Starting a Twitter stream

Starting a Twitter stream

How do you go about starting a Twitter stream? Should you plunge right in, or hang back?

Lonely Writer Cheat Sheet - What is PitMad

Lonely Writer Cheat Sheet – What is PitMad

Your Account

You need a name! Let’s say you’ve taken my advice (or decided this on your own), and gone with an account just for writing. If you want a personal account, you make a second one.

Fine, but you need a name. How about a word like writer or author somewhere in there? You can’t go beyond 15 characters. Fortunately, you’ve got both letters and numbers, so you could conceivably add wr1ter or auth0r if you liked. Go as short as you can while remaining coherent and unique.

Your look

Settings are important in Twitter as they are with every social network. Twitter moves them on occasion (every large site does beta testing, where they experiment with different layouts and looks to see what you’ll click on more often – this is normal); currently, they are under your profile image. Add a profile image and make it a head shot or at least a picture of the cover of your book, if you have one. Don’t keep the egg!

A background image is nice but not strictly necessary; Twitter has some pretty decent generic images if you are unsure of how you want things to look.

Who do you follow?

Spend a little time chasing hashtags. #amwriting, #amediting, #PitMad, and #MSWL are great for getting started. Know an author you like is on Twitter? Then follow him or her! Publishers and agents are also good choices, as are your friends from NaNoWriMo or Wattpad or the rest of the writing community, even the fan fiction writing community. Follow people who put words together into sentences and stories. Applaud their efforts and read what they have to say. It matters.

More to come later!