Twitter has been in the news lately due to the abuse women have been getting on the social media website. This month, I have been using Twitter for a year and it seemed like a good time to evaluate my experience.
When I first joined Twitter, I did so because so many writers seemed to be on there and seemed to think it was a good place for writers to be. I did a blog post to publicise the fact I had joined and was lucky that some of my blog followers followed me on there so I wasn’t a complete Billy-no-mates It is hard to get used to at first – it’s like a giant conversation moving quickly and at first I was nervous at joining in and didn’t know what I should be talking about or who to follow. I quickly realised the more you put into Twitter, the more you get out and as someone who likes chatting, there were a lot of opportunities to do just that.
As soon as you start joining in, more people will follow you and your experience of the site gets better and better. I loved finding writers to follow. Sometimes writing can be a lonely world to be in and I think that’s why there is so many of us on Twitter – we get to share our experiences and realise everyone finds writing hard some of the time (or most of the time!) and publishing is a tough but rewarding world to be part of. Another plus is that there are a lot of agents and editors using the site too and they give out a lot of useful advice.
This brings me to the highlight of my year on Twitter – finding my agent. I was friends with one of her clients on Facebook and saw who her agent was and that a few of the writers I followed also followed her (@mushenska) so I did too. This led me to submitting my book and the rest is history. My agent now does a weekly Q and A session on Twitter on a Sunday using the hashtag #askagent and a few other agents join in too so that’s worth checking out.
Celebrities are on Twitter in full force but I don’t follow that many and although it’s fun if one replies to you, I prefer getting to know people in my industry. But if we’re counting, I’ve had replies from people like Professor Green, Nikki Reed and Aled Jones! But more importantly, I’ve made some great connections on the site and even met up with people from it.
I also think Twitter is a great news source – often things appear on there before the news networks and I’ve also heard about things that would never make the news such as stories from other countries that have been both interesting and inspiring to read about. I enjoy the fact that events are shared even silly things like TV shows, you’ll find someone else watching what you are and you can discuss it. I have discovered writers often enjoy the same fandoms and my timeline is often filled with comments on Doctor Who and we all seem to get excited by pictures of Dean from Supernatural!
There are disadvantages of the site too, of course. It is a big time suck. Sometimes it’s like when you were at school and if you were off sick for the day you’d miss lots of gossip and Twitter moves so quickly you sometimes can’t keep up and a lot of us end up on there when we should be writing! There is also the problem that’s been in the news of abuse. I have been very lucky to have avoided any abuse so far but I have seen it and it’s shocking and unacceptable. Unfortunately, I think it’s a wider cultural issue and not the product of Twitter but it’s a shame to see the site polluted by it.
Overall, I have enjoyed my year on Twitter. I have somehow managed to write over 10,000 tweets and I don’t know how my followers have put up with my silly ramblings but I’m glad they have. If you’re on Twitter, come and say hi to me – @Vicky_Walters.
Are you on Twitter – what do you like / dislike about the site?