I’ve been really impressed lately with twitter. Got a nifty app for my iPhone and Hootsuite for my Mac and started following authors, agents and publishers. I originally intended to simply erect my platform, and go about the business of writing. Head down, writing, reading, editing and writing some more. But as I started following writers and agents and reading their tweets, something amazing happened.
I mean besides all of the wonderful advice:
“10 steps to a better book”
“5 things you must do before you submit”
“5 most common mistakes in a query letter”
…and on and on. I mean don’t get me wrong. I was truly humbled by the amount of information presented to me by people that seemed genuinely interested in seeing me succeed as an author.
People like @JohnKremer, @JaneFriedman, @publishingguru, @bubblecow, @Sixtiesguy and of course my idol (but not in a creepy stalker way) @justinemusk.
These people bombard my iphone daily with tweets just chock full of information about the industry that I want to break into. About stuff, topics and shwee that I am passionate about. That alone is worth overcoming any ‘twitter-phobia’.
I found something even more valuable. As I made up my list of literary agents to follow, I started listening.
Listening to conversations by people like, @inkyelbows, @Georgia_McBride, @WolfsonLiterary, @caroleagent, @RachelleGardner and my favorite ‘personality’ @colleenlindsay.
And I use the word ‘personality’ for a reason. Because the thing that I found even more valuable than all of those tips and sage advice was the personality.
I think it’s human nature to build something up in our minds. To make it ‘bigger’ than what it really is before we actually experience it. That favorite author we finally get to meet, at his/her signing turns out to be a person after all, not some superhero. Usually, we are the better for the meeting. It shows us that those people are real. They are approachable, and we can be like them or achieve what they achieved if we choose to do so.
Twitter has done that for me. It’s made me feel that these agents, these people I will eventually have to show my work to, are real people. They are approachable, nice and even have a sense of humor. (A good thing to have when reading my manuscripts)
What I wanted to bring out here was my ‘a-ha’ moment about using twitter for your industry. It’s brought me more knowledge and real experience with peers in my field than I ever thought it would. It looks like I’ve also given you a shortlist of good #FF (Follow Friday) people that, in my humble opinion, you cannot afford to miss.
These are ‘real’ people, who will show you the writing industry in an approachable, human way.
Thanks to all the above tweeps for filling my inbox with your shwee.