To Tweet or Not to Tweet

Cape Cod seagull

Seagulls don’t tweet.

I know this is ironic after my last post about the distractions of technology, but I just joined Twitter. And yes, I’m laughing at myself.

It took me this long to join because I always figured it would take too much time away from writing. There are already too many things that do that, so why add another one into the mix?

Well, it’s another way to connect with people. People who want to talk about things like books or the ocean or crazy dogs. It’s also a fun way for some quick entertainment because tweets are short. So far, it hasn’t taken up much time but then I haven’t done much on it either. I’m guessing blogging will still be my main time-sucking diversion. Unless I become a tweeting addict, that is.

So far it’s been a little like changing the point of view in a novel. Twitter can provide another perspective. As long as you open that window, all kinds of things will come flying in. Sometimes you can catch them and throw them back out into the world. Or you can sit and listen to the cacophony of other tweeters. Mostly, all I’ve done on there is laugh at myself.

If you’d like to laugh along with me, I’m @SheilaHurst11.

How much time do you spend on Twitter? What do you like or dislike about Twitter? Anything else I should know before making a fool of myself out there? Oh wait, too late for that… 

60 thoughts on “To Tweet or Not to Tweet

  1. I only spend maybe 40 minutes every 2-3 days on Twitter. I find it the least time-consuming forum, although one could make it time-consuming if they chose. But I’m not a frequent tweeter. I try to post 2-3 original tweets per day and then check in on my lists every 2-3 days to connect with people. I think you’re doing it wisely, meaning start now before you have a book out. It allows you to build up a following. There are ways to get thousands of followers right away, but my guess is they’re not interactive followers. I’ve slowly built my following up over almost two years, accumulating lists of genuine people who are entertaining and engaging. By the time my book came out, I had a fair number of contacts, many of whom were lovely to retweet my promotional tweets (as I did theirs). Have fun!

    • That’s good to know that it doesn’t use up a lot of your time. I’ve been trying not to tweet too much because that could turn people off but I should probably start putting a few more things out there. Your tweets are always funny and it’s been great seeing you there. Thank you for entertaining me so much!

  2. I have an account but barely use it at all, if anything I just check for feeds on info about where I’m going or to peek at what’s trending. 🙂

    • Hi Andy! That sounds like a good way to do it. One of the things that convinced me to try it was hearing that you don’t have to put things out there all the time. It seems like a fun way to connect with local news sources or find out about events too.

  3. I’ve been on Twitter for about 2 years and see it as a place to find out what other people are doing, thinking, chatting about. Links to my blog posts go there but they don’t generate much traffic at all compared to Google Searches of all things.
    These days I would only spend maybe 1 hour per week on it. But beware, it can become addictive and I’m fascinated by all the people I seem to follow who tweet while watching TV ~ my idea of duo-tasking hell but it makes for good entertainment betimes.
    I think it has an important role in terms of getting news out quickly but apart from that I could take or leave it compared to blogland or ‘real writing.’
    I think a lot depends on what you actually want to get out of it or if you have a long-term goal like publicising a book etc.

    • So far it can be pretty entertaining. That’s good to know it’s possible to spend just an hour or so a week on it. I’ll try not to become too addicted – it’s hard to imagine tweeting while doing other things for now – but I guess you never know. 🙂 I think I’ll probably stay partial to the blog and (hopefully) real writing too. Thanks for letting me know what you think of it!

  4. I just joined twitter this summer and besides keeping up with my fellow bloggers, I like following my favorite libraries and museums: I find that it’s a great way to be reminded of new exhibits and collections.

    • That’s a great idea – I’ll have to look up some more local places like that. I like how it can be a way of filtering through different news sources and it would be nice to be a little more connected with local things going on.

  5. Hope you like it. I can’t keep up with what I already have, so won’t be Tweeting any time in the near future. But I’m glad others make it work for them. You’ll have to do a follow up post in maybe 6 months to tell your feelings about Twitter after using it for awhile. I’d love to know if you’re ‘converted’ or still sitting on the fence about it.

    • I know what you mean – the thought of joining it always scared me because I figured it would take up too much time. Then I heard that you don’t have to keep putting things out there or react to things. We’ll see – at first I thought blogging wouldn’t take up that much time. 🙂 I’ll let you know how it all turns out in a few more months!

  6. Carrie Rubin keeps telling me I have to get on Twitter but I just can’t take that step. I’ll want you hear what you have to say about it down the road. I don’t know how much it does for writers with no huge following because of their fame. I guess it takes a lot of effort, that’s why I want to hear how it works for you. I use Pinterest for my photos and I think it’s a great venue for that. People like and repin my photos, so it’s a good way to get my stuff around. It wouldn’t work for books, but for something visual, it’s great. Good luck!

    • Thank you! I’ll let you know how it goes. Carrie is really entertaining on it so that’s always a reason to join. It can be a way to find out about local events or to just pass around funny sayings or links. I like how it can be a combination of friends and famous people and news sources. We’ll see if I still like it in a few months though!

    • Pinterest works pretty well for books too because you can show the cover, do a short write up and specify the genre.I have quite a few book groups on there including my own groups divide by Country.
      Hugs xxxx

  7. One of the reasons I joined Twitter was to link my blog posts into that application. I am not a good Twitter user and lucky if I go on there every week or so. I can barely keep up on FB with the conversations and then add Twitter into the mix and I am lost, dazed and confused – ha! Have a Great Day:)

    • I have a feeling that’s how I’ll be – or maybe I already am! 🙂 It’s good that you don’t feel like you have to go on it all the time. Hopefully it’ll just be a way for some quick entertainment. Happy almost weekend!

  8. I know it has its many uses Sheila but mostly I love to connect all my pieces together and share them by using Twitter as another advertising tool and share other writers words too. Look forward to the new connection.

    • It does seem like a good way to pass fun things around. I was happy to see you there and now it’ll be another way to know when you’ve posted.

  9. If you’re a writer Shiela then twitter is a necessity. You can start tweeting about release dates a couple of weeks before a book is released. You can tweet your blog so people can follow the release and of course people will always re-tweet for you. If you have 100 followers who re-tweet to their own 100 followers you hit a potential 10,000 people from one tweet. Of course you must expect to do the same for any writers you follow but each one takes seconds.
    There’s less chat and fewer distractions than Facebook.
    xxx Huge Hugs and good luck xxx

    • A most excellent point, David. I was going to say the same thing. It’s also an easy way to share posts that you’ve enjoyed and show some blogging love! I’ve pressed the tweet button and shared this post for you Sheila, and I shall look you up on twitter and follow you! Lottie aka bettydharma

    • Thanks David! I probably shouldn’t have resisted it for so long. It’s not really as scary as I thought it might be. I like seeing when people have posted to their blogs and it’s been fun to pass some of that around. That’s good to know it doesn’t take up as much time as FB – though I haven’t been on there enough either. Hugs to you!

    • It’s not as scary as I thought it might be and I’m surprised to say I like it so far. It’s a little like FB but posts and things seem to get passed around more. People put up a lot of funny things so it can be pretty entertaining. I’ll let you know what I think in a few months!

  10. Sheila, I too have resisted the Twitter. I keep saying I will join, but so far haven’t. For the same reasons you mention, by the way. Maybe I will now and I’ll see you there! So, sadly, I have no advice. Good luck with it.

    • I resisted it for years and then started to think maybe I’ll join but it took forever to do it. I’m surprised to say I like it so far. A few local magazines and organizations are on there so it’s a good way to find out about different events and things. The good thing is you don’t have to do much with it. Maybe I’ll see you out there! 🙂

  11. I’m one of your seagulls, I don’t tweet 🙂 not that I’m against it but never got around to it. Personally I think there is nothing wrong with social media , because they can be very helpful too. As long we can leave them home when we go outside to enjoy the outdoors 🙂 groetjes, Francina

    • It took me forever to get around to it too. It always seemed a little too scary and strange. But it’s been nice to be able to connect with people from all over the world through the blog so I figured this would be another way to do that. I’ll make sure not to tweet while outdoors! 🙂

  12. you have such a nice way of explaining things. been tweeting for nearly four years thru 2 accounts. We like it better than FB, quick, easy and anonymous. it’s good to have options, xo LMA @louisamayalcatt

    • Thank you – glad to hear it made some sense! Twitter does seem to be a little more entertaining because it’s mostly quick, funny things. It would be nice to be anonymous though! Then it might not be quite as scary. xo

    • So far I’ve only dipped one toe in. 🙂 It is nice to hear about everyone’s experiences with it. I guess I’ll have to tune up my singing voice and really leap in at some point.

  13. I still don’t Tweet, and I’m not sure if or when I will. I just don’t seem to get it. 🙂 So for now I’ll stick with blogging. But when publishing seems like it might really happen, then I’ll probably look into it. Maybe by then we’ll be on the next “must do” social media kick!

    • It was always a mystery to me – especially with all the @ and # – almost like a different language. But it’s not too complicated after all. Mostly, it’s people passing interesting or funny things around. I still haven’t spent much time with it and probably should at some point, but the good thing is you don’t really have to. People don’t expect you tweet all the time or see everything they put up because there’s so much flying around out there. It’s more of a free for all. If that doesn’t convince you, Carrie is really funny on it so that’s always a reason to join.

  14. I’ve been on Twitter for a while, but I can’t seem to make it a habit. I try to keep my tweets about my family, life, random things. Once in a while I’ll promote a post I wrote or talk up Musefly — but I don’t like to do that too often because I don’t want to turn into one of those people who is constantly marketing themselves. Blogging is still my go-to mode of connecting with people. Maybe I just have too much to say and Twitter doesn’t cut it for me. 😉

    • I know what you mean. So far I’ve only shared other people’s posts. I’d much rather do that than put my own posts up there. By treating it as a way to find friends or people with similar interests, hopefully it’ll be more fun. I like the quickness of it but it does seem easier to have a real conversation this way.

  15. Have joined Twitter but that’s as far as I’ve got. I’m so pushed for time with writing, commenting, blogging, scribbling reviews, joining Goodreads and reading that I just can’t contemplate adding anything else. Perhaps if things calm down I’ll poke around. Good to hear what others think.

    • It is crazy, isn’t it? I feel your pain. Somewhere in there, there’s also a day job and freelancing and hopefully some kind of a life. 🙂

  16. I’m on twitter but I’m not an avid tweeter. I think I missed the IM craze of the 00s. I much prefer my blog and Facebook so I focus my online time there. I try to check in with Twitter daily for a few minutes.

    • Thanks Kourtney! It’s good to know that Twitter can be done successfully for a few minutes here and there. That’s what I’m hoping for!

  17. I’m on Twitter too and I find it’s great to get up to the minute news of arts events in our area….or up to the minute anything for that matter! Sometimes I’ll tweet a few photos. I usually spend 10 or 15 minutes a day on it. I’m off now to follow you!

    • Thanks so much! I saw you there and made sure to follow back (of course)! It does seem fun so far and I’m glad to hear it’s possible to spend just a few minutes a day on it. I like it for those local events too. It’s tempting to be crazy on it because everything’s flying around out there, but I might hold back a little for now. 🙂

  18. Sheila, enjoy your Twitter adventure – always a good thing when folks can connect and takes only a few minutes here and there. lately i have not been active on Twitter – just find other adventures more appealing at this time. the good thing is, no matter when, one can jump right back in and get the Twitter ball rolling again. 🙂

    • Thank you – I love anything as long as it’s an adventure! Maybe that’s why I love dogs too. Your post really made me laugh. I’m happy to hear it’s possible to jump in and out of Twitter like that for those times when life takes over with possible hairy monsters.

  19. I’ve been on Twitter for some years now. I don’t find it a distraction from writing, in fact it’s an excellent way to bring people’s attention to blog posts.

    That, and to inflict puns on people. I’m @LadyGavGav if you want to have a look.

    • Same here – it’s great to have all these different ways of communicating, but then the brain or the computer can go into overload pretty easily when there’s so many things happening at once. You’ve inspired me to disconnect and go to Corfu! 🙂

  20. Oh, yes! Just clicked on your link, but we’re already Twitter buddies!

    It’s the most awesome social media avenue as far as I’m concerned. Keep it brief and creative, you’ll have a blast! P.S…I always like to pat myself on the back when I squeeze everything into the allotted 140 characters. : )

    • Yay – thanks for following in both places! I like finding blogging friends on there because then it’s easier to see when a post goes up. I loved your vintage post and I’m still dreaming about the 1940s and big band music. Twitter does seem like a fun place to be so far (and it’s great that it can be quick fun)!

  21. I love twitter, and find it a really fun and direct way to express my feelings in the moment and connect with others (famous and otherwise!). I got a tweet back from one of my favourite authors, Margaret Atwood, which was the thrill of my life! Love your blog, and glad you came to visit mine.

    • I love Margaret Atwood too! I’ll have to look for you there. I was all excited when Thoreau followed me back because he’s one of my heroes. 🙂

  22. Hi Sheila. I think it’s good to dip your toe in the Twitter pool. Try it out. See if you like it. When I was pre-published, I tried different forms of social media. I found FB to be my favorite, but I have a twitter account and a pinterest account too. There is a learning curve with each one so best to get it out of the way before you have to worry about promoting your book. 🙂

    • That’s true – though now I wish I had started with Twitter a bit earlier on. It’s been a lot of fun so far and it hasn’t taken as much time as I thought it might. Pinterest will have to wait though! It’s hard enough keeping up with blogging, FB, Twitter, Goodreads, freelancing, the day job, and…oh yeah, the novel. 🙂

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