Twittering Away: How Twitter Has Affected My Writing

When I joined Twitter, I wasn’t thinking of how it would impact my writing. I joined ’cause I kept hearing friends have conversations that included things like, “Did you see so-and-so’s tweet about…?” Even though I’m an introvert, I like to know what’s going on in certain social circles (does that make sense?), so Twitter started as a social tool (and I’ve gained many new local friends). Then I began following news agencies and a few celebrities (mostly funny ones), which made Twitter a source of information of varying levels of importance. It’s been quite recent that Twitter has begun impacting my writing.

I started following a few publishers and literary magazines and noticed one of them mention #poetparty, which I soon learned is a Twitter chat that happens every Sunday at 9pmET/8pmCT. Regular attendees of the poet party represent a wide spectrum of poetic expertise and success. There are new poets and seasoned poets, unpublished and published, young and not quite as young :-p. Sometimes there’s a certain topic proposed by the moderator, @32poems. Sometimes there is a feature poet who is interviewed both by the moderator and by other users who have questions. Other times there isn’t a set topic, but we always find something to talk about. Here is how chatting on Twitter works.

The #poetparty immediately led to new followers and followees (is that a word?), which increases my opportunity for daily interactions with creative types, but, more importantly, some of those followers have become what I would call friends. A few are people whom I can email a new draft and expect a detailed critical response. And I of course would return the favor. Having a group of readers who are also writers is important for a poet. Though the commentary of a non-writer has value, fellow poets have a unique perspective gained from developing their own craft.

Twitter is also where I learned about the online arts community One Stop Poetry (@onestoppoetry) which is a group that, in addition to other art and poetry related things, hosts One Shot Wednesday. On each Wednesday, poets post poems on their own blogs then share the link on the One Shot Wednesday blog. We read other poets’ work and offer criticism and support. This is also a chance to get non-poet readers to read samples of our work.

This new attention on my writing motivates me to write more. I can’t make up excuses or flippantly claim writer’s block when there is a deadline to meet and expectant readers waiting. I do better with a little pressure.

Writers, has Twitter affected your writing? How?

Readers, has Twitter affected how much you read? Who you read?

What about Facebook? you may well ask. I post links, but there isn’t the natural flow of conversation that Twitter has.

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