5 Ways Writers Can Be Productive On Twitter
by Writing Workshops Staff
A year ago
Maybe you’ve resisted it, or maybe you’ve embraced it. But one thing is certain—readers, librarians, teachers, agents, editors, and writers are all on Twitter. This is probably why my agent recommended that I open an account and start following people, even before my book was sold. If you decide to engage on Twitter, here are five ways to be productive and make your time there worth it.
Participate in chats relevant to your genre. For me, the weekly #MGBookChat is perfect—a discussion of middle-grade novels and topics relating to them. You will find chats for screenwriters, romance writers, sci-fi, etc. Chats are a great place to find people to follow and a chance for people to follow you. Also, you can get tips and insights about your genre. To participate in a chat, log in to Twitter, and search for #MGBookChat or another relevant hashtag. All the comments in that chat will be listed. Now you can respond to questions and posts that interest you. Notice the A1, A2 format. (It means Answer 1, Answer 2.) Type these in response to the official questions of the chat (Q1, Q2, etc.) Use the hashtag in your answers and comments, or they won’t show up in the thread for others to see.
Follow authors you admire. Whether they follow you back or not, you can have fun reading what your favorite authors are up to. You’ll learn where they are speaking, when their next book is coming out, and probably some fun facts about their cat. You’ll also be able to see their conversations with other people, including writers, editors, agents, and fans. You might want to follow a few of the people this author follows and interacts with. You can also follow agents, editors, and publishers to see what they are talking about and keep abreast of the field.
Celebrate the books you are reading. The great thing about doing this on Twitter is you can gush about the book and tag the author directly with @Author’sTwitterHandle. Very often, this will elicit a “Like” from the author, which is fun. Also, it promotes your online persona as a reader. You might even want to hit up one of these authors for a blurb on your own book someday, so give some love now.
Promote your peer writers. Chances are, you know writers in your community who are giving readings, giving talks, or getting publications in journals. They may be hosting a write-in or just making a comment about writing. Support them with Retweets, Replies, and Likes. They’ll appreciate you and may even support you in turn.
Celebrate or commiserate about the writing life. Type in #writinglife to see what other writers are talking about. Some may offer support, while others are just venting. Share your own good advice, and you’ll find plenty in return. There's a rich #writingcommunity out there and, all you have to do is look.
Hopefully, you’re excited to do some following and posting now. But before you click Tweet, think about setting the rules of your online life. Remember, everything you type will be captured and possibly shared. Be positive; be kind; be generous. Stay out of discussions that drive you crazy. My Twitter is almost 100% about writing, books, and amazing libraries.
One last thing. Likes, Replies, and Retweets are how you show support and how people know you are out there. Do a lot of them. See you there!
BIO: Rebecca Balcárcel is the author of SHINE ON, LUZ VÉLIZ! and THE OTHER HALF OF HAPPY, which was named a Pura Belpré Honor Book, an ALSC Notable Book, and the Best Middle Grade Book by Texas Institute of Letters.