I’ve been asked on several occasions how I have so many twitter followers, and honestly I still don’t know, but I will share with you here what I did and some insights from my most engaging tweets.
Firstly I should say, as an overly sceptical person myself I have always been slightly reserved when it comes to social media. Especially after hearing horror stories of trolls, hackers and haters. Putting yourself out into a public domain weather it is in real life or on an online forum can be daunting and my twitter journey was no exception.
As a watcher rather than a contributor I have enjoyed perusing twitter and listening to others stories and journeys, but in May 2018 I delved into the warmth of the #WritingCommunity and have never looked back. My primary goal was to learn as much about authors, writing and the publishing process as possible.
So with that in mind I sought out fellow writers and began following their stories and experiences. I joined conversations feeling a little bit like an outsider but was embraced quickly with the kind words of encouragement from others.
In a short space of time I had met several people who freely offered advice about beta reading, writing rituals and how best to become a published author.
I followed # like:
These helped me to find people and their tweets and join conversations. Before I joined twitter I didn’t know what a beta reader was, what querying meant or basically what the hell I was doing. I had no one to talk to and like most other authors, writing was a solitary and lonely process. I also felt like a fraud, like ‘I’m not a proper writer, I just write stuff down and hope it resembles a story’.
I quickly found that there was no rhyme or reason to writing, if it worked for you it was right. Listening to others who felt just as insecure as me the community made me feel like ‘actually I am a writer’.
Becoming part of the writing community
As I learnt and grew into the community I myself began paying forward the kind advice I had received, I started sharing my journey, my word count; my struggles; my triumphs and before long people started following me back.
It was a strange concept having people want to listen to me, I half thought they had made a mistake and clicked follow by accident.
I found myself following everyone back, a practice I would not recommend. I found some obscure and unnerving messages in my inbox that quickly made me more weary. I now check every bio and twitter feed before following back.
Tweet content & insights
I don’t tweet constantly, in fact I think I send at most 3 tweets a day. It isn’t quantity it’s content that’s important. If you tweet 20 times a day but aren’t saying anything interesting then you may as well be shouting into an empty room. My tweets vary in content, but can be categorised roughly into 3 types:
1. Writing progress / journey
2. Seeking / giving advice & encouragement
3. Silly stuff
By far tweets about my progress / journey are the most engaged with tweets. On the glorious day I finished my novel I tweeted out the final page with the words written ‘The End’ and over 1,600 people liked it and 75 people commented.
Although the community are just as good in times of hardship and after receiving my very first rejection letter over 1,400 were quick to provide me with comfort.
My favourite tweets by far are the ones where I ask about my fellow authors. What are they working on, where are they at with their WIP, basically wanting to get to know them better. This way you get to find out things about people that you wouldn’t necessarily see on their feed. You will need to put aside a good chunk of time to reply to everyone here though, it takes time getting to know people. If they engage with you, you need to reply.
My least popular tweets are quotes or snippets of text, like poems. With the limited character count and without context they aren’t engaging and probably don’t make much sense on their own.
The benefits of the writing community
The benefits for me having found such a great community on twitter are 3 fold.
1. They encourage me and motivate me
2. They provide advice and support
3. I have a sounding board to share ideas
So if you are an author and find yourself on the fence with twitter, I would recommend you jump in with both feet. I have found their support invaluable. The writing community is full of amazing people that are ready and willing to help and provide advice.