Today’s guest post is from monthly contributor Darrelyn Saloom. Follow Darrelyn on Twitter. (That’s her not-naked Twitter profile pic above.)
Are there more writers than social media marketing gurus, naked people, or insatiable sex addicts on Twitter? Well, marketing gurus may have us beat. But, at least, there are a few worth following for interesting tweets. But writers do seem to outnumber the naked, insatiable sex addicts, though I continue to marvel when opening an e-mail, and someone’s nipples stare back at me. So-and-so is now following you on Twitter. Really? Then put on some clothes!
My hometown friends are dressed and interesting and have a variety of careers. But for my friend Deirdre, a boxer, they don’t do cartwheels from the mailbox when the Southern Review or Glimmer Train arrives. Or shiver at news of an author’s interview or book signing. Too much talk of writing and my best girlfriends zone out on me. Even my beloved husband rolls his eyes. (He will accompany me to an out-of-town book event, though I’m usually dropped off, front of the bookstore, side of the street.)
So Twitter has become a refuge of sorts, a place to connect with enthusiastic readers and writers. And professionals who appreciate writers enough to post helpful articles and tips. Every week, Jane Friedman compiles Best Tweets for Writers. Every week! Daily, she and others post valuable advice about the business of writing and publishing, a treasure-trove of information.
Information that (before Twitter) was not available to me. I’m too busy scavenging time for my husband, my aged mother, running a household, caring for grown children and grandchildren, two cats and a dog, collaborating with the boxer, Deirdre Gogarty, on her remarkable life journey, editing a novel for a client, and then (if supper is cooked and the house is clean) squeezing out time for my own writing. So, yes—like you—I’m busy!
But as writers we must find ways to feed The Muse. And other than the boxer (she and I spend hours discussing writers and writing), Twitter cooks up The Muse food I need. So, what do I mean by Muse food? Well, let’s look at a sample menu: Poetry. Reading poetry is one of the best ways to stir inspiration. Read poetry and weep, laugh, marvel—and feed. Narrative Magazine floats by in a tweet. I click, I read, I’m inspired. Always. And there are poets aplenty on Twitter, posting astute lyrical treats (@TheDarkEngine).
Still hungry? Feast on comics artist @elizafrye, illustrator/author @CarinBerger, collaborating authors @deberryandgrant, photographer/filmmaker/physician @DocMacaStat, passionate blogger @CodyDaigle, travel writer @holeinthedonut, or bask in the intellect of @DaveWiner. And so many others who stream by, tweeting works of art, brilliant insights and observations, or posting links to their own inspirations, sated and sharing their food.
On Twitter, I’ve befriended published authors such as Andrea Gillies, a gifted writer, who lives on a remote peninsula in northern Scotland. Her memoir Keeper opened my eyes to the hardships and horrors of caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s. And she did so with such gut-wrenching honesty and beauty (and humor), it forever changed me. Made me hold my loved ones stronger; pet my cats and dog longer, and cease taking for granted my memory.
So, for the naysayers, who would argue that Twitter is too time-consuming; that the time spent reading and posting tweets is wasted; I understand your thinking. It’s what I thought at first. But I’m here to tell you that the opposite has proven true for me; because Twitter cooks up a daily banquet, which feeds The Muse, who lives in that inner world of cravings. For me it’s the world of shivers and cartwheels and tweets.
And like anything else in life, Twitter returns whatever you give. If you are positive and kind, that’s what you’ll find. For the life of me, I don’t understand why so many celebrities (and authors) only follow a few people, who are already their friends. In my opinion, they are missing out on a world of cuisine. After all, things didn’t work out so well for Narcissus who only peered into the pool at his own reflection.
If you’d like to share your Twitter experiences, leave a comment below. I’d love to read what impact Twitter has had on The Muse in you.