As you’d see from the activity on this website’s sidebar, I’ve been living on Twitter for the past many months.
For seven years I’ve been on that platform, but barely present until November of 2020.
Until then, I didn’t see how it served me, I used it badly as a business promotion tool, and it was not an asset but a burden.
I remember the onset of Facebook and Twitter. I was in massage therapy school, surrounded by people a good chunk of years younger than me, and Facebook was what the cool kids were doing. I joined.
Twitter, I dismissed for years as too much of something useless, but in 2014 I made both a personal and a professional account to be up with all the social media for my massage therapy clinic.
My presence was fitful and forced, both for the business and for myself, but I did find birders, tree lovers, nature photographers, environmentalists, and meditators, who kept me coming back.
Then, by fluke and by good fortune, at the end of 2020, finally ‘retired’ and deep into writing the first draft of my current novel-in-progress, I discovered #WritingCommunity and, especially, #5amWritersClub. Now for close to a year I’ve thrived on three essentials that Twitter gives to my writing life:
- A conduit
- A focal point
Twitter gives me a place to share written words; to share my thoughts, questions, and experiences about writing; people who ‘listen’, reflect, and respond; and new perspectives that help me grow in my craft and as a human.
Through #5amWritersClub, it gives me a container for my daily discipline of early-morning writing.
It gives me fun, humour, jokes, silliness; politics if I want them; lessons about justice and injustice in the world. It gives me a way of connecting with some in-real-life friends, and a point of contact with people on the planet. It gives me a place to offer my shoulder when someone I know is hurting; it gives me a hankie when mine are the tears that need mopping.
Through the writing hashtags I’ve found an ever-expanding network of people who share my preoccupation with, and dedication to, words and storytelling. I’ve found deep and enduring kindness, and amazing generosity.
I’ve found critique partners, mentors, friends, a craft-focused book club, a peer-run learning group, teachers, editors, courses, a support system…
and the person who has helped me most with my novel, my accredited writing coach.
For every 280-character tweet I read or write, the richness of my daily life expands exponentially. From flat interactions with an anonymous world, to a web of people integrated into how I live daily, Twitter has changed what it gives me, and changed who I am.
Perhaps some day I’ll ‘remember when’ I was on Twitter, and no longer need what it provides. That time feels as if it’s a long way off.
If you’re curious, stop by and visit me there. You don’t need an account, just click on http://twitter.com/ellensymons.
See you soon?