who the heck knows anything, anyway

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Call to My Writing Peeps! Re: Twitter

Writing friends: I've been waiting a long time to write this blog post.

I don't have to tell you how much I love Twitter--everybody has heard me yak about its merits--but let me tell you about this dream I have: a dream in which all of my writer friends and mentors are on Twitter, and we form a witty community that is always open to each other and loving to those who follow us.

The comics and illustrating community already has this DOWN. They are tight-knit and funny but also extremely thoughtful about, and critical of, the state of their art as a whole. Those I most admire are both honest and warm.* Since the field of (web)comics is new (comparatively), they have the advantage of naturally incorporating things like Twitter into their work and personal lives.

We literary writers hail from an older art and therefore we are sometimes slower to adapt and grow. Twitter is not just about posting pictures of your dinner (although, let's be real, if you're eating something fabulous, I'd love to see it) or your pets (again, though, our pets are part of our lives, so you won't hear me complain about endless puppy faces and snuggly cats), it's about showing your true self within the very creative confines of 140 characters or less.

If you're not sold yet, just think about all the people you could be conversing with on a human--and not a fan-letter or PR--level: Jeanette Winterson (a vocal advocate of Twitter), Amy Tan, Cheryl Strayed, LeVar Burton, Jeannine Hall Gailey, Neil Gaiman, etc etc. And that's not even touching on comics/graphic novel writers and musicians, who are extremely well represented. So, to end my little blurb: get on Twitter, writers. It's a place to muse over The Art of Writing and show people that we're real humans and not uppity snobs that are above making poop jokes on the internet. It's exactly because of its constraints, and the creativity a little bit of structure allows, that it's a better network than Facebook.

My Twitter account is pretty particular, but I like it, and I don't plan on changing the things I talk about if I ever get (even sort-of) famous. I like to think that my openness creates immediate intimacy, and I very much show my flaws. It's always been helpful to me to know that successful (however we define that) people struggle with depression, tell funny jokes, have bad days, eat cute cupcakes, have good days, miss their families, hang out with their friends, etc. I like to think that by showing all these sides of me, with the benefit of Twitter's succinctness and spontaneity, I can show other people that struggle is ok, and that happiness--when you find it--is a thing worth celebrating with the whole world.

So here's my Twitter. Follow if you'd like! Or just use me as a conduit for exploring how it works.

Obligatory warning: I don't usually swear, but sometimes I do, so, you know, use discretion if you're against that, etc.

*Any time I tweet at Marlo Meekins or Madéliene Flores, I get a response. A human, appreciative response.
Imagine when you have a little bit of a following and someone tweets a compliment to you, and you favorite it immediately: you will make their day. Heck, you could make a devotee for life. I don't know these people personally, but I seriously admire their work and find them hilarious and real (i.e. not a robot or a preach machine or just a PR blurber), and by giving me even the slightest recognition, I become a more outspoken admirer. Witness: me linking them on my blog