For some time, I’ve been under pressure to Tweet. It’s apparently not enough to Facebook, blog, webpage, and email.
I resisted. I’m a fantasy writer. 140 characters is too small a space to turn around in.
The Twitterati persisted. “It’s really quick and really fun and really viral,” they said.
Really? I thought. Let’s just see who’s on there.
When I looked into it several years ago, it seemed like Twitter Literary was mostly librarians, language arts teachers, agents, editors, and writers avoiding their deadlines. Not so many teenagers, save the odd book blogger.
“My audience isn’t on Twitter,” I said smugly. And put it into the old, “one day you’ll have time for this” file. Which usually means, “I’ll adopt this just as everyone else is departing for the next techstination.”
Facebook was like that. By the time I was on Facebook, your grandmother was pestering you with friend requests.
While I dawdled, the Twittervirus sent its tentacles into every corner of my life. The cool writers became @libbabray, @sarahdessen, @realjohngreen, @neilhimself--even @SalmanRushdie--while I languished in digital darkness.
I’d sit on author panels while everyone else—including my fellow panelists—tweeted away. I’d say something—anything—and hear people in the audience tapping on tiny keyboards. And I wondered—are they tweeting what I just said, or are they just checking email?
So I’m at the World Fantasy Con, where @neilhimself is the guest of honor, and I’m hanging with awesome writers like @hollyblack, @cindypon, @malindalo, @kehealey, and @gregvaneekhout, and the topic of Twitter comes up. And I’m all, “That’s it, I’m going to do it, I’m going to get on Twitter.”
“You already are,” @cindypon says.
“No, I’m not,” I say.
“You have 80 followers,” @cindypon says. “@cindachima, I’ve been tweeting you all during the con.”
“Have. @hollyblack has, too.”
Huh, I think. Maybe at some point in the past, in a frenzy of social networking guilt, I signed up.
“Um. Have I ever Tweeted?” I ask humbly.
“No,” @cindypon said.
“Oh, no,” I say. “You must think I’m stuck-up. Or I have nothing to say!”
“We just figured you were squatting on the site to keep anyone else from taking it.”
“Right. That’s exactly what I was doing. But now I’m really going to Tweet. And follow some people. And maybe create some tiny urls.”
I try every email and password I’ve ever used, and I cannot get into the @cindachima account. I keep trying until they lock me out.
I send a trouble ticket to Twitter. No dice. Unless I have the email address or password, I cannot access the account.
For over a week, every time an old password surfaces in my mental files, I hurry back to Twitter and try to get in. No luck.
Well, I think. I can always set up the @realcindachima account. And then tweet to whoever stole my @cindachima account. I’ll just give them a good scolding in 140 characters or less.
Then my agent emails me. He’s in LA, visiting with our film agent.
Oh, by the way, Vince saw that @cindachima was available on Twitter, and he snagged it for you a while ago. Do you want it?
So now I’m in. I’ve set up my profile, and I’m following a few people (always seems stalkerish, but I guess being followed is a good thing in Twitterworld. I’ve Tweeted, re-Tweeted, and created a tiny URL.
Hey! Where did everybody go?
I tweet @cindachima.