I love milestones. Anniversaries are special. They are the stuff of toasts and important speeches and emotional reflection.
Unless you just aren’t paying attention.
It happened to me last week. By Friday evening, the column in my Twitter bio showed 9,996 tweets.
But for a debut author, who is supposed to be taming the social media monster so she has time to write her own stuff, 10,000 is a pretty significant number.
10,000 is just a number
So I figured I needed to make #10,000 special: extraordinarily interesting or witty, perhaps. At the very least, it needed to be memorable. Because, really, it would never come again.
Some of my followers offered different ideas about what I could do at the 10,000 mark. When I had reached tweet #9,989, my friend Chris suggested:
@judyleedunn How about a top 10 of some kind, after your next tweet?
— Chris Lovie-Tyler (@chrislovietyler) February 28, 2013
I said that, while that was a good idea, I was thinking about sharing my most unusual/amusing tweet—until I realized how long it would take to go through 10,000 of them.
In a frantic effort to create the perfect tweet (I know, it’s my OCD kicking in), I lost track of the numbers. So, the next morning, on Saturday, when I was not quite awake, I tweeted what, unknown to me, in my caffeine-deprived state, was my 10,000th tweet:
Mid morning: Whole oat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies fresh from the oven and a cup of dark roast Starbucks. Fuel for Saturday writing.
— Judy Lee Dunn (@JudyLeeDunn) March 2, 2013
In the very next tweet, I lamented my failure to make my 10,000th tweet special in any way. My sarcastic friend Gary (that’s why I love him) replied:
@judyleedunn I hope when the time comes that I have something that memorable.
— Gary Powell (@imagewear) March 2, 2013
And yet, my 10,000th tweet actually turned out to be close to perfect.
Why? Because it was sharing something personal. Nothing momentous, just something that would connect with almost everyone: writing on a Saturday morning, with a fresh, warm cookie and a strong cup of coffee at my side.
Twitter makes us more human
Sometimes we overthink what we share on social media. In our eagerness to promote our “brand,” we forget that people want to see us. And because it is so spontaneous and fleeting at the same time, Twitter is the best platform for connecting our real selves to other people.
How writers can use twitter
As writers, we are in a unique position because projecting our voice in our tweets can help us find readers for our books. Especially with fiction and memoir, readers will either fall in love with our voice or not. For instance, a core part of my writing voice is humor. And I can be edgy, even irreverent at times. But that’s my voice.
As I move along the Twitter path, as a writer of memoirs, I’ll be looking to share:
• humor-infused snippets on the process of writing
• tweets about other memoirists and their books
• fun, personal tweets about island life
• tweets connecting one of my followers with another
• links to good blog posts on writing
• solutions to writing- focused problems posed on Twitter
• progress on my book: scenes I’m working on
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Thanks for reading today’s post.
What about you?
What is the most challenging part of Twitter for you?
How do you balance the mix of personal and professional and is there such a thing as being too authentic?