Normally, all I have to look forward to on the 26th of January is the birthday of my best pal Andrew. It's fun, sending my annual message celebrating his impending entry into the archaelogical record (see? he's old! lol...right? *high five*)
Yeah, ok. Anyway, this year a different milestone was reached and I felt I should comment here on my blog. I got my 4000th follower on Twitter!
Sure, I'm no Kanye, Bieber or Taylor Swift with a bajillion crazy, foaming at the mouth lunatics waiting to find out what I'm having for dinner but somehow, I've grown a small following.
Now, for those of you who don't know much about Twitter, I should point out that not everyone follows you for your dazzling wit or access into the deep, dark recesses of your mind. Some of your followers might not even be real people. You've got spammers and psuedo-accounts, you've got those who just want you to "follow-back" and some who follow you so you follow them and then they unfollow you! Yes, the world of Twitter is a fiendish place.
I made a concerted effort to create a following of some sort on Twitter, as a way to help promote my books and hopefully learn something along the way. I had no real idea what I may or may not achieve with my account in the long run but I was determined to make it work for me. What actually happened surprised me.
Seeking out like-minded people: writers, bloggers and goofballs meant that I discovered that I was not the only crazy fool out there. I didn't expect much in the way of meaningful interaction beyond asking or answering questions and yet, I found other writers who seemed happy and willing to share moments of their time helping the newbie out, or trading wisecracks or just offering some words of support. 140 characters at a time.
In return, I've tried to establish myself as someone approachable and helpful, willing to pay forward the good will extended to me. Has it helped with my books sales? Yes, I'm sure it has but I'm not shifting hundreds of ebooks a month. Instead, I think Twitter has made me a better writer. I've learned a lot from my peers and, by getting involved in their writing, I've had my eyes opened to my own shortcomings as a writer and given me that kick in the arse I needed.
So, if you're a writer and you're not sure if Twitter is for you, I'm telling you it is. Come find me and say hello: @SpartaGus and I'll point you in the direction of some awesome Tweeps.
And just for the record, Andrew gets his own back on February 5th as I take another arthritic step towards decrepitude.
Aye, you can send cake!
Tell me what you think of Twitter...