How to survive Twitter – Part One

I’d like to say I joined Twitter all in the name of branding and self-promotion – but I didn’t. I joined so I could tweet about contests and get the extra point dang it. I’m still not sure if helped me win contests – probably not.

Stages of Twittering:

Totally grounded and lurking:

  • Lurking – you follow agents, published authors, and editors and swallow their tweets whole.
  • You find fellow bloggers and still lurk.
  • You tweet your new blog posts.
  • You might possibly feel confused, think Twitter is stupid and quit.

Preparing for take-off:

  • You dare to @reply to bloggers you know.
  • You congratulate friends or strangers on word counts or other good news.
  • You tweet helpful or funny blog posts you read.


  • You lurk on kidlitchat or yalitchat and eventually participate.
  • You experiment with hashtags. #queries #amwriting
  • You participate in #FF (Follow Friday) #WW (writer Wednesday), #MM (not sure what it stands for yet.)
  • You realize using Tweetdeck makes Twitter easier to manage.


  • Friends start to tweet your posts.
  • You realize that a lot of tweets are really dumb and promise yourself not to write things like that (even though you probably do).
  • You make new friends and comment on their blogs.
  • You figure out that to get to the individual tweet you click on the time stamp.
  • You write a blog post about using Twitter.

Benefits of Twitter

  • Researching agents or promoting your book.
  • Building up your blog following.
  • Finding encouragement that others are in the same place as you.
  • Finding new authors, helpful blog posts, contests, book recommendations.
  • Making new online friends.
  • Developing the friendships you’ve already made through blogging.
  • Research – ask questions and hopefully receive answers.

Negatives to Twitter

  • Spending time on twitter rather than writing.
  • Using the success stories as further proof that your writing sucks.
  • Stalking people and responding inappropriately.
  • Allowing it to rule your life (at this point you should take a break).

What stage are you at? Did I miss any stages?

29 Responses to How to survive Twitter – Part One

  1. Elaine November 15, 2010 at 9:10 am #

    It’s the way I start my day, spend my lunch and end my evening. Sometimes it is even more addictive than Blogging. I get to read and learn about things I’d never have found in writing, research or in my normal routines. Everything is short so I feel like I’ve got more done with my time. I think it is a good way to wast..spend time. 😉

  2. Jody Hedlund November 15, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    LOVE this, Laura!! You crack me up! 🙂

  3. Nelsa November 15, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

    This is perfect!! Great post, Laura.

    • Laura November 15, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

      Thanks, everyone. Of course, I only know the stages I’ve been through. I’m sure I’ll have more to add in another year!

  4. Christine Glover November 15, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    Love this! I have a tweetdeck but am fairly inept at using it. I think I like Twitter because it’s faster and easier to manage than the other social media sites. But I don’t think I’m 100% in Stage 3 due to my tweetdeck shortcomings 😉

  5. T. Anne November 15, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    LOL! I love twitter and yes lurking and eaves dropping are part of the fun! 😉

  6. Tina Lee November 15, 2010 at 3:53 pm #

    Ha! I’m totally all over the map with twitter. Mostly avoidant. Can certainly see the benefits. Love how you can write a post that makes me laugh and is also totally helpful! Thanks as always.

  7. Lois Moss November 15, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    I’m still trying to sort through the best way to use twitter. I learned a few things here. I’m going to have to tweet my blog posts. I never even thought of doing that even though I see other people doing it.

  8. Angela Felsted November 15, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    I’ve yet to try twitter. With facebook and blogging I’m worried it would suck away too much of my time. Maybe one of these days I’ll try it.

  9. Heather Kelly November 15, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

    I’m an on-again, off-again tweeter. Some days, I’ll remember: TWITTER EXISTS! And it’s like opening all those little random gifts stuffed into that stocking on Christmas morning. But most days, I forget. 🙂

  10. Susan R. Mills November 15, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

    I’m new to the whole things, so I’m still trying to figure out how it works. Thanks to some awesome friends, though, I’ve been able to learn it a little faster. I guess I’d say I’m somewhere between the second and third stage.

  11. Jennifer Hoffine November 15, 2010 at 7:10 pm #

    Great post. I’m still totally grounded. My few attempts at flight have landed me on my beak.

    Will put twittering in my “do later” file…at least until I feel better about my blogging:)

    • Laura November 15, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

      That’s where I got the idea for this post – reading comments on other blogs about writers that had no idea how to use Twitter. And this post was to let them know that over time, you figure it out. I’m still figuring it out too. And of course, we always put our writing first and then social media, whatever we’re comfortable with. I don’t think it’s a necessity, esp. as an aspiring writer. It’s just fun.

  12. Elisa November 15, 2010 at 7:56 pm #

    Lol, I think I joined twitter for the same reason, the extra point for contests. This was hysterical. Definitely going to tweet it. ;p

  13. Patti Nielson November 15, 2010 at 8:11 pm #

    I’m still in stage one. Using it for contests. I think I need to take a class on how to use it.

  14. Kelly Polark November 15, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    This is great! I’m at stage zero right now. But when I finish my current manuscript, I’m joining!

  15. Kristy November 15, 2010 at 10:00 pm #

    Thanks for breaking it down! Now I know what to expect and I’m definitely going to check out Tweetdeck. (I had no idea you could click the time stamp to get the individual tweet.) 🙂

  16. Julie Musil November 16, 2010 at 12:11 am #

    Oh Laura, this cracked me up! I started as a lurker, and now I’m a serious Twitter lover. I love the relationships and the information. So much great stuff out there. Oh, and I retweeted!

    • Laura November 16, 2010 at 12:16 am #

      Elisa – Nothing wrong with joining for contests! We all have to start somewhere!

      Patti – You’ll pick it up I promise!

      Kelly – Nothing wrong with stage zero! Def. finish your wip!

      Kristy – I didn’t use tweet deck for a while but I was missing when people were responding to me. Tweetdeck has separate colum for people mentioning your name, so you can see it hours later!

      Julie – I def. started as a lurker and moved through all the stages. Those were my stages – might be different for other people.

  17. Kristen Torres-Toro November 16, 2010 at 3:32 am #

    It’s like you’re speaking another lanugage! Ha!

  18. Lynda Young November 16, 2010 at 5:19 am #

    lol, nice selection. I had a giggle at the stages. So true. I also retweeted this 😉

  19. Stephen Tremp November 16, 2010 at 6:21 am #

    I grow hot and cold with Twitter. Some weeks I really rock and roll and others I’m non-existant. I think I need to be more consistent as twitter really doesn’t take much time. A few minutes here and there and that’s about it.

    • Laura November 16, 2010 at 11:57 am #

      Stephen – And yes, that’s the key. Pop in, make some friends, and pop off. But I love to write with the pop ups from tweet so I can respond to friends right away. And check out their blog posts right away. I still get just as much done.

      Lynda – Thanks for the RT!

      Kristen – 🙂 I’d have thought too before I started using it!

  20. Karen Lange November 16, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    Thank you, Laura for your kind words on my blog.

  21. write-brained November 16, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    This is GREAT!!!! Oh yeah,the time suck!

  22. angela November 16, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    ha, this is so on the money that I was grinning throughout. Well done! 🙂

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  23. Jennifer Shirk November 17, 2010 at 12:12 am #

    This is great! And since I just a wrote a blog on twitter last week, I guess I’m orbiting, too. LOL!

  24. patti November 17, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

    What a great post.
    Um, I’m just so not there.

    Perhaps I am not reading my own Monday blog about old dogs and new tricks.

    Blessings, dear one.

  25. Glynis Jolly November 21, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    I’m still preparing for take-off. That might be as far as I get, at least until after the holidays.

    I’m really not comfortable with social networking but it sure is cheaper than advertising any other way.

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