for writers and readers….

8 reasons why you should start tweeting or come back if you’ve stopped

8 reasons to tweetThis is based on a post I wrote back in 2010 and I think it still holds true. If Facebook is about renewing and making contacts, Twitter is about information but there are other benefits.

 1) You exercise your writing and editing skills. The aim is to be pithy and witty in 140 characters. It’s good practice.

2) You can find out what’s happening in the publishing industry – many (most?) publishing houses, editors, publicists and agents tweet. For example, leading London agent Carole Blake (author of From Pitch to Publication) is a prolific tweeter

3) Feel part of it – I got tweets from a dinner table at the Booker. It was fun to know what everyone was eating or being too nervous to eat (lamb) and who won before it was on the television news.

4) Get useful information and advice about writing competitions, festivals, book reviews, local events, special offers etc etc

5) If you write a blog it’s an important way of alerting people to something you’ve written.

6) Promote your writing – but not all the time.  You wouldn’t want to mix with someone who only ever talks about themselves. And we all hate ‘shouty’ tweets that instruct you to buy a book without giving one reason why you should. My personal hate is automated direct messages from someone I’ve just started to follow telling me to look up their blog, facebook page and Amazon entry and hoping that I will be entertained by their regular tweets. They could at least pretend that it might be a two way relationship and that I haven’t got audience scribbled across my forehead…

7) Keep up to speed with what’s going on. Journalists check out the trending subjects all the time.

8) Make contacts – there’s a world of people out there interested in the same things you are. And there are jokes and experiences to share that lift the day. (And yes, waste time…that happens too)

This is Stephen Fry’s take on twitter:

… the majority, the great majority of people are friendly, forgiving and kind…You will be astonished too by the wit. The speediness, elegance and brilliance of some twitterers regularly takes my breath away…mostly Twitter and my two million followers are as good a reason as I know to trust people. To respect people. To believe in people…

(That was written in 2010. I’ve just checked and he now has nearly 7 million followers)

Not convinced?  Here’s a sample of tweets on my account right now.

Photograph of a baby hedgehog in a baking tray (New development – it’s got pictures now.)
Appeal for training rooms for hire by a London Charity
A poem about sleeping mountains
Suggestion to listen to a radio interview with veteran war photographer Don McCullam.
News about a fairy tale fair being held a few miles away from where I live in April. Fairy Tale Fair! I might have missed that.
Advice sought by someone who’s been asked to take down a book review
Photograph of the best graffiti on the back of a toilet door ever (rather cute – wouldn’t raise a blush)
Ok and a lot of people saying look, I’ve got a book out but some of those are interesting or smile inducing.

If you  are already on twitter come over for a chat. I’m at @agoodconfession

photo credit: mkhmarketing via photopin cc

10 comments on “8 reasons why you should start tweeting or come back if you’ve stopped

  1. Luanne
    March 22, 2014

    Ok, I’ll see ya over there.

  2. kathmcgurl
    March 22, 2014

    Yeah yeah I know I SHOULD get myself on Twitter… I keep putting it off! This is a very convincing post though. I will do it, one day, and probably fairly soon.

  3. bridget whelan
    March 22, 2014

    Let me know when you do and I’ll tweet the news – you have so many friends on it already

  4. islandeditions
    March 22, 2014

    Thanks for reposting this, Bridget. I’ve been ambivalent about the benefits of using Twitter, mainly because it just seems so overwhelming in comparison to Facebook, but the benefits you’ve outlined have me rethinking. I just need to organize myself and make better use of time while I am on Twitter.

    • bridget whelan
      March 22, 2014

      Applications like buffer post on your behalf so you can make better use of your time (and it allows you to tweet when you are asleep and the other side of the world is awake). I like it, but yes, it is easy to waste time and that’s something to be wary of from the start. But I guess that’s true for all social media.

  5. alexxx8586
    March 23, 2014

    met some lovely people via Twitter

    • bridget whelan
      March 25, 2014

      That’s a bonus when it happens but yes, most people are nice and alarmingly witty…

  6. cathum
    March 31, 2014

    Thanks, I know you’re right, and you’ve helped me work out why I’ve got the darned account. I needed to be reminded why I set the thing up in the first place. It must be time to dust it off and get tweeting again.

    • bridget whelan
      March 31, 2014

      I was like that for ages but now I use it regularly. Do say hi if you are going back in the saddle and I’ll give you a shout-out (horrible phrase) to other like-mided tweeters

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This entry was posted on March 22, 2014 by in Views and tagged , , , , .


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