To Tweet or be a Twit

Twitter.  The word picture is two birds on a hydro line nattering away to each other.  They’re saying nothing of value to me, though, as I can’t understand a word of it.  And yet, Twitter is a web phenomenon.  So much for the lessons I gave on positive and negative connotation when teaching Grade 11 English!

I’ve been on Twitter for real (signing up and doing nothing doesn’t count) for about three months.  Through the forest of hashtags and periods, @ symbols and RT-like letters, I’ve wandered and blundered, trying to get a grasp on this exciting way of talking to the world.  And it’s been hard.  But it has also got my excitement gene running on overtime as I’ve learned about everything from e-publishing to blog signatures.

Being a paper-oriented learner (I remember moving from the slate to the notebook, and from the quill to ball point pens), I have found cutting and pasting intriguing articles to my word processor a great way to organize my finds.  To date I have fifty-six pages of my very own list of resources found on Twitter.  Here are some of the subjects:

1.  Writing to the Rules

2.  How to write my own bio

3.  Several on self-publishing

4.  How to Develop Characters

5.  Volumes of stuff about Twitter

6.  Search Engine Optimization or how to actually be noticed on the web

7.  How to write a Synopsis of your book

Every day my list gets longer.  Countless people have free helpful articles they are only too anxious to give to me.  Through the magic of e-mail, receiving is a click away.

And so, my answer to those who denigrate (just had to use that great word!) Twitter is simply to ignore them.  For me, where I am–building my writing knowledge–Twitter is amazing.  Come visit me @ElaineCougler.  Oh, and the ‘Twit’ reference in the title?  Another word whose meaning has changed.

What writing finds have you discovered on Twitter?  Did you have a love/hate relationship with Twitter?  What other social media work for you?  Feel free to comment.


8 thoughts on “To Tweet or be a Twit

  1. Elaine, with the iPad/Touch Pads out there, you could say you’ve gone from slate to paper and back again. A revolution!

    Once again, I find the circle of writers such a giving community when it comes to sharing knowledge. We love words, we love the craft, we love each other.

    Joan Swan (FEVER) wrote an excellent 3-part article, ‘Master Tweeting for Authors’, for the RWA Golden Heart 2009 Finalist blog, Ruby Slippered Sisterhood. Find it here:


    • I’d be happy to help, Sharon. In talking with our daughter who is setting up a new website and establishing her business presence, my husband and I realized that, yes, we do know quite a bit about this stuff. Of course, it’s only just the tip but I’ll be glad to get you started. There is so much at the beginning to learn. Maybe we can have a Twitter moment at our retreat. Thanks for visiting.


  2. Sherry, I just see I have to find time to catch up on Joan Swan. You all say such great things about her! And I agree that this is an amazing circle, this writers group. People are so happy to give you their best points for success. Gotta love it!


  3. Hi Elaine,
    I thought I would hate Twitter, and so I put it off like going to the dentist. But it turns out I love it. Those small bits of chat fit right in with my busy day, and there is no commitment! If I have time I get on and say a few things and if not, then I don’t. No big deal. And once again I get to “meet” a variety of people I would never have met. For me (an avowed don’t like electronics person) its become a daily source of joy. I never thought I’d want an updated phone just so i can tweet!


    • For sure, Jessica, and I find I can easily sit and spend a few minutes on my iPad when I’m taking a break. Good thing is my iPad keeps track of where I left off reading through the tweets. For me, meeting you is because of Twitter, and that’s all good!


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