Writing can be solitary in nature, but that doesn’t mean you have to scribble down words all by your lonesome. Now you can connect with people all over the world, right from the comfort of your write cave. The internet is a wonderful thing, no?
In my previous post in the Social Media for Writers series, I walked writers through six steps to a Pinterest traffic flood. Today we tackle another titan of the social media world: Twitter.
If you haven’t given Twitter a try yet, you’re missing out—it provides a plethora of opportunities for writers. You can connect with fellow writers, find new readers, seek out inspiration and let your creativity shine, if you know where to look and what to do.
Ready to delve into the fast-moving, exciting (and highly addictive) world of Twitter? Let’s go.
Know Your Writerly Hashtags
The trusty hashtag is one of the most useful tools for writers on Twitter, yet sadly many people give them a wide berth because they aren’t sure what hashtags are or how to use them. But no more! Time for a quick hashtag lesson.
Using a hashtag in a tweet is a way to categorise your message and reach others who have used or searched for the same hashtag. For example, the #amwriting hashtag is commonly used in tweets about (you guessed it) writing. If you click on ‘#amwriting’ in a tweet, you’ll bring up a list of messages that also include that hashtag.
Why is that useful for writers? Connections, my friend. You can use writing- and reading-related hashtags to find fellow lovers of the written word and be found by them in turn. Including these types of hashtag in your tweets can help you to make new friends, find new readers, build a network of contacts and more.
So what are these magical hashtags for writers? You can find a more detailed list on our Writing & Sprinting Resources page, but some of the most popular ones are:
- #writerproblems (one of my personal favourites)
Give it a try yourself if you’re new to hashtags and take full advantage of the hashtags for writers listed here to make new connections in the writing world.
Take Part in a Twitter Chat or Two
The beauty of Twitter, I feel, is it’s real-time nature, which becomes highly apparent when taking part in Twitter chats.
What are Twitter chats? In a nutshell: live conversations in which participants use the same hashtag to discuss the host’s questions or topic and chat with each other.
Some regular Twitter chats for writers, creatives and bloggers are:
- #Storycrafter, hosted by @Writerology. Held on Sundays from 3-4 p.m. ET.
- #StorySocial, hosted by @ShesNovel and @BlotsandPlots. Held on Wednesdays from 9-10 p.m. ET.
- #StoryDam, hosted by @StoryDam. Held on Thursdays from 8-9 p.m. ET.
- #K8chat, hosted by @K8Tilton. Held Thursdays from 9-10 p.m. ET.
- #createlounge, hosted by @kayla_hollatz. Held on Wednesdays from 8-9 p.m. ET.
Join Creative Challenges
Want to exercise your creative muscles and/or let others see your skill? Join in a creative challenge or event on Twitter and do both.
My top Twitter challenges for writers include:
- #FridayPhrases, hosted by @FridayPhrases. Can you tell a compelling story in under 140 characters? If you can, you can #FP. (You can find out more about Friday Phrases here.)
- #sixwordstory, hosted by @WriterlyTweets. This challenge invites you to write a story based on a prompt in six words or fewer. Can’t get much more micro in your microfiction than that, eh?
- #AuthorUp, hosted by @ShesNovel. Author Up challenges writers to 30 days of intentional improvement of their craft, and to make sure you can do that, it includes a free course (which you can find out more about here).
- #WriteChain, hosted by @WriteChain. Want to make writing every day a habit? Set yourself a daily goal and create a chain with every consecutive day you reach it. You can sign up for the challenge here.
Whether you use hashtags, chats, creative challenges or all three in conjunction, the aim for writers on Twitter is to make meaningful connections. Share your writing journey, talk to others about the craft, enrich the lives of every tweep you meet, and enjoy the ‘social’ side of social media—because writing might be a solitary pursuit, but it doesn’t have to be a lonely one.
How do you use Twitter to make new writing connections?