I love Twitter. This might sound like a really odd way to start a blog post but allow me to explain.
Twitter is a social networking site that is especially top-heavy with writers. Sometimes I scroll through all the many writers that I’m following (or thinking about following) and I feel a bit overwhelmed that there are so many of us in the world. It’s exciting on one hand that so many people dedicate their lives to the thankless, yet creative pursuit, of creating new worlds and stories and helping to bring to life the characters that we love and depressing on the other hand, that we’re so likely to be lost in an endless sea of other creators.
Writing is an amazing form of art. We create something new out of nothing. A builder is given tools and materials and he approaches this with the experience and skill to create something new, beautiful, and probably useful. But when a writer writes, he isn’t limited by the materials with which he’s given. A builder will never take a couple of sheets of plywood and a few 2×4’s and end up with a house … but a writer, on the other hand, could create an entire empire with his talents. That’s pretty amazing.
So how does this relate to Twitter?
In most professions (including my former incarnation in the banking world), working meant having set hours, going to an office, and being accountable for the work you’re supposed to do. True, that could be said of writing as well, except for maybe the office part. But in most other professions, there is usually social interaction as well. When I worked in an office, I looked forward to seeing my co-workers in the morning. (Maybe I’m just weird.) I looked forward to chatting about our weekends, venting about a tough day, or just sharing a good laugh. When I quit getting up and going to the office every day, those were the things that I missed the most. Those were the things that were the hardest for me to give up.
I never wanted a career in banking and I’m thankful for the opportunity to focus on my writing at this stage in my life so I’m not complaining. I like the fact that I (more or less, depending on the kids) set my own hours and goals. These are super cool things, trust me! But for the first couple of years, I didn’t actually produce much. I didn’t feel accountable to anyone or anything. I longed for social interaction with my co-workers. I felt lonely.
I suppose you could say that Twitter sort of filled that void. Sure, online interactions aren’t quite the same as walking into an office and saying hello face-to-face or chatting around the water cooler, but I’m getting to know fellow writers and making new friends. I enjoy having the opportunity to share knowledge, experience, and in some cases even commiserate when life doesn’t go quite as planned. When I say on Twitter or in this blog that I’m going to complete something, I feel a sense of accountability and an obligation to do it.
Sure, most of you that I interact with on Twitter will never actually read my work. That’s okay. I don’t actually expect you to and it really isn’t the point. I’m not on Twitter as some sort of fancy marketing plan (although of course, I do hope the extra exposure will ultimately attract readers that may have an interest in the types of books I write).
If you’re still here with me almost 600 words into a boring blog post about why I love Twitter, then thank you! Thank you for indulging me and helping me to feel that I’m not writing in an isolated vacuum where nothing I create makes a difference.
And if you are still reading, and you are interested in my first book , The Between World will be available as a free download on Amazon this weekend. WOO HOO! Don’t miss it..
Happy Friday and Happy Weekend! See you again on Sunday for my six sentence contribution.