Great Virtual Resource for Writers: Twitter Chats

by Joan Kremer on August 25, 2009 · 6 comments

in Places for writers,Virtual tools

I used to have a love-hate relationship with Twitter. I loved it because I met fascinating people and learned things I’d never hear about otherwise.  I hated it because it could swallow whole every moment of my free time.

But ever since this weekend, viagra
the “love” part has vastly overtaken the “hate” part.  That’s because I discovered an incredible virtual resource for writers on Twitter.

twitterbirds by Luc Latulippe

"Twitterbirds" courtesy of Luc Latulippe

Quite a while ago, I overcame my distaste for all things “networking” and joined the social media scene. (You can see all the social networks I’ve joined in my far-right sidebar, “Where to Find Me Online.”)

Since then, I’ve poked along at being a good citizen of the social-networking world, sometimes avoiding it for days, other times engrossed in the conversations on Plurk, Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, etc., for hours at a time.

But mostly, I’ve just watched rather passively, growing curious about such things as this post about Twitter chats for writers on my friend Debbie Ridpath Ohi’s blog, Inkygirl.com – Daily Diversions for Writers.

Twitter chats??? Isn’t all of Twitter one big chat? Not when you combine tweets with hashtags, I learned.  Turns out, there are all kinds of topic-specific chats scheduled just about any time of any time, including many for writers.

Well, being a writer, as well as one who loves discovering resources for writers in the virtual world the Internet has birthed, I decided to see for myself why Debbie writes so highly of Twitter chats.

Wow!  What a discovery!

whathashtag

Screenprint of #writechat page on What the Hashtag?!

Last Sunday, I popped into the #writechat Twitter chat, which starts at noon Pacific time every Sunday and lasts approximately three hours.  I had no idea what to expect, but what I ended up finding was a treasure trove:

  • Founder and moderator @WritingSpirit (author and creativity coach Julie Isaac) posts a discussion topic at the start; last Sunday it was “Inspiration VS. Organization. Tips & tools for each and how they work together.”
  • For three hours, published and unpublished authors from around the world generate a wild text-dance of advice, comments, recommendations, links, etc., about that topic or others related to writing.
  • Ask a question about writing or publishing, and an amazing number of experts will gladly provide information, advice, and support.
  • More than 230 writers contributed roughly 1,700 tweets on Sunday, most of which were directly related to writing.

In the short while (less than an hour) I was online with the chat:

  • I learned about many organizing, mind-mapping, and writing software programs – much of it free – that writers use.
  • I picked up scores of new ideas for getting organized and inspired/motivated to write every day.
  • I received gratifying reminders from published authors that an MFA is not essential to getting an agent or publisher interested in your novel.
  • My Twitter “following” and “followers” lists both grew with the addition of writers I met.

So what’s so special about a scheduled online chat versus reading blog posts and books on writing tips?  In a word, synergy.

Even though the several hundred writers participating on Sunday live great distances from each other, their writer-mind-energy comes together and creates a synergistic effect that gives me the same uplift, inspiration, and renewed excitement about writing that I’d get from a physical congregation of writers sharing and supporting each other.  It’s a phenomenon Second Life residents are quite familiar with – the sense of camaraderie and connection created by interactions in the virtual world.

If you miss some or all of a #writechat session, you can find the transcript online at What the Hashtag?!, a Web site created to support the ways in which people use hashtags on Twitter.  But while you’ll get the information, you’ll miss out on that wild, flowing energy of a live chat.

writechattranscript

Just a few of the tweets at the start of Sunday's #writchat on Twitter

Julie Isaac (#writechat’s moderator) has posted some key information about the weekly chats in a post on her blog, #WriteChat — A chat for writers on Sundays at Twitter, including a few comments from participants, such as these (all of which I concur with):

  • “Mondays are less cruel now that they begin with a #writechat session the night before.”
  • “Wow! Thank you everyone. My first #writechat & I have books to read, people to follow, etc. Fantastic info & lively discussion.”
  • “LUV everything about #writechat, it’s a Sunday must. So glad to have found this community of smart writers.”

(When you’re there, explore the rest of Julie’s blog, WritingSpirit Resources – it contains a ton of information and inspiration for writers.)

So, if you need an infusion of support and energy from other writers, check out #writechat – or any of the other Twitter chats available for writers.

Summary of helpful links about Twitter for writers:

As a relative newbie on Twitter, I’ve still got a lot to learn.  So I’d love to hear from you any other ways you know that writers can find help and support on Twitter. Just add a comment to this post.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Julie Isaac (1 comments.) August 25, 2009 at 6:04 pm

Glad you had such a wonderful experience on #writechat. I love your description of it’s magic as synergy. That’s so true. With over 200 writers generously sharing their wisdom and experience, #writechat’s become an amazing source of support, creativity, connections, and writing tips.

I keep the last three weeks of transcripts on my NEW blog, http://blog.WritingSpirit.com.

Write on,
Julie Isaac
Creator & Host of #writechat
@WritingSpirit on twitter

2 Paula August 25, 2009 at 8:40 pm

This is a very interesting and inspiring post, Joan
I think Mary and I would benefit from visiting the links you’ve posted as well as the live chat. Thank you for this article 🙂

3 Joan Kremer (71 comments.) August 26, 2009 at 10:00 am

Hi Julie! Thanks for writing and a special thanks for adding the link to the #writechat transcripts. I love your new WritingSpirit Blog, and appreciate the transcripts in PDF format for easy reading and downloading. Looking forward to the next #writechat I can attend (Sunday after this next one).

4 Joan Kremer (71 comments.) August 26, 2009 at 10:02 am

Hey, Paula, thanks so much for the comment! I think you and Mary would both have great fun and be super additions to the Twitter writer chats! Looking forward to see you there, too.

5 Stefan (1 comments.) September 9, 2009 at 12:26 pm

I never beed seen this before that you can actually chat on Twitter. The combination of Twitters with hashtags was really amazing I should try this too. Searching for specific topic will be a lot easier and perhaps the I can get with many writers.
Stefan´s last blog ..Ferienhaus information My ComLuv Profile

6 Joan Kremer (71 comments.) September 12, 2009 at 8:57 am

Hi Stefan — Yes, I was amazed at how hashtags really expand the functionality of Twitter. It’s far easier to connect with other writers using this! Thanks for your comment!

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