Michaeline: Twitter Break

When you need a break with a little conflict to wake you up, Writing Twitter nearly always delivers. There’s gonna be a writing fight going on somewhere, sometime; this is just a given for our time.

HARSH WRITING ADVICE is the one trending this morning, and I’ve got to say, it’s a juicy topic!

All Writing is a Leap in the Dark (my headline). All (Marriage, crossed out in red) Is a Leap Into the Dark (text body) Marrying a Person You Never Have Seen Is No More Risky Than the Chances We All Take in Picking a Husband or Wife, Says Dorothy Dix; Golden Rule? There Is None. By DOROTHY DIX (picture: a middle-aged woman with a Gibson girl up-do, strand of beads, and modest yet rich-looking top)
There’s so much advice out there — what was your favorite writing advice, best or worst? (Image via Wikimedia Commons, modified by E.M. Duskova)

According to Tessa Dare’s screenshot, the inception tweet went like this:

“HARSH WRITING ADVICE: Your writer friends are also your competition. Sorry.”

This was one bad take (apparently deleted by the original writer https://twitter.com/RebeccaRennerFL/status/1355246427337859079?s=20) that provoked a lot of thought. The community came up with bad advice, good advice, a lot of humor, and several celebrations of why writing friends are so important.

Tweeter @gr8writingtips said, “if you eat your writer friends you gain their ability” (18K likes at the time of this writing. Funny, but terrible advice. Writers are full of transfats and caffeine. Not healthy eating at all.)

Shiv Ramdas, a great thread storyteller, warns that making it competitive can backfire. (Thread of 11 tweets; totally worth it.)

Alix E. Harrow, on the other hand, remembers a time she cooperated with Erin Morgenstern on an event with books with nearly identical concepts. Sounds like it was a fun time, and a real win for readers – they got TWO books instead of one.

This brings us back to Tessa Dare’s question: “Do you, on your own, publish enough books a year that your ideal reader will never need a book from anyone else?” It’s a very unfair thing about the writing business; that book that took the author a year to write will be consumed in six to eight hours. Readers always need more, and it makes a lot of sense to cooperate with other writers in your genre to offer readers a choice and a chance to read more.

Amber Sparks notes, “As a writer, you’re not competing with other writers any more than people playing slot machines at Caesar’s are competing against other people playing slot machines.”

Fred G. Yost (@waidr) made a cute acrostic that sounds like great advice for everyone.

Help others

Accept Criticism

Read outside your genre

Save your work often and back up off site

Have fun!

Of course, most of the best writing advice comes down to this, by Bim Adewunmi: “. . . it seems you have to write it? *checks notes* yeah, you have to actually write it wow”

And to sum up, advice from Elizabeth Bear: “HARSH WRITING AdvICe: I don’t know who needs to hear this but you have to get the fuck off Twitter and actually finish your book.

“Oh wait, it’s me.

“I need to hear this.”

And with that, I’m getting off the internet and going to write. Probably with Elizabeth’s writing sprint from yesterday. Have a good weekend, folks, and enjoy your writing advice with a grain of salt!

4 thoughts on “Michaeline: Twitter Break

  1. I have a Twitter account and go there about 15 minutes annually. And when I do go there, I always feel like I wasted those 15 minutes. But when I see fun stuff like this, I think I should try again….Maybe today, after I finish my word count. 🙂

    • I have my writing account that I use to advertise the blog and any writing I do. Then I made one on my phone for fun, but the name is still related to my writing. The completely different approaches really bring me two different Twitters! I’m afraid the business one that I visit once a week or so is a bit boring, full of marketing, and just not so much fun. The other one? I visit it every day, and I follow people from all my interests — cat people, musicians, comedians, writers, etc. I get a lot more out of that one, both personally and professionally, I have to say.

      Twitter can be a lot of fun and very helpful . . . but you do have to follow Elizabeth Bear’s advice and get off and write (if one wants to be writer . . . harsh, but true).

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