My editing of Nightjar (the final, final draft now) is all-consuming. That said I do find time to participate in Facebook Writing/Reading Groups and Twitter Chats.
In one Facebook Group the subject of Twitter came up. Other authors, as is so oft the case, hate it at first glance, and so I dug back in blogs on my old site to see if I'd ever written something to help with that first encounter and to understand Twitter's place in the author's world.
Or at least how it works in my head.
And lo and behold:
Below is a piece I wrote in March 2016. I think much of it is still relevent and so I will share it again in the hope it might help in some way. I have heavily edited and changed that part after the [Editor's Note] to better represent me, now.
There was a time I hated Twitter. Now I love it.
It’s about routine.
(Bear with me for the next bit – it’ll make sense, I promise).
Every day I write.
I have to.
It’s not about the number of words for me; I used to be a prolific writer but now my crazy brain and mental health don’t let me do that. Instead my aim is to write a line, a paragraph or a page I really like. More often than not I write more words than I expect and that’s really cool.
It makes me happy.
And now I find Twitter is a bit the same.
Yes, it’s a social media tool and all part of that important ‘Author Platform’ that I’ve seen spoken about. But I’m not about becoming a social media or marketing expert. Personally, all I want is to improve my writing and meet like-minded people to share like-minded tweets. I don’t want to use it as a purely marketing-based, plastic spoon with repetitive plugs.
That's not me.
It didn’t happen overnight, but I’ve stayed true to me on Twitter and suddenly I find I have a routine developing. One I look forward to, like my writing routine. In the last three months it’s all started to come together and my Twitter week looks like this:
[Editor's Note: Following Changed To Reflect Current Habits]
Every day I Tweet a couple of helpful Writing Tweets - including a daily 'Writing Events' notice sourced from @writevent - and if you are a writer I'd encourage you to follow Mica's page and join in on a writing event that appeals to you. They are a great way to meet other writers, readers and lovers of art. I've pulled back my participation to concentrate on edits, but I still try to dive in here and there.
And always I share a weird Postcard from the Past - sourced from @PastPostcard - because they're like weird short stories that appeal to my warped sense of humour. I hope they might make other people chuckle.
Then my routine is as follows:
Monday #MondayBlogs (write, read and share blogs)
Tuesday #2BitTues (Writing Game), #TuesdayBookBlog (Interest)
Wednesday #1lineWed (Writing Game) and #TalesNoir (Writing Game)
Thursday #FolkloreThursday (Interest)
Friday #FP (Flash Fiction) and #SciFiFri (WIP Game)
Saturday #SciFiSat (WIP Game)
Sunday #WritersPatch (4pm) and #StoryCrafter (8pm) - Both are Chats
Why does this routine suit me?
A different type and style of writing from fiction and one I think helps provide a short term goal that's readily achievable. Novels take a long time to write, and so this provides me a place to write a short piece with an end result and something to share. If people read and like it, all the better. These I share using #MondayBlogs and #TuesdayBookBlog. I also share other people's work.
#2BitTues #1LineWed #TalesNoir #FP #SciFiFri #SciFiSat
Twitter is great for this. A theme is usually posted and the idea is to either search a WIP or create an original piece of flash fiction that meet said criteria. It’s brilliant. It makes you view your writing in a very different way. Also, you get other readers and writers commenting on your work, connecting with you on Twitter and opening up other avenues in which you might be interested.
Creative, helpful, confidence building and part of developing you as an author.
Much of my writing is nature based and echoes folkloric inspiration. I love this sort of stuff and so if I have a blog piece that reflects history or folklore then I will let people know through this avenue. Otherwise it’s about me reading and finding inspiration.
It's about sharing an interest.
#WritersPatch and #StoryCrafter
Both these are writing group scenarios. Writers get together on Twitter and answer questions about writing posed by the respective hosts. They do take a bit of time to get used to when you're new to Twitter; a crazy busy hour!
Being a recluse I was nervous at first, but now I love them for many reasons. You learn so much about your own writing techniques, pick up amazing tips and advice from other writers, and get to meet so many other likeminded souls. We’re all in the same boat irrespective of genre and so if you are a writer, get involved. It teaches you a lot about yourself.
So that’s my routine.
And on the days off..?
I tweet about art, films, things I’m doing that might be of interest to writers, readers or the nosey who just want a laugh, and occasionally a promotional tweet. I guess you can’t get away from the marketing, but I like to keep it a tiny sideshow to the main writing events.
I hope this helps.
Now, back to the editing...