Sara Sheridan’s article in the Guardian out of Edinburgh, entitled: “Why writers must embrace social media, no matter the genre”, and the ensuing comments from readers, provided the opportunity to consider my own frightened foray into the world of social media. The article focused on the benefits to a writer who interacts with social media. The comments debated the pros and cons of Facebook, Twitter, and other on-line forums. Since I have recently begun to explore Twitter, my favorite comment was from ‘anytimefrances’ who stated, “Twitter and such is for airheads.”
At a recent local writer’s day, John Herman spoke about social media and its place in the literary world. He noted that Twitter was made for writers. It requires the author of the message to communicate a thought in 140 characters or less. Isn’t that what writing is about: rewriting until each word used is necessary and important? Perhaps I should put the sentences in this article into Twitter to see if they meet the ‘tweet test’. But that would not be right either, because a lengthy sentence can be a beautiful thing. Twitter is just a tool among many, to be used as needed.
After reflecting on Sara Sheridan’s article, John Herman‘s workshop, and my own fledgling flight into ‘tweeting’, I believe that ‘anytimefrances’ is correct: Twitter is for airheads; and it is for celebrities, athlete’s, and CEOs; and yes, it is even for writers.