• How Twitter Can Help Your Writing

    Posted Posted by Guest Writer in WBN News & Events     Comments 4 comments
    Aug
    23

    When I was at the Writers’ League of Texas Agents Conference this past June, there was a lot of talk about how having a Twitter account can be helpful and even important as a writer in today’s publishing market. I love Twitter, but have only been utilizing its mighty powers for a few months now. Before I began, I didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. To me, it looked like Twitter was a watered-down version of Facebook, where all people did was post about where they were eating lunch or something funny their nephew said. Who cares? Boring.

    I was talking about this with one of my friends who works in marketing, and she informed me I was wrong. She told me about how she was following all of these great people, learning about things she was interested in, and even making professional connections. I finally began to understand. It is not about what you say, as much as whom you are following. So I got an account, started following some amazing people and SHABAM—I was hooked.

    So, as a fairly new Tweeter who has fallen hard for that cute little blue bird, let me spell out some things that Twitter can do for you as a writer:

    Shorten and sharpen your writing

    If you only to have 140 characters to convey how brilliant you are, you are going to have to learn to cut out unnecessary words. Twitter forces you to get your point across clearly and concisely, an important skill for any writer.

    Get You Inspired

    When I check Twitter in the morning, my hair looking like Don King’s and by brain only functioning because of  the three sips of coffee I just had, I am often delighted to find an inspiring writing-related quote that resonates with me. Advice to Writers is a great one to follow for this purpose. They dish out great quotes by authors, or writing-related articles and news that will get your literary brain churning.

    Make connections

    Twitter is an amazing resource for helping you find other writers in your community. Before I attended the WLT Agents Conference, I sent out a Tweet asking who else in Austin was going . I ended up communicating with a few other local writers, and we eventually met in person and are still in touch today. Twitter is an easy way to connect with people in the community who share your same interests and aspirations. Search the hashtag #Amwriting and #Austin to see who else around you is typing away.

    Find Work

    I have found a couple great job leads through Twitter. Oftentimes companies will tweet about open positions as opposed to posting them to their website, so only their followers get first dibs. If you are looking for full-time work in a writing related field, follow local PR companies, publishing houses, and publications and you just may get lucky! Or, check out Freelance Austin and ATX_WritingJobs.

    Find representation

    Twitter can be a great tool in helping you find an agent who would be right for your project. Following agents on Twitter helps you learn more about them as people, and what they are looking for in manuscripts. Sometimes agents will tweet out something like, “I am dying to represent a humorous YA zombie novel with a romantic twist!” If your book fits that genre, you have a much greater chance of catching that agent’s attention than submitting randomly. Often agents will vent about what not to do when submitting to them by citing a recent crappy query letter they got or someone who awkwardly cold-called the office. One agent who is very good about tweeting great publication and writing advice is Rachelle Gardner. She even put together a list of more than 100 agents you can follow – who knows, maybe you will find your perfect match!

     

    Katie’s work has been featured in Austin Lifestyle Magazine, Redbook Magazine, Thrillist.com, and Homerun.com. She is also excited to be contributing to the new Austin publication BE Mag, launching its first issue this November. Prior to moving to Austin, Katie worked as an associate producer for an NBC affiliate in South Florida.

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    Jenna

    That was very helpful! You’ve convinced me to get a Twitter account.

    Niamh Marnell

    Hey Katie (fellow Be Mag compatriot!),

    This was a great post and really informative. I think I just added most of the Twitter folks you suggested!

    Thanks!
    Niamh

    Carolyn

    Thanks Katie – this inspires me to finally get a grip on Twitter.

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    […] not just for twits! Wonder what Twitter can do for you as a writer? A lot, actually! After reading this, I finally broke down and got a Twitter […]




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