21 November 2009

To Tweet or Not to Tweet?

That seems to be the question I'm being forced to ask myself.
Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer yet another techie, time-eating attempt at book promotion
Or to take arms 'gainst a sea of silliness and by going offline, end it.

In the last few days (my apologies if you were hoping for more mangled Shakespeare), I've read in if not a horde of blogs and articles, at least a plethora of them, that Twittering (or is the verb always Tweeting?) is an indispensable tool for a writer. Somehow, telling the world your pithy, little thoughts in 140 characters will sell books. I just don't get it. The tweeter doth protest too much, methinks.

I suppose, for some writers, there could be something to it all. If one is posting actually interesting and relevant messages, as opposed to "I think I'll eat a sandwich now" and "omg, wtf? lol."

Robert Lee Brewer at Writer's Digest offers some good tips to make it more effective. ... I'm sometimes tempted to give it a go. It might prove useful. Maybe. Possibly.

But then I think, it's most likely merely yet another way to avoid working on this new novel. Which is what I should be doing right now instead of writing this blog. I read once in a book I've forgotten, "Writer's write. Everyone else makes excuses." -- Which would make a great Tweet (or is it Twit?).

So please, anyone reading this, let me know what you think. Do you use Twitter? Do you follow others? Can it help build readership, etc. or is it just another fun thing to do with your thumbs? Convince me: should I become a Twit?

1 comment:

Tina Louise said...

I use Twitter and have found it to be a surprising place/thing. Beyond mundane alerts of sandwich eating and celeb watching are communities growing, dividing, merging and all the time, pulsing information like waves.

Information that catches me, takes me with it to other communities that temporarily gather about the subject before moving on to the next. What does this achieve and is it even meant to achieve anything, is debated and largely depends on what Twitter has washed over you personally.

For me... I (along with one of those temporary communities that gathered about the recent London protests), alerted 'Tweeting' news teams (mainstream press) to parts of the protest that were in trouble. I watched the evidence on the news that evening.

Another wave from within this particular Twitter-stream lead to a clustering of those who wanted truth about Ian Tomlinson who died after an encounter with the police at the protests. This continued Twitter-chatter kept the story fresh and did not allow for the lies that were officially released at the time, to be believed.

I follow links if they look enlightening or amusing and I follow people who I encounter along the way – opening up my information base to other voices that broaden my view. I get to see the same world events unfold through the eyes of all those who are watching too and sharing their perspective in real-time. Fascinating.

Time consuming though… sometimes unplugging is vital.

Will it sell books? Unsure.