You’ve covered a lot of policy and etiquette in your blogs, but I was wondering if there are any pitfalls you commonly see writers making on Twitter? And if so, what should we do to avoid them?
Hi Anonymous! I love this question, not just because you’re eager to avoid the pitfalls but also because you specified that you want to know how to do so. I appreciate that focus on positivity and taking action.
I have so many answers to this one that I’m going to break it into two parts. This post will cover my first 5 and my next one will cover 5 more. Thanks so much for your question!
1. Tweeting word counts.
You know what’s not interesting? How many words you wrote today. Ouch! I’m sorry, but if I don’t tell you, who will? It doesn’t matter if you had the best day in history or literally only typed one word; most people don’t care. They’re not trying to be mean, but unless we’re directly affected by the outcome of said word count, it really isn’t interesting.
“But Annie, tweeting my word count keeps me accountable. What am I supposed to do?” The answer: find a source of support – and take it off Twitter. Every writer needs fellow writers with whom they celebrate and commiserate. Lots of writers need an accountability buddy – no shame in that! The trick is taking that connection off Twitter, to a private place. Even if you find your buddy on Twitter, Twitter isn’t the place to tweet said numbers. Better options include email, texts, a group forum, a private Facebook group, etc. Keep your followers happy and yourself accountable; it’s the best of both worlds.
2. Over-promoting your work.
This is so tempting. The busier we get, the harder it becomes to even get on Twitter, much less to post idle chit-chat. Some days I find myself hitting only the “important” things in my tweets. Read: self-promotion. It’s a necessary evil. The problem comes in when promo takes over and you become spam. No one likes flyers on their car, remember? So how do we keep from becoming nothing but promotion machines when we have so little time to dedicate to Twitter? [Read more…]