This week I joined Twitter. In the last few months various people have suggested that somebody who wishes to call herself an author should get herself ‘out there’. Until a few days ago I ignored these suggestions. After all, I’ve only just settled into Facebook. And that’s taken three years – with Timeline still being ignored. I thought I was being cutting edge starting a blog (it’s bad enough wandering about trying to find New Post). Twitter too? That sounded like an owl hooting. Anyway, I digress.
So I signed up. And did my first tweet. ‘You’ll have to be cleverer than that,’ a prompt appeared, ‘you only have 140 characters.’ 140 characters? Twitter is expecting a writer whose fingers spew thousands of words to sum up a statement in 140 characters? Flash fiction isn’t my forte, so Twitter and I were definitely not off to a good start.
As my genre is contemporary romance (oh all right, chick lit if you insist) I decided to kick off with those two words in the search box. And up came Twitter’s suggestions on who I should follow – fellow lovers of the written word...romantics...writers...and naturally chick lit fans. I began clicking the button to follow. After a while, the eyes glazed. But I let the mouse keep on clicking. First lesson on Twitter: pay attention to who you are following. I was astounded to receive messages from ‘chicks’ and lots of tips on spit and swallow. Obviously nothing to do with cuckoos or feathered friends. A bit of unfollowing hastily took place.
Forty-eight hours later I was quietly congratulating myself. I’d even discovered a link and managed to open it – how exciting! But not quite the thrill I was looking for. Second lesson on Twitter: don’t open a link unless you know who sent it. Suddenly I was receiving hundreds of nasty messages and, even worse, so were my followers...all apparently from me! By this point the urge to take Twitter and metaphorically flush it down the toilet was overwhelmingly strong.
A spot of password changing then took place. After that I wondered why I couldn’t sign back in. Transpired I’d mis-typed Twitter for Titter. In another three years or so I’m sure I’ll be tweeting like a pro. Meanwhile, tweets are being typed with one finger. But I’m too polite to say which one....