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Sunday, June 24, 2012

5 Reasons Why Twitter Is Great For Writers

Ever since I got my iPhone, I have become absolutely addicted to Twitter. I love it. I check in on it when I wake up like its the morning paper. It lets me keep tabs on my favorite celebrities, chefs, media outlets, and friends. And with just a few little clicks, they can be updated on what's going on with me too. I know many of you share my addiction to the little blue bird, but a lot of us may just use Twitter as a way to pass time, when really it holds much more potential, especially for those trying to make a name for themselves in the publishing world. With that said, here are my top 5 reasons why Twitter is great for writers!

1. IT'S FREE! Yes, you read that right. Free. You have to have a computer or smartphone to access it, but the application itself doesn't cost you a thing. This makes it accessible to the over 200-million people that use it. Being a struggling writer and also a university student, money is tight for me, and I know it is for a lot of other aspiring authors out there. The fact that we can access Twitter anytime we want, as much as we want, is a big help in getting ourselves out into the social media world.

2. Community. The population of writers, both published and not, is astounding on Twitter. Ever since I started following and interacting with other writers, I feel almost like I'm part of a little exclusive club, or family. If you are in a writing rut and need a pick me up, someone is always there saying encouraging words. If you are stuck on a problem in your newest chapter, in seconds you can have a fellow writers opinion on your dilemma. If you need a quick edit on something, just give a shout-out and someone will be there. When it comes to published and celebrity authors, many of them will tweet you back or retweet something you've said. It makes their vast knowledge of the industry instantly accessible, and their tips and tricks shared on Twitter are extremely valuable.

3. It makes you a better writer. The majority of us have a few major problems when it comes to writing, and one of them is being concise. How do we take all we want to say and put it into a concise chapter? Twitter is excellent at helping writers hone in on this skill. 140 characters. That is all you have. No matter how hard you try, the character limit will not increase. So you have to learn how to take something important and bring it down to just a few words. This helps you cut out everything that is unnecessary and leave only the words that get your point across, and this is a great exercise in writing.

4. Hashtags. These little things are awesome. They help you group your thoughts into one or a few searchable terms, and also let you discover other writers by searching through them. There are many hashtags out there, but there are a few that every aspiring writer on Twitter must know and use frequently. These include: #amwriting/#amediting, #writetip/#writingtip, #askagent/#askauthor/#askeditor, and #writingprompt. Using hashtags are not only a great way to find others who are interested in the same things as you, but also a way of getting yourself recognized.

5. Promotion/Marketing. This is the big one, folks. Unless you happen to write a book that becomes an overnight sensation, you are going to need to do a lot of work yourself to get people to buy it. The road to this marketing begins with promotion, which usually starts before you even have a book deal. Do you have a blog? A short story you want read? A contest you are participating in? Link to it on Twitter. Using Twitter to spread the word about your online presence is the fastest, easiest, and most effective way. You post something so all your followers can see it, some of your followers may retweet it which will then make it reach a larger audience and so on and so forth. Having an online following of writers, readers, and fans alike will make a critical difference when you release a book.

And there you have it! Those are my top 5 reasons why I think Twitter is awesome for writers. Do you agree or have any others to add? I'd love to hear them!


  1. Oohh, hashtags :) Those are SO much fun! But I love it 1230923049 times more because of the community and just meeting other people. It's like the writing life goes down on Twitter (the non-writing writing life).

    1. The community of writers on Twitter really is such an awesome thing! It is where we all go to play.


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