When people “follow” me on Twitter, they get an automatic message in their inbox from me. While it is generic, it makes clear that I have doubts about the value of sharing anything in 140 characters or less.
Thanks for following me. I’m new to the World of Twitter. I hope to make some meaningful connections to folks in this format. If you’re a reader, please take a look at my blog: http://jennabrownson.com . I post every day — usually 500 words or less. It’s a warm-up exercise to my daily 2K+writing goal. Be well and take care, Jenna
After three months of Twittering, I have nearly 1,000 followers. For those who Tweet, you know that’s a pretty paltry sum. Although I’ve never purchased followers, not that I haven’t been solicited to, were I to have worked harder on my own, I think I could have a lot more followers.
But here’s the thing: I’m not super confident about the benefit of Twitter for writers. Or for that matter, humanity in general.
However having been advised to “build an author platform,” I felt obligated to sign up for the cute little bird flying against a perfect, albeit square, blue sky. My heart’s not in it though. It feels too self promoting and way too distracting. Oh, and it’s hard to truly “follow” anyone’s train of thought or get a sense for who’s behind those tweets.
Unless . . .
Unless someone replies to my generic “thanks for following me” message.
If that happens, things might get interesting.
A week ago, I got one of those replies.
(Side note: Since 1/5, I have gotten about eighty new followers. Six of these have responded to my initial message. With two of those half dozen, I’ve had mini conversations ending in “All the best” and “Hope to see around the Twittersphere.”)
Then, there’s Steve.
He and I have a collective seventy-two messages back and forth in a week’s time. Steve is a writer from St. Louis. His forte is bourbon. Sharing his expertise and love of the delicious liquor with others is one of the things he does as a writer.
Steve Akley has a Amazon Bestseller. (I consider #4 a “bestseller,” even if he wouldn’t.) The cover looks like this:
I’ll be honest: I’ve neither purchased it nor read it. I don’t drink. And, if his skill with words and sense of humor show through in this book, I’m pretty sure I’d be at the local liquor store snapping up his recommendation for a reasonably priced bottle on the representation that “I have to drink it in order to support a fellow writer.” Then all hell would break loose, and I’d never finish Accidental Gravitas.
What I have done is read some of his blog. Not all of it, but enough to get a sense for this writer in the City with an Arch.
Here’s a link to: Jenna’s Singular Meaningful Twitter Connection, if you’re inclined.
Then just few days ago — in our epic week-long connection, Steve asked me to be a “guest” on his Tumblr page. (Or is it called a “blog” or a “feed” or some other term? Mark my words: I’ll never do Tumblr. Unless someone tells me I have to. When that day comes, I’ll still fight it. Who wants to sign up for something that isn’t even spelled correctly?)
Steve sent me a list of interview questions for his OPUS Tumblr page. It’s supposed to sound like he and I are chatting rather than my writing insightful and witty replies in a conversational style. Getting this done, i.e., answering his interview questions, is on my “to do” list for this week.
Thinking about this connection Steve and I have made, I suppose the hope for us both, initially, was to find someone in a far away place who might be interested in learning about the writing we do with the underlying, selfish objective of getting some free help.
But now — seven long days into what I foresee will be a long-term connection — I kind of like the idea that Steve and I are kindred spirits: two people looking for a sympathetic ear in a world where 140 characters — for far too many — is plenty enough intimacy for them.