Twitter (mis)behaviour

I follow 500 people, most of them in the book world, a good percentage of them crime writers. 

This is what I’ve noticed about my twitter behaviour: 

I over indulge when I’m editing. Bored, frustrated and alone, I reach out to my colleagues for support and entertainment. I’m very lucky – crime writers are supportive and hilarious. I’ve found the best chat happens on Friday afternoons, when people are happy and optimistic. Mondays are shite, all hard sell – seems to be panic day for writers, having spent too much on beer on the weekend. 

I do it in a state of manic happiness when I have good news. 

I never tweet when I’ve been drinking, mainly because the first thing to go is my spelling. 

I get upset when I’m unfollowed. What did I do? 

I unfollow people whose tweets are limited to hard sell or annoying quotes. 

I’ve made mistakes on twitter:

Once, my husband rang from Puerto Rico (at the Premiere of his film, The Caller) to say Stephen Moyer was reading The Donor. I tweeted it. Within seconds this story appeared online  – “What’s the book on Stephen Moyer’s nightstand?” 

A few seconds later, the news was on vampire fan sites around the world. Stephen, meanwhile, was on page one, looking around his hotel room for hidden cameras.

Another time, after reading an endless stream of tips for authors submitting to agents, I tweeted this: “Agents: to feel the power, please patronise unpublished authors with snide tweets re submissions.” My (wonderful) brand new agent read this immediately and thought I was talking about him. As if. I’m new to his (wonderful) agency. I am still in grovel mode.

Then there’s last Friday when, bored of the #FF’s to THE AWESOME, THE CLEVER, THE BEST, THE FUNNIEST, I #FF’d to “crappy shitty people who I hate”, only pausing to worry after hitting return that they might not get the joke. 

There have been times when I’ve been dirty, angry and bitchy, times when I’ve used the c word or slagged off certain demographics (I am not religious… And anti-Tory). I have to be more careful. I have to ask myself – would I get up on a stage, microphone in hand, and say this to 500 people? (The answer is probably yes, but still a worthwhile question to ask).

At least once a week, I berate myself for spending so much time on twitter, I feel embarrassed by my (not so witty after a re-read) chat, by my shameless bragging and regular errors of judgement. I promise myself that this week I will stay away from it. 

But I never do…

…For example, right now I’m in manic state of happiness and have just tweeted this: The Donor one of the “Best of the Year in Fiction” on Amazon




~ by helenfitzgerald on November 8, 2011.

12 Responses to “Twitter (mis)behaviour”

  1. CONGRATULATIONS, Helen! This is truly awesome news and is well-deserved! I totally agree that it’s one of the best of the year.BTW, I was one of those you sent that "crappy, shitty" msg to and I didn’t know what it meant. I don’t know what #FF means for starters–Fast Forward? It’s all I could think of. Now that I know it was a spoof I’m just totally honored to have been included!Back to The Donor–it’s an amazing book and I’m just about done with it and I’m going to do a "dual review" on it and Sergio’s film, AMERICAN COUSINS. All I have to say is that your kids absolutely have to be creative geniuses with the parents they’re blessed with!Anyone who hasn’t yet read The Donor–get it!


  2. Thanks Les! Our kids seem to have the best of both of us – both really into science, unlike us, which I hope means they’ll make money and fix things.


  3. btw #ff means follow friday – ie who you recommend people follow.


  4. I have one daughter like that–science geek who is brilliant and my other two kids are like me, penniless artists. My science daughter scares me… She KNOWS things…So THAT’S what FF means! Is there a glossary somewhere one can go to to find out this stuff? The one I don’t get is the tweet that has a list of twitter addresses (mine included)… and that’s it. No message or anything. I sense that it’s a compliment or something and means something but I don’t have a clue. I always tweet them back, thanking them for the "mention" but really don’t have a clue what I’m thanking them for.So much to learn, so little time…


  5. I thought my girl was the penniless writer type, then she came home with a physics prize. (I tried not to look shocked). Twitter’s a minefield. One of my conversations with a writer friend ended up in a blog last week – thank god it wasn’t too dodgy.The FF thing gets a but dull, and now people are doing #ww (not sure what that is). Can be helpful though. When someone I enjoy following recommends others with an ff I usually click to see if I want to follow them. What I need to do is give myself a twenty minute slot where I’m allowed on, and stay off for the rest of the day. This kind of self discipline doesn’t come naturally to me, though.


  6. Great news about The Donor…glad I’m not the only one who loved this book almost as much as my left arm.Woot.


  7. What’s wrong with your right arm?


  8. Right arm is another level above the right arm. Didn’t want to show you exactly where The Donor lands on my most loved things compared to limbs chart.


  9. *Right arm is another level above the left arm*That’s how much I love my right arm…it can’t even be discussed in the same sentence as the left…


  10. I almost spit my diet coke over the monitor reading about Stephen Moyer and The Donor. I am the guilty party who posted it. Stephen wrote me from Puerto Rico: Shad love, how do you know what I am reading?Sorry to say I ratted you out, Helen.


  11. Haha! It was all my fault. I got a call from Serge – Hele love, did you tell anyone what Stephen is reading?


  12. Helen and Shad – you girls are hilarious. Thanks for the indiscretion. — A Stephen Moyer Fan


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