Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tweeting My Life Away

I spent all day yesterday on twitter tweeting. I am learning the fine art of the retweet. I find an interesting tweeter and follow them, then they follow me. It's just all so smart and fast moving and takes a certain wit so say something smart in 140 characters. You know me as a rather long winded whiner, but I can pitch snark with the big boys on twitter. There are certain bloggers who are natural tweeters. Tengrain is one, ConecticutMan is another.

For every cause there are a group of tweeters who make it their own, who do the research, follow the news for up-to-the-second updates, and for every profession there are tweet networks. I think it was just a few months ago I started tweeting and now I have almost 400 followers. I wake up every morning to 10 invites to follow other tweeters. Throughout my day at twitter I find smart and interesting tweets from people I follow home to follow, then next morning there they are, following me. I think this is what they call "going viral." I could be wrong; I often am.

For every interest there is a twitter network. I'm following reporters, and pundits. For instance I follow Rachel Maddow, David Shuster, Don Lemon, Anna Marie Cox, Contessa Brewer, Jake Tapper, and many many more. I follow the NY Times, The Nation, NPR, MSNBC, CNN, The LA Times, The Washington Post and more. I follow too many news sources to remember them all first thing in the mid-day upon just waking. Twitter's an interesting place. I could follow Sarah Palin, Karl Rove, and every other right wing nut job if I choose, but I let others follow the crackpots and relish their skirmishes with them. It's a fast, wild ride on twitter.

I tend to be a bit long winded when I write. That's one of the reasons writing a one or two page query letter is such agony. So much to say, so little space to say it. Twitter forces me to condense my writing. I think it's a good discipline for me.

And after I have an experience like getting together with an important person from my youth to find myself shaken to my core, twitter is the kind of meditation that keeps me focused for a day on something else and breaks the cycle of painful looking back and wondering why.

There are twitter rooms for those with very specialized interests. I have found agents, publishers and other writers. I even follow The Writers Digest. The networking aspect is one of the reasons for tweeting. Find an agent who handles the type of fiction or non-fiction you write and then follow them to their blog site where you will be able to read about all the agents in their agency and what each is looking for. I've found tips on how to write a query letter and who accepts chapters with a query letter. I can't imagine another social networking site that would let me move so quickly and freely through these many diverse worlds.

Some of you have invited me to join FaceBook. I tried it once and then realized quickly that I didn't want any of the people I knew in High School or College to find me. I've been hiding from them for fifty years. And social networking takes time. So choose the place you want to spend your time and jump in with both feet. Hope to see you on the twitter.