Twitter isn’t exactly a new phenomenon at this point. In record time it has become one of the best networking tools for writers. Of course, not everyone understands Twitter. Many don’t understand how it can be used to communicate with others when there is a limit of 140 characters. I will definitely say there is a challenge in that, but it can be done.
The 140 characters is probably my least favorite part about Twitter. The biggest thing I don’t like about that, is the fact that I find myself using “text chat” a bit when I’m writing Twitter posts. For instance using the u instead of writing out the word you. Not exactly conducive to good spelling and grammar. But even so, Twitter is probably my favorite social networking site.
As a writer, there are many useful ways you can use Twitter. And pretty much everyone you ask, will have different reasons for using it. But I can sit here and list you at least 60 ways you can use twitter as a writer. Let’s get started.
Here are 60+ uses for Twitter, for you, the writer.
- Networking. Twitter is great for making friends, is probably one of the quickest ways you can meet other writers who might have similar interests or similar styles as yourself. It’s certainly helpful for making new friends.
- Follow your favorite author – many authors are already on Twitter. Find your favorite author, and you might find advice, news about their newest release, or just general information that might help you as a writer. Wouldn’t it be cool to hear back from your favorite writer?
- International friends – I have found it fairly educational to learn what they do in other countries as far as books, marketing, and publishing go. I have friends from all over the world now that I might never have met if it weren’t for Twitter.
- Support – when you’re feeling just a little stuck, or you’re having a bad day – the support that is offered on Twitter is unbelievable. I can go from having a bad day, to smiling or even laughing in a matter of moments when I log into Twitter.
- Motivation – Need to stay on schedule? Twitter is exactly the place you need to be. Using hash tags, you can become involved in writing groups where members will help keep you stay motivated, and on task. Consider them like… Personal cheerleaders.
- Inspiration – Who isn’t lacking for inspiration once in a while? there are thousands of people on Twitter who tweet inspirational messages, photos, thoughts or just nice words that might give you the exact inspiration you need.
- Ask Questions – Ever wonder if there are rolling hills in Ireland? Probably not, but guess where you can ask that question, that’s right – Twitter. Need to know the answer to something? I can guarantee someone on Twitter will know the answer.
- Get Answers – Might seem a bit redundant, but hold on a second and let me explain. For a long while, I have been following a few twitter accounts that tweet out useless facts, sometimes stuff I don’t care about, but sometimes things I’ve actually wondered about before. It’s definitely a great way to get answers.
- Writing tips – With hundreds of thousands of writers on Twitter, the tips are endless. Wondering how to conquer writer’s block? Wondering how to fit writing into your day? Wondering how much editing you have to do to your manuscript? Wondering which publishers take unsolicited manuscripts? Well, all of these things can be found out on Twitter.
- Learn good grammar. All you have to do is follow @grammargirl Mignon Fogarty is kind of known as the grammar girl. That girl knows an awful lot about grammar.
- Using the hash tag #amwriting you can connect with other writers, who are tweeting about what they’re writing. This is by far my favorite hash tag for writers on Twitter.
- There is also a hash tag #writegoal where you can post your word count goal for the hour, day or even week and others will cheer you on, challenge you or celebrate with you when you actually accomplish your goal. I cannot begin to tell you, how motivating this is.
- Start a writer’s group.
- Find writer’s near you.
- Share your favorite books and authors with others.
- Find out what others are reading and who they follow.
- Get information on upcoming writing conventions.
- Find great blog posts that others are tweeting about.
- Find new writing websites or blogs to follow.
- Get a critique partner.
- Enter writing contests.
- Get others to read your blog posts.
- Get advice on queries using the hashtag #querychat
- Get advice on manuscripts.
- Get advice on editing.
- Get advice on finding an agent.
- Talk to agents or get advice from agents.
- Learn what agents are looking for, and what they definitely aren’t looking for.
- Ask questions about submitting. Someone will answer.
- Ask questions about publishers. Someone else will answer.
- Find a publisher that fits your genre. There are quite a few publishers on Twitter. Many of whom will chat back or answer questions.
- Stick to your genre. Twitter now recommends new people to follow based on the people you are already following. This means, if you are a sci-fi writer, and want to find others writing the same genre, more than likely Twitter will find you a few.
- Branch out and discover new genres. If it wasn’t for Twitter, I would have had no idea what steampunk is. That’s just one example. Cross over into other genres to learn what is unique about them and you never know. You might find another genre to write in.
- Discover trends in writing – fiction/non-fiction.
- Do you do freelance writing? Find out what articles are popular right now.
- Find websites to contribute your work.
- Find writing jobs. Follow @JobsForWriters or @Writing_Jobs to find out the latest jobs available for writers.
- Get more readers to your blog, by tweeting links to your blog, as well as linking it to your twitter profile.
- Tweet a blog post you just read to share with others who might be interested in the same information.
- The writing business is tricky. Loads of information on writing scams and bad publishers is passed around all the time on Twitter.
- Learn about new information for writers before everyone else does.
- Interested in self publishing? There are dozens of people who have successfully self published sharing tips and tricks on Twitter.
- Find a digital publishing company.
- Learn how to market your book.
- Market your book.the
- Ask questions about an idea you might be working on. For instance, don’t know how police procedure goes in a hit and run? Ask someone. For sure, there is somebody who will know lurking on Twitter. And if all else fails, ask people to retweet until you get an answer.
- Share your short stories.
- Share your flash fiction.
- Read others short stories.
- Read others flash fiction.
- Participate in writers chats. #writechat, #Writers_Life, #YAlitchat and dozens more. Just watch for hashtags on the end of tweets that the people you are following are tweeting.
- Participate in other types of chats. #askagent is set up to ask questions to agents you wouldn’t be able to ask otherwise.
- Find cool software/gadgets/electronic media, etc… developed just for writers. I was able to ask dozens of questions before purchasing the voice recognition software I bought. It has been a godsend, and I wouldn’t have it if it wasn’t for Twitter.
The rest are borrowed from a writing friend and from other readers:
54. Share your trials and tribulations of being a mom/dad/WAHM/SAHM/WAHD/WAHM with other writers who are going through the same struggles.
55. Share your trials and tribulations of trying to juggle a writing life with a real life.
56. Commiserate with other writers when the rejections come through. Know you are not alone.
57. Find writing prompts, inspiration, quotes and other fun stuff to get you motivated.
58. Find guest writers and authors to interview for your writing blog.
59. Find sponsors or donations for a blog giveaway you want to host.
60. Get referrals for just about anything. Helps to get your name out there, and find people who admire you/your work.
61. Tweet about the disaster you just wrote into your novel… just because.
62. Work on character development through twitter. I know several people who tweet as their characters.
63. Help other writers. When the day is done and you have gotten the help you needed/advice you longed for/critique you requested, etc. Look around for other writers who might just need some help too.
So tell us fellow writers, what do you use twitter for?