e., straight-up terrifying) these days. Despite the disturbing headlines of the world, though, Twitter is still a place where snark, cleverness, and of-the-momentness reigns supreme. It’s also THE spot for writers, both freelancers and novelists. Let’s take a moment to explore why.

The Challenge of 140 Characters

Brevity is the soul of wit. It’s also the soul of good writing. Trying to say exactly what you want to say in 140 characters or less is a delightful, perpetual challenge to the writer. Repeated any words? Too many articles? Is there a word that’s messing up your “flow,” making the sentence a clunky mess?

I often read my tweets out loud before sending them into the world. Excessive? Perhaps. But in composing a tweet, I’m looking for a certain pleasing rhythm that I want to have in all my writing. Twitter provides constant, addictive practice.

Connecting With Other Writers

Writers are, in my experience, insanely generous people. They recognize that we’re all in this together, and they are often more than willing to lend a hand to someone seeking to learn. For example, a while back I sent a tweet to the awesome Jorden Roper, the powerhouse behind Writing Revolt. Minutes later, my notifications dinged:

 

 

How cool! Just like that I was directed to relevant, helpful information to help me grow as a freelance writer.

I also love, love, LOVE tweeting at my favorite authors. Ever finished a book and wished you could call up the author right away to tell her thank you? With Twitter, you can. When they respond with a “favorite,” my heart soars; they know I’ve read their work and was touched by it. What a great opportunity to spread a little love. (I’ll take all of those I can get.)

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Twitter is a FABULOUS place to find writing jobs. You can go about this the direct away by following tweets from job boards. My favorite is @Write_Jobs, but that’s just one of many:

There’s also much, easily Google-able info regarding how freelance writers cultivate job leads by interacting with companies, then going for the big pitch. I’m looking forward to doing this in my own biz. (I’m on Twitter all the time anyway. . .might as well).

Stay Fresh

No other social media platform is as current as Twitter. News stories appear as they are breaking. Activists, journalists, and thought leaders on Twitter are on the front-lines of raising society’s social consciousness (i.e., getting everybody “woke”). Folks on Twitter know about things a day or two before those who spend all their time on Facebook.

If you’re a writer seeking to be published in an over-crowded market, Twitter is an invaluable way to stay up on trends. What do agents want to see? What’s taboo? Which hashtag would you use to describe your book’s genre?

There are countless hashtags which aspiring authors should be following in order to stay up on the publishing scene. I’m thinking they deserve their own blog post. For now, just take my word for it: if you want to be published, you should be on Twitter.

 

We’ve only skimmed the surface of a very deep pond. If you’re not on Twitter, consider this post your over-simplified nudge from the universe–time to step to it.

Writers of all stripes–novelists, freelancers–what is your favorite way to use Twitter? Tell me in the comments!

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