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endless stream of tips for authors submitting to agents, I tweeted this: “Agents: to feel the power, please patronise unpublished authors with snide tweets re submissions.”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