Friday, August 7, 2009

How Tweet It Is

It finally happened. I kept hearing talk about it. There was the column about it in Business Week. Then came the cover story in Time. And then my critique group buddy said that people came to our blog because of it.

It almost seemed like the universe was telling me to check it out. So check it out I did, and now I'm on...


I admit it. At first the world that is Twitter was pretty overwhelming. But, like the immersion approach in a new language, I quickly began to catch on. And, for a children's writer, Twitter has tons of exciting offerings.

So here's a quick list of some of the highlights of my first month on Twitter:

***As soon as I got brave and tweeted my first tweet (did I say that right?), @taralazar sent out a public greeting and invited her followers to give me a warm welcome. (Thanks Tara! :o))

***After that wonderful welcome, @CarinBerger started following me. When I checked out her bio, I saw that Carin was author of The Little Yellow Leaf, an amazing picture book that we have in our living room. I wrote to tell her what an amazing book it is and she wrote back!(Yes, I admit to hero worship when it comes to children's book authors.)

***I've been finding links to incredible kidlit blog posts. Like @ThruTheBooth and a wonderful series of posts on poetry and @halseanderson and her incredibly motivating, "Write Fifteen Minutes a Day Challenge"!

***Unfortunately I can't be at the SCBWI LA conference right now. But with Twitter, I'm getting fun and detailed updates from everyone who includes #scbwi09 in their posts-- including the wonderful official posters like @PaulaYoo.

***I get insights from editors and agents when they read through their slush piles and tweet about things we writers shouldn't be doing.

***I get wonderful poetry tweets from @KidsPoetLaureat (Mary Ann Hoberman).

***I get cool posts from a chicken! Thanks @elvispoultry!

***And I get posts from John Quincy Adams! (Yes, you read that right. John Quincy Adams. The Massachusetts historical society is posting actual diary entries.)

So, as I tweeted to one of my critique group buddies, "I think I'm starting to get the hang of this Twitter thing". But I'm sure I've still got a lot more to learn.

What do you think of Twitter? Are you on it or staying away? If you're on, can you give me any great tips? If you're not, why?


  1. I've been on Twitter for about five months, but to be honest, I'm having trouble getting "into" it. There are some very valuable tweets, but I find it hard to sift through all the drivel to find them.

    BTW, who is going to Rutgers?

  2. I've considered Twitter and know it's worthwhile. But I'm already spending more time away from my writing than I should. How much time are you spending per day on Twitter? I'd really like to know!

  3. I'm on Twitter and follow some, but have yet to Tweet myself. But you've inspired me, Brianna!

  4. While I'll never say never, I'm not tweeting. I have enough internet distractions that take me away from writing and no one needs to know what I'm doing every second of the day.

  5. I can see using Twitter for advancing your writing career, but then you need to concentrate on that and not tweet on personal stuff. There's the problem as I see it. Twitter lends itself to personal tidbits? If you're going to make a mark with thoughts about writing, I would think a blog or website would be much more useful.

  6. First I said, no I'll never start a blog, but then I did. (You're reading it now, btw.)

    Then I said, no, I don't need a LinkedIn account, and now I have one.

    Then I said, no, I don't want to be on Facebook, and now I am.

    So my answer is, no, I don't want to be on Twitter, so I guess it's just a matter of time!

  7. Hi All,

    It's great to read all your comments. I love that this is a topic that gets such differing opinions!

    Corey-- I agree with you about some difficulty finding the valuable tweets, so I am trying to get rid of the drivel. If someone is only contributing drivel to my homepage, I try to stop following them. Plus right now, there are so many fascinating posts about #scbwi09 that there are way more valuable ones than earlier.(And, unfortunately, I'm not going to Rutgers. Are you?)

    MG-- I totally identify with the time drain concern. I'm sure I'm checking on my Twitter page way too often (at least as often as I check on my email or Verla's Blue Board). Writing tweets,though, hasn't taken me much time at all. But, I don't post all that many of them. I try to post when we have a new blog post up here at The Paper Wait and when I find other great posts on other blogs. Sometimes I go several days between posting, and the most I have posted is 3 in one day, I think. Actually, it's much quicker and easier than a blog post!

    J.A.-- I'm following you now! Can't wait to read your first tweet!

    Meg-- I totally understand what you're saying about Internet distractions. That's why I'm not doing Facebook or LinkedIn or any other social networking. At least for now. Twitter is a lot of fun, but it's enough!

    Gale-- I've definitely come to the realization that I need to keep my personal stuff out of my tweets. I was thrilled when Baby started eating oatmeal, but to most people that's probably the drivel (literally!) Corey was talking about. I'm trying to keep my tweets on topics related to writing and kidlit so that I am "adding value".

    J.L.-- No pressure and no rush. This social networking thing can be overwhelming and (like so many of the other commenters reminded us) writing is the most important thing. :o)

  8. I'm still skeptical of Twitter. Somehow it's so much more interesting when Neil Gaiman tweets about what he's having for breakfast than when I do, lol! I'll stick with it, hopefully I'll "get it" at some point too. I can definitely see it's benefits.