Monday coffee: Glorious words, or The Secret Life of Twitter

Blue Dacnis, Dacnis cayana - Flickr - Lip Kee (1)

by Lip Kee cc2.0

First, a note, and then, a sort of confession. The note: Linda, one of our writing friends, posted a great question (as in, really great question) for those of us who participated or followed along in the Brighter Light Challenge. Please stop by so we can share our experiences!

And  now, pleasant duty over, it’s time for that little confession. For someone who lives right in the heart of Silicon Valley – like 10 minutes north of Adobe and 15 minutes south of Facebook – I was very slow to create a Twitter account. I just could not see the point of it. Sometimes, people described Twitter in a way that made it seem like being mute witness to lonely shipwrecked folk helplessly throwing messages in bottles out to sea from millions of individual deserted islands. Other times, I imagined that it was like standing in the middle of Grand Central Station yelling at every passing patron while each of them yells their thoughts into the big, echoing chamber as we passed one another. Either way, it sounded less than appealing.

What finally forced me to get a Twitter account was an acceptance of a  poem by an online magazine that asked authors to include in the bio 1) a web address and 2) Twitter “handle” (what you’re called on Twitter). Well, then. So I gritted my teeth and did it.

And…like most things I balk at, I am enjoying Twitter immensely (this willingness to balk at enjoyable things is, I’m told by those who know, related to my astrological sun sign). There is lots of great get-started advice for writers on creating a Twitter platform for yourself (among the ones I can recommend: Robert Lee Brewer’s starter advice, Debbie Ohi’s writer’s guides, Nathan Branford’s how-to which makes me wish he was still with a lit agency so I could write something he’d want to agent). But what can get lost in all the technicalities (though all 3 blogs mention it) is how RELAXING Twitter is.

Déferlement St-TugenRelaxing? Yes, actually When I first created my Twitter account, I found people I love to read (Joyce Carol Oates, Neil Gaiman, Richard Blanco, Steve Martin, Eric Idle, Margaret Atwood, Stephen Fry  to name a few) and signed up for their tweets. And now, when I need a break, I just log onto Twitter and read. It’s not like being overwhelmed by random people yelling at you. It’s more like standing at the edge of a cool ocean of WORDS as the tide’s coming in, feeling clean air and fresh, blue water, washing over you. These are people I chose, for their wit, intelligence, and vocabularies, with interests and causes and I get to just…listen. As Humpty Dumpty says, “That’s Glory for you.” And it is – it’s glorious. It’s like a private word-concert. If you’re on twitter, or if you’re about to give it a try, and if you are/do please let me know – I’d love to follow your wonderful words, too.


7 thoughts on “Monday coffee: Glorious words, or The Secret Life of Twitter

  1. Good for you, Ina. You’ll probably find that once your posts and FB status’s begin finding their way onto your Twitter page, you’ll get all sorts of interesting followers who’d discovered you in all manner of ways. Enjoy the ride. It’s amazing what and who’s out there.

    • It is amazing, isn’t it? I am just really enjoying it – I don’t have much time to get on there, but when I do, I always run into something great !

      • I’m happy for you, Ina. You work hard and deserve to enjoy yourself when you have spare time, or any timne, for that matter. Keep going for that smile.

  2. I’ve been reluctant to join Twitter. Firstly, I just don’t have the time. I barely have the time for FB or other online groups (even ones that I love, like Poetic Bloomings and Poetic Asides). Also, from what I’d heard, it just doesn’t seem appealing to me. Now you’ve made me wonder what I am missing.

    OH, and if anyone reads this, I am having a contest at my blog. Feel free to join in.

    • Linda, I personally enjoyed Twitter very much at the beginning. At first, I just enjoyed reading fun posts and articles linked by “famous Tweeps”, then I made some friends from around the world. The links work wonders, you actually get to the person’s blog and read their opinions/works… not just posts. But then… things changed for me. I have less time than before to simply read and enjoy and haven’t seen any practical use. I do have some followers there, but I rarely make any real contact with them. I think it’s a mere “follow” exchange. My new followers often message me, saying “I followed you, please now, follow me.” And no one actually “reads” what the other one says. My friends from the beginning are busier and we don’t talk anymore. I haven’t found new friends. All the people from Wordsmith Studio are also on FB and Google+, so I can easily message them there, or even email them…
      Phew, this one got longish. Uhm, for me, over the past year Twitter has turned to an almost useless social thing. I still tweet from time to time, just when I want to say/write something and not hear back 🙂
      I believe FB groups is sufficients if you are looking for discussion. Yet, if you are looking for reading materials, such as articles, definitely Twitter is useful and quite rich.

      • Hi Mariya – I’d rather wondered how other people deal with that “I demand you follow me back” thing. I just ignore them and then they go away. Which is fine. I’m more there to read than “brand myself” (which sounds horrifying – the marketing language is NOT a good idea here). I know people who do it quite successfully, but I’m just not sure that’s going to work till one has A Name.

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