Twitter: How a new writer uses this social tool

You scroll past dozens of conversation lines that don’t concern you.  You make your way through post after post of self-promotion. Advertisements appear out of nowhere.

What you’ll find in the midst of it, though, will make it worth your time wading through it.

When you realize you have access to writing life treasures that you’d never have time on your own to uncover, then you begin to appreciate Twitter. Thousands of like-minded writers are busy sharing what they know or have discovered.

For example, take a look at a tweet I received while writing this post:

I follow Debbie, so I didn’t have to do anything except click on a link to get this great piece of information. (Do you think about the last post you tweet before you sign off Twitter? After reading this, you will. Be sure to check it out if you’re a Twitter user.)

As a new writer, you can be on the look-out for information that helps you with your writing goals. It’s all there, smashed into 140-character blurbs for the taking.

My goals are to become a better writer and a published author. I want to help you get there, too. So, I search for tweeting writers and people in the publishing business who offer encouragement and links to their web sites or other experts:

  • I look for writing tips, quotes, and blog posts that are unique and useful.
  • I follow published and unpublished authors, literary agents, screenwriters, and publications.
  • I tweet about my blog posts, posts of writers I follow, books I’ve read, and other information I think is useful to my followers.
  • Occasionally I’ll give a shout out to writer friends for some grand accomplishment.

I also take time to have a laugh:

At this point, I don’t have much casual conversation in the Twitterverse. The majority of what I tweet is information. I tweet my delight at a new website discovery or some interesting news another writer tweeted. It’s also another place to announce my new blog posts.

But there will come a time when I attend a Twitter hashtag gathering for writers to have real-time conversations. With the few hours I have to give to my writing life, that aspect of Twitter sits on the shelf for now.

Not too long ago, I believed I would never use Twitter. With understanding comes appreciation and use, and I’ve barely skimmed the surface of this social media giant. Here’s hoping that this brief look at the ways I use Twitter will make you more comfortable about placing it into your writer’s toolbox.

Have fun with it.

[If you’re wondering how to embed a tweet, click here to read my post.]

Are you using Twitter? What’s your favorite feature? What else would you like to learn about Twitter?


4 thoughts on “Twitter: How a new writer uses this social tool

  1. I occasionally use Twitter, but I usually just use it to announce blog posts or to announce a fellow blogger’s post. I don’t use it for conversation, mainly because I engage in great, more detailed conversations on blogs, where I don’t have to worry about a character limit (the editing of tweets takes up a lot of time for me).

    I keep telling myself that I need to practice more with it and learn more about it, but alas, there is only so much time in a day.


    1. I’d like to give the chats a try. It’s also fun to just read them as they occur. Using hashtags is a good way to find good tweets. #WQOTD Writing Question of the Day is one I like to read and sometimes give my input. Today’s question was “What do you think is the biggest misconception about being a writer?” The answers are varied but always entertaining to read.

      There are many good guides to Twitter out there, but the best thing to do is just jump in and learn — see what it offers that’s worth your limited time. If there’s nothing, then skip it!


  2. Yes, I’m one of those who resisted Twitter and I still don’t make the most of it now that I have joined. Once I stumbled upon an #agent live chat and participated. It was great, but how do I know about them if I don’t happen upon a tweet advertising it?

    I started a list of “people” and another of “agents” so I can see those I like the most at a glance. But there are still too many to keep up with.

    I wish there was a way where I could follow someone, but hide their tweets. Some tweet constantly about nothing or pure promotion. I don’t want to unfollow them, but they do add a lot of noise…


    1. Writer’s Digest is a good source for active agents. They have a blog with Chuck Sambuchino that you may already know about. Here’s the link

      WD also publishes a slew of books with contact information

      Hiding tweets: For now, you can hide retweets only on Twitter (there’s a Turn Off Retweets option when you click on the arrow next to the person you’re following). To do anything else you need to get an app, like this one if you have Google Chrome. I try not to follow too many people. That keeps it pretty uncrowded. I’ll be posting more about Twitter.


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