Sunday, December 21, 2008
I've begun to Twitter . . . which, of course, sounds like something my parents would say when I was on a sugar high from too many holiday gumdrops:
"Candace Lee, for heaven's sake please stop twittering!"
Sad but true. Not that it stopped me. But I mostly do it now . . . in print.
If you haven't heard, "Twitter" is the newest trend in online social networking. Don't groan--really this one's different.
I've tried the other online gathering spots, like FaceBook, Crimespace (I was a mystery writer, remember), BookSpace, HA! (yup, comedy folks) . . . yada, yada. But frankly, they're too complex for me. I never know how to navigate around, I'm at a loss when someone "Friends" me, or sends me "Good Karma" or a cyber plant (do you have to water those?)
But "Twitter," on the other hand is gumdrop simple.
It's based entirely on the question, "What are you doing now?"
And, you are allowed only 140 characters (letters/numbers) with which to respond.
Or they cut you off. Snip snap.
Trust me, this a challenge for an author with a luxurious allowance of some 80,000 words.
So, then, what's the big deal about Twitter? Why am I . . . hooked?
Maybe it's a bit like taking a walk after dusk . . . when you pass houses and see lights inside, and wonder what people are doing. Twitter makes it feel like a little sign is posted above the doors, saying: "Angie's daughter is in the Christmas pageant tonight," "Bob's taking his wife to the movies--chick flick this time," "Kathryn's snowbound in rural Indiana--and grateful for a good book." Personalities, moods, encouragement, frustrations, humor, tips, wisdom . . . life. In 140 characters or less.
You can choose to "follow" (receive updates) on people, and they can choose to follow you. Or not. The group I'm "twittering" with tends to be writing-related (authors, editors, agents, publishers) for the most part and mostly in my genre, inspirational fiction. But I read with interest about other people, too, like an organic gardener in California--who's just picked the last of the season's green peppers. I could almost taste his dinner quiche.
I guess, when it comes down to it, Twitter is people-watching. With a sense of community.
Great for a writer.
And valuable too--learning how to snip "fatty" narrative away.
Make a point in limited words.
Oops . . . gotta make 85,000 words on DISASTER STATUS. Better twitter . . . longer.
Come visit me on Twitter: