Okay, yes, it can absolutely suck up time and energy that you should probably devote to something else, if you let it get out of hand. But as a working writer, as long as I tweet with a sense of balance, it is SO not a waste.
Here's what I get from being an active, thoughtful participant on Twitter:
- A crazy-wonderful sense of community. I have different groups for friends, YA writers, agents, and editors. I can post about writer struggles and talk to people who UNDERSTAND, real-time. While I love the people in my real life, they just don't get most of those struggles. Or joys, for that matter. On Twitter, you can post that you finished a rough draft and friends will celebrate with you!
- A bonanza of information as a reader. Daily I see new books I want to read, or reviews of books, and find new (or seasoned) authors I want to support. Half that stuff I'd never know about without poring through a hundred blogs. I don't really have the kind of time you need for blogs. But with Twitter I can dip in and out, and find out what I need.
- Connections. I am VERY anti-schmooze, and I would never (ever ever ever) connect with someone for what they can do for me. But my friends on Twitter have helped me tremendously in this whole publishing process, in ways I couldn't have even imagined. And usually without my asking. (Twitter peeps, you are amazing!)
- Crowd-sourcing for information. Whether you need to know which show to go to in NYC or which office supply store has the best service, or you want to hear some new bands, you can Ask. And you will Receive Answers.
- Effecting change. Yes, we don't win them all. But when a strong Twitter community (like the YA lit crowd) sees something Wrong, sometimes we can do something about it.
- FUN and DISTRACTION. Tiara days. Sparkle exchanges. Pun wars. Silly hashtags. It's like joking around with your favorite people whenever you want.
So there, doubters. Did I convince anyone, or were you all convinced already? If you want to check it out, I'm at @susan_adrian. See you there. #TwitterRocks