One of the first pieces of advice I received when I was first aspiring to become a published author was to build a platform. The next thing I heard was the importance of building my platform on Twitter. So, I signed up for Twitter. And then, I tweeted for the first time, expressing myself in 140 characters or less.
Truthfully, I had already established a platform. I have been blogging a lot longer than I have been tweeting. I blog for The Times of Israel, The Huffington Post, and for my personal blog. I blog about travel; I write book reviews; and I even share the occasional story about the writing career I am trying to build.
Using Twitter has been, for me, a way to promote my writing. When I post a blog article, I tweet about it to attract eyeballs, to get as many readers as possible. To make a name for myself.
But I’ve also tweeted for another reason. I have used Twitter to connect with others, mostly my fellow writers, as a means of sharing ideas and advice. To give and get inspiration. To make new “friends”, in a social media sort of way.
And now, as I approach my 100,000th tweet, with over 44,000 followers, I wonder whether it’s all been worth it.
I have connected with fellow authors and authors-to-be. I have exchanged #writingtips as part of my #amwriting efforts. I signed with a literary agent after engaging with her on Twitter. I established a platform but I have yet to be traditionally published (with the exception of the publication of my second novel in Bulgarian, but that’s a different story). But, again, what’s all this worth?
I tweet much less these days. I no longer use Hootsuite as frequently as before to schedule a night’s worth of promotional tweets. I no longer feel an urge to connect.
Sometimes I wonder if Twitter is a passing fad. Many of my so-called friends have bid farewell to Twitter. Many of the most active among them are no longer active. Some of them have unfollowed me, severing the connection that once brought our creative minds together.
There are two possible explanations why I use Twitter much less than before. First of all, I can better use my free time by devoting it to writing itself, and not to promoting my writing. And secondly, I don’t have all that much free time any more.
I have no complaints. Twitter has helped me get to where I am today. Who knows? Twitter may help me take the next step in my writing career.
I continue to tweet, but at a much slower, more casual pace. I will undoubtedly tweet about this article, use it as a means of sharing my experiences. That tweet may well be my 100,000th tweet, or possibly my 200,000th. What matters is that I stop tweeting and get back to writing. Writing – that’s what it’s all about.
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