First an introduction to how I started using Twitter:
When I first started this blog I mentioned that I had been reading about the importance of creating an author platform. One of the tips I came across was to start a Twitter account. I had never ventured into the world of Twitter before, but of course I knew what it was. I started out somewhat hesitantly. I started following a couple of friends who also had accounts and searched for some of my favourite celebrities to follow. Then came the question of what to tweet about? At first my tweets were random and personal, such as, “I’m reorganising my bookcase, I didn’t realise it was such a big job until I started.” However, the purpose of creating the account was to build my author platform so tweeting about rearranging my bookcase wasn’t really helping me to do this.
How I started making Twitter work for me:
Recently I discovered how I can really make Twitter work for me as a writer and I want to share what I have been learning so that you can make Twitter work for you too.
1. Tweet about writing. I started tweeting about my writing more than my personal life, after all that was why I created the account in the first place. How was I supposed to attract followers from the writing field if I was tweeting about random things that have nothing to do with writing? Once my tweets became more writing focused I noticed I started getting more followers from the writing field.
2. Use the #wip hashtag. I discovered a great little hashtag #wip, which writers can use to post either their progress on their wips (work in progress) or post little snippets of their novel. I’ve started posting tweets using #wip with little snippets of the novel I am working on and I am hoping it generates some interest for my novel. It also forces me to look at my novel more critically, because when I am looking for the ‘perfect’ line to post on Twitter I am forced to determine how effective that line really is. I ask myself “Is that line grammatically sound?”, “Does it sound good as a stand-alone sentence?” and “Would it sound intriguing to those reading it on Twitter?” if I answer ‘no’ to any of those questions, not only do I not post that line on Twitter, but I also ask myself, “If I’m reluctant to post it publicly, then why would I want to have it published as it is?” and “How could it be written better to overcome its flaws?”. In the end it is helping me write a better novel.
3. Literary agents on Twitter. There are a lot of literary agents on Twitter and by seeking them out you will find a multitude of invaluable information relating to querying, agents, writing tips and getting published. I am now following several literary agents whose tweets I find both helpful and insightful to me as a writer. Some agents tweet tips, some tweet about their thoughts as they trudge through the slushpile (usually quite insightful as a warning on what not to do when querying agents) and some offer links to other valuable writing resources. If you go to their profile pages, there is usually always a link to their blogs, which are invaluable sources of information as well. (I will link to some agents’ twitter pages at the end of this blog post.)
4. Some more useful hashtags. The following are just a few of the useful hashtags I’ve come across on Twitter, just type them into the search and you will find some really helpful info (especially from agents): #query #queries #queryhelp #askagent #agentpeeves #writing #writetip #pubtip
5. Link to your blog. This was one thing I actually did right from the start, everytime I update this blog I link to it on Twitter. I also have a link to my blog on my Twitter profile.
Using Twitter to my advantage has opened up a whole new world to me as a writer and I would recommend it to any aspiring authors out there. Twitter is helping me by:
1. Strengthening my author platform.
2. Promoting my novel and me as an author.
3. Connecting me to other people in the writing world (agents, publishers and fellow writers).
4. Connecting me to invaluable advice and insight into the writing world.
5. Helping me to look at my writing more critically.
To finish up I want to link to a few Twitter pages of a few people I am following because I find their tweets to be particularly helpful:
@RachelleGardner @MandyHubbard @thatwemightfly @WeronikaJanczuk @Kid_Lit
Speaking of Rachelle Gardner, her blog is well worth checking out: http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/ She is a literary agent and offers some great blog posts regarding writing. (Isn’t Twitter great? Without it I would never have found Rachelle’s blog.)
And if you would like to follow me on Twitter here is a link to my Twitter page: @gracefuldoe
I just found another article about Twitter being a great tool for writers, it has a couple of similar points to the ones I have made, but it also offers a few new points too: Six Ways Twitter Can Make You A Better Writer