Friday, May 15, 2009

Write...or Tweet?

My friend Kerrie Flanagan is the director of Northern Colorado Writers. She is an energetic, hard-working woman on a mission to motivate and educate writers, especially local writers, and help them reach their goals. From the Northern Colorado Writers Conference in April to the fall writers retreat, and all the workshops, classes, and special events in between, there is no excuse in our area for writers to feel alone as they work toward publication.

Early this year, Kerrie opened the NCW studio. The main room is used for meetings and classes, one of the side rooms as a library and meeting room for small groups, and the third room is the quiet room. Furnished with desks and chairs, not to mention wireless access to the internet, writers go here to write.

"My advice to writers--WRITE," Kerrie says. In this case, she's talking about time wasters in her latest blog on The-Writing-Bug, "Writers Write, Twitterers Tweet."

Kerrie abandoned Twitter after a trial period of several weeks. I plan to interview her about her experience, find out how she went about choosing who to follow and why she felt overwhelmed by the experience. I need to know all the facts because I'm not sure I love Twitter either. I know I'll stay in the T-game until the end of June when I've completed the online blogbooktour class. If I expect to do a real blogbooktour when my book comes out, I'd best stay on Twitter through the fall. But the idea of using the Tweeting community only as a marketing tool is a pipe dream for me. If I'm there, I'll be reading Tweets, following links, connecting up with interesting people. I'll be Tweeting instead of writing.

Unlike Kerrie, I do think Twitter has enormous potential for drawing blog readers and making top-notch connections with other writers and professionals in the writing and publishing community. I also find Twitter fun. But Kerrie's point is well taken. Twitter can be way too much fun. Do I want to be a Twitterer, or do I want to be a Writer?


Tiffany James said...


Looking forward to hearing more about this topic - from both you and Kerrie! It's such a tenuous line to market or to write. In the publishing world these days, I think they go hand in hand. The real trick is finding the balance between the two! Wish I was having more success finding that balance. :0) I'll keep trying for sure.


Patricia Stoltey said...

It's tough finding the balance. We learn as we go. I figure the urge to write will take control when the time is right. At least, I'm hoping.

Karen Walker said...

We are on the same wavelength. I just wrote something about the balance between marketing and writing, and N.A. Sharpe discussed a similar issue. I know we have to learn to do both, but it's really hard. Managing my energy levels takes focus. For me, it's a matter of maintaining my priorities, and they seem to shift each day.


Galen Kindley said...

Oh, yeah. This is a great topic, for sure. I really look forward to the interview results.

Maybe the secret lies in who you follow. I gotta tell ya' I started by following all those who followed me, some, I never heard of and are not in the blog tour class. But, I wanted to play nice.

However, some people I followed tweeted about inane topics constantly. My twit box was always beeping with junk like, "Gee, it's hot outside today." Well, that's fine, I've tweet that kind of thing myself. But, that's what they tweeted ALL the time. Point two, they did it 5 times an hour. Lastly, I don’t need to be remained 6 times a day that someone has “A great post on my blog at” Once is enough for me.

So, though I hate to be rude, into the trash can they went. Not sure if they get notified of an unfollow, but, it happened to them. I'll be watching for your follow up on this interesting and timely topic.

Best Regards, Galen.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I just tweeted the new rules I made for myself. I'll tweet no more than five times a day, and will not spend more than thirty minutes a day on Twitter. I will work on my book. Starting tomorrow...

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I like your new Twitter rules, Patricia. I'm going to follow them. There're just not enough hours in the day for all this...

On the upside, it would have taken me forever to get around to Tweeting on my own. I'm glad the class encouraged me to give it a go.


Anonymous said...

It's all about balance. Twitter, facebook, myspace, shelfari, goodreads - even (and perhaps most especially) blogging. I once posted a poem about being a "blogaholic" - lol.

Twitter is an effective tool, for sure, probably the fastest most effective way to make new connections of all the social networks right now. But you have to establish and stick to priorities, structure your day, and keep writing in your manuscripts in a sacred above all else secure part of your daily regimen.

Jina Bacarr said...

Very important post for all writers--finding that balance between writing and promotion.

I'll be sure to check out your tweets!!


Elle Parker said...

I'm finding it very interesting to read everyone's experiences with Twitter - I tried it a while back and just didn't get it. Now with the book tours class, I'm actually finding I like it a lot. I just have to learn how to let go of the Tweets I miss when I'm not around - be willing to only go back and read just so far. It takes long enough now, but it'll be really hard when I have more people I'm following.

Elle Parker

N A Sharpe said...

It is a tightrope walk to determine where your time is best spent. I have made certain rules for myself that have been helping a bit, but I still find myself going offcourse when I find an interesting post with links and then that site has links that look intriguing and suddenly I'm off on a treasure hunt... easily distracted, what can I say. Can't wait to read the follow up post!

NA Sharpe

Anonymous said...

I love this post. I'm going to repeat that last line to myself: Do I want to be a tweeter or a writer??

Twitter can be a time-suck. But I've also connected with lots of other writers there and picked up ideas and resources. And yes, it does draw traffic to my blog (Although I find Facebook draws even more).

Glad to hear you're going to try it until the end of June. Sometimes it takes that long to figure out whether you like something!

Karen Brees said...

I agree that it's all about balance. Finding the way to make each aspect of your marketing plan work for you is what's important.