When a colleague suggested that I should try Twitter to reach out to people, I could never have imagined the surprising consequences of my dabble with internet networking. I only tweet from my PC and usually only on my writing days and so I’m not a prolific tweeter, but it has been great fun connecting with people all over the world.
It’s odd, but the first few tweeters I connected with have become quite special to me and I call them my tweshials. They feel like a group of friends now and I have added to this group anyone I have also felt an affinity to, those who are local to my house or people who live in the areas described in my writing.
One of my twecials has given me colourful descriptions, detailed memories of occasions with his father and grandfather, invaluable to my research. I would never have found these insights in a book. I cannot divulge more before publication, but he will certainly be in my acknowledgements- all because of twitter. Mind you, it took me ages to copy and paste each of his 20 DM’s on to a Word document in order to read fully, before we decided that it was better to contact each other by email! You can also post a question on twitter and it’s a fun way of getting answers, though not always the ones you expected. It’s certainly an unorthodox method of research although it will never compete with the reality of talking to people face to face or rummaging in books and old records.
Much has been written on blogs about the value of twitter as a way of linking with other writers. Writing can be a lonely art and to spend a few moments connected to people, albeit virtually, is an excellent diversion. It mustn’t become a distraction though, and on my writing days I am very strict with myself. I will not turn on the internet until lunchtime, even for research. This ensures I should have an undisturbed period of writing in the morning and then a few moments on twitter is my reward.
Have I sold books though Twitter? Yes, I know I have. How many I have no idea, but it is nevertheless a good, if not haphazard, way for a new author to reach out to people from the comfort of their own home. It doesn’t replace book signings and library talks but how else would a writer almost instantaneously reach Australia and America.
What do I tweet about?
I tweet about all sorts of things, not just about writing, and certainly not just about my own writing. Like most people my tweets reflect my mood of the day, my hobbies (gardening often pops up) and interests, my reflections on life in general as well as light hearted conversation. If you’d like to follow me on twitter then my name is ‘Riduna’, the title of my first novel.