Claire King


Notes from an ex-Twitterphobe

Posted on: June 27th, 2010 by Claire - 9 Comments

Not too long ago I was a Twitter-phobe. Then my good friend Martha Williams said to me ‘No, really, there are some cool writer people on Twitter – agents, publishers, writers and more writers. Loads of writers’
‘Ooh,’ I thought, since I live in the arse end of nowhere and nary a writers group for miles. And I signed up. Claire King was taken. I became @ckingwriter. That was some months ago. Now near to 700 people know me as @ckingwriter. All (but 3) people I have never met.
I’m glad I jumped in because there are some fabulous people out there twittering all sorts of interesting things about writing: the craft, the exertion, the route to publication, the tenacity, the need to laugh at ourselves and yet take ourselves seriously and so on.

I’m not too caught up in the rage for thousands of followers. In any case, if I build it (the regular flow of best selling novels, for example) then I’m sure they will come. However I have come to the conclusion that there are two kinds of people that I follow on Twitter. They both fall into under the heading of writers (for everything else there is linked in, facebook oh yes and actual meat space). Here they are:

1) Peers – people who write. Struggling, successful or just zen, but in any case willing to strike up a conversation and offer a bit of mutual support. A network of like minded souls. Just like real life, you give a little, you get a little.

2) People who would never follow my tweets in a million years but who tweet a stream of useful literary awesomeness. Thanks, you know who you are. Actually you are not reading this, but still…

This is how I justify the few minutes a day I spend twittering when maybe I should be writing, or taking more showers.

9 Responses

  1. Ha! I SWORE I was not going to get on Twitter. I don’t know if I was phobic, but I did think it was stupid. I totally did not get it. A PR friend pushed and pushed and sent me articles, and tons of other people told me it was vital to my writing career that I get on. Finally I decided to take the plunge – and I love it! I have made so many amazing connections. I do still think it is kind of weird, but I can see the value now. Most importantly, I enjoy it.

  2. martha says:

    What, me?
    Well, we did cabriolets, Polish vodka, London, dangerous sports, country moves, babies and books…
    the next step had to be either Tupperware or tweets.

    There are some cool Tweeple out there. It is true.

    I do want thousands of followers. I want *all of them*. And then I want Tupperware.

  3. Marisa Birns says:

    I have been away for a week to a place that had no internet connection. While I thought this would be a very unhappy thing for me, it wasn’t.

    And I was a Twitter-phobe too!

    So while I’m glad I spent time resting and having fun and laughter with family and friends, I’m glad to be back to my Twitter home, too. 🙂

  4. I totally didn’t get Twitter. I joined a couple of months ago and the first tweets felt very strange, just like the first blog post, but it’s so good to meet other writers – published or not – and discover good writing blogs. I agree that it’s still kind of weird but I love it!

  5. Marilyn says:

    I have had 2 twitter accts, the first one was all about politics, human rights and natural disasters. It consumed me. I finally discontinued that acct and started another (@Meira_Davi) where I have not allowed myself to get sucked into topics that drain me emotionally. I have met many twitter friends and spoken to some by phone. They are real. Now I focus on topics and people that interest me and make my world better. And I can leave it for days and know the world really won’t fall apart without me!

  6. claire says:

    I’m looking forward to meeting several of my new Twitter friends at the prize giving and launch for the Bristol Short Story Anthology next month (that includes you, Clare)!
    I’m very excited about it: it will be like going to a party where you already know lots about each other, even though you never met. As though there are already things to catch up on…

  7. Hi Claire. I’m really looking forward to it too (and I’m a bit scared and nervous). It’ll be brilliant to meet tweeps in person. Are you bringing guests? My Mum is coming and my boyfriend. I figure it might be the only time they see me published, so I should make the most of it! 🙂

    • claire says:

      My parents in-law are coming, which is really sweet of them! Husband staying home to look after the girls and my mum lives far, far away from Bristol. Everyone seems really friendly so I’m sure it will be very relaxed 🙂

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