Twitter is celebrating its 10th anniversary today, which means that it’s been alive for about half of my writing career. How crazy is that? The writers of my generation have only had the ability to use Twitter for a decade, making us wonder how we ever did it before social media and the incredible experience of having hundreds of followers, retweets, likes and direct messages by people whom we’ve never met, and probably never will meet, in the real world.
As much as writing is about the pen or pencil, the paper, and finding that void in the world that our minds just have to fill with words we hope will develop some sort of meaning and semblance of reality, it would be amiss of me not to notice the changes and advances that technology has brought to the world of writers. Twitter, being one of them. While the social network can be used for stalking celebrities, reading the latest news, and following all the latest trends (all of which I’m guilty of doing), it is also useful in many other ways, many of which can be adapted into the world of writers.
Here are 3 ways I use Twitter as a Writer:
- Bookmarking. The heart icon that appears on the bottom of every tweet, when pushed, indicates you like that tweet. But Twitter does more than just “like” it for you. Twitter actually bookmarks that Tweet so that you can come back to it at a later time, simply by visiting your profile page. I find this tool to be indispensable when researching topics for current or future writing projects. It’s the perfect way to bookmark material and have it all in one, easy to find place.
- Networking. Twitter provides writers with an amazing source of writers, agents and readers. Retweeting is also a great way to share information, linking you with an endless amount of fellow Twitterers who are both in and out of your network, helping you connect with other writers, as well as professionals in the industry. Many writers I know have found their agents using Twitter, through hashtags and special Twitter-centric pitching events.
- Research. What better way to learn about your audience, competition and literary goals than to use a network with millions of active users from around the world in all walks of life. Twitter has recently added a new perk that allows users to take polls, with up to four possible choices. Get usable results in just minutes. Just use the appropriate hashtags, and wait for the numbers to start rolling in. This is by far one of my all-time favorite Twitter features.
In only 10 years, Twitter has become an important part of modern society, and an integral part of how we live, do business, share information and see the world. As a writer, I am always trying to reach my readers, connect with other writers, and realize my literary goals. Twitter is not the only tool for a writer, but it definitely one that is useful and FREE.
If you’re a writer, or have used Twitter in a unique way to further your personal and/or professional life, I would love to hear from you. Follow me on Twitter, send me a DM or contact me through my website, and let me know how Twitter has affected you.
Happy 10th Birthday, Twitter! Here’s to many more years of “likes” “tweets” “mentions” “retweets” “DM’s” and “follows.”