What’s news for horror writer Paul D. Dail
Always try to find a silver lining. The other night, suffering horribly from allergies and with a sick baby, I woke up at about 11:30 p.m. and really didn’t sleep again for the rest of the night. Somewhere about 3 a.m., I came up with a great short story idea. It’s dark and horrible, and people will be a little nervous about me when they read it, but hey, better to get it out on paper, right?
What does the future hold?
I think next Friday I’ll be doing a piece on the Atlantic Hotel in Missoula, Montana. If you’ve read my novel The Imaginings, you know that this is one of the pivotal settings of the book. And it’s definitely an interesting place.
But without further ado…
The following series of thoughts will follow Twitter rules for length, which, if you don’t know already, must be less than 140 characters.
The previous statement made it in 140 characters. I’m not sure why it has to be 140 characters. Who came up with that?
I will say that it makes one more adept at stating their thoughts in a quick, concise way, unless you feel it’s important enough (1/2)
(2/2) that you carry it into two tweets.
I will also say that while I still struggle with this in my writing, I’ve learned to tweet only using one space between sentences.
When did we come up with that? I always remember it being two spaces. But now that’s considered amateur. Hard to teach an old dog new tricks
(That last one came in right at 140. And notice that I had to leave off the end punctuation. That’s okay in the Twitter world.)
But anyway, I first heard about Twitter with some commercial that showed the twitter bird saying, “me, me, me.”
Anyone remember that commercial? I thought it was really funny. And for quite awhile, I thought I would never join Twitter.
Most people say writers should join. Here’s a link to 1 such article (Twitter would actually shorten this link to fit) http://www.worldwidefreelance.com/why-should-writers-use-twitter/
Then I wrote a flash fiction piece for @vamplit publishing, and they said I had to have a Twitter account. Dammit!
(If you didn’t know, the @ in front of vamplit would let them know that I had mentioned them in a tweet. You can also (1/2))
((2/2) do a hashtag # in front of a word, such as #horror #writer, and people searching for that will find your tweets on that topic)
Which brings up one thing I’ve really liked about Twitter. You can join groups talking about certain things, such as #storycraft.
#storycraft is a weekly 1 hour twitter session where people get together and discuss various topics about writing hosted by @AuthorKimKoning
With life as it is, I haven’t been to #storycraft in months, but I met some great people there and got some great tips.
Honestly, it was the longest time I spent on Twitter, which brings me to my next point.
I wrote a tweet once that said, “I’m pretty sure I’m doing this wrong.” And it’s true. Here’s what I do at Twitter:
(I realize that I may lose followers over this post)
(And what’s up with that? “Followers”? Did Charles Manson start Twitter? Jim Jones? There has to be a story here)
Anyway, I tweet my blog posts (actually that happens automatically from WordPress).
I also tweet the blog posts of other writers with whom I’m friends.
That’s about it. And the latter is the large majority of my tweets. I don’t really feel right putting out a lot of self-promotional stuff.
Sure, I occasionally will throw in some random thought or observation, but I always feel a little silly (see the tweet about “me, me, me”)
I don’t consider myself enough of a celebrity that people will actually care what I’m doing or thinking 24/7.
Maybe it’s because I don’t really care about what most celebrities are doing 24/7.
Do I want to know Stephen King’s thoughts on writing? Sure. What he had for breakfast? Not so much.
So I’m doing it all wrong, right? I’m not really interacting. And I’m only really on when I’m promoting someone else.
But I don’t think I’m alone. Most of you are already familiar with automated tweets that you schedule in advance without even being present.
So is anyone out there? Or is it getting to a point where we’ll all just schedule our tweets for an audience of no one?
It’s like late night infomercials. Or radio from midnight to six. I used to be a dj, and that was my schedule, but (1/2)
(2/2) I was never in the station during those hours. I pre-recorded everything and then went home.
Or to the bar. It was weird to hear myself on the radio while I sat having a beer.
But the sad thing was there was no one at the helm to answer the calls from those poor teenagers making requests we couldn’t play anyway.
But anyway, back on topic, here’s the tricky part. I’m still getting new followers.
I haven’t done anything on Twitter in two months, yet I’m still getting new followers. Where are they coming from? Is my silence appealing?
Are they fans? Fellow writers? Or are they just people following me in hopes of getting more followers themselves?
I’m guessing it’s mostly the latter. And if that’s the case, it’s one of the same things that irritates me about Facebook.
Do they even know me, or are they just gathering names? Did they look at any of my tweets? What if I’m a complete lunatic sociopath?
(Actually, that would probably just get me more followers)
And if they’re fans, what sort of obligation do I have to them? I love the community of fellow writers, but do I have the time?
It’s like I said about my blog last week. Just because people are still reading, do I have to keep writing? Or is it just a good idea?
What do I want from you?
Your thoughts? Don’t worry, you can make them longer than 140 characters. In fact, I hope you will.
Hope to see you back next week for my post on the Atlantic Hotel.
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