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Starting a Twitter Stream

Let’s Look at Starting a Twitter Stream

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

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. An abbreviations like wrtr is well-known, so you don’t have to worry about people getting confused.

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 where it says “More”.

But you change your profile image from the profile page. 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, 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.

Your First Tweet

There’s no reason not to just say hi. It doesn’t have to be momentous. Be kind and supportive. Other writers are not your enemy and they’re generally not your competition.

That is to say, you can own both Untrustworthy (note shameless plug) or the Twilight books. Owning one does not make it impossible to have the other. A book collection is only limited by space, taste, and budget. It’s not like pie.

More to come later!

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