Dear Writer on Twitter: Don’t Be a B*!#*

Image from Flickr by chrisinplymouth

Image from Flickr by chrisinplymouth

I love writers, and I love Twitter. But I’m getting tired of writers on Twitter. Why?

Because writers tend to brand themselves so successfully they become nothing more than their brands.

And that’s sad, right? None of us is one dimensional. When a person is passionate about a topic to the point of obsession, it can be sweetly endearing. But there’s a difference between someone reaching out to others for a shared sense of belonging and someone selling their brand, and the difference is always obvious on Twitter.

Honestly, I’m not all that interesting. If Facebook broke down the subject of my posts into percentages, I’m sure 90% would be about my children. So I hate to judge others for being boring. 😉

But when writers only tweet about their writing, or the subject of their writing, or links to other authors’ writing in the hopes that those authors will then tweet links to their writing, it’s beyond boring, it’s self-defeating. These tweets are just thinly veiled commercials, and people tune them out.

A blog should be focused—readers are coming to you for a particular reason. But Twitter is a conversation, and it’s much more fun when the conversation is varied. Pick three things besides your writing that you love, do a search for those subjects and connect with others who share your interests. I reached out to people passionate about writing and reading, but also to those tweeting about parenting, baseball, and my favorite bands. The music fans are the most fun. 🙂 What drags down my Twitter feed are the writers.

Please stop selling yourself short. Stop selling yourself period. I get it—you’re a writer. Hey, me too! That’s probably why we connected in the first place. Now do us both a favor and talk about something else.

I promise not to unfollow you if you sometimes post about your cat, or the sunset, or how great it felt just now when a song you love came on the radio at exactly the moment you needed to hear it. Be inspiring, be interesting, be funny, be vulnerable, be nerdy, be cool, be yourself.

Don’t be a brand.


  1. I am immune to such things – I don’t know how to Tweet. 🙂 But sadly, my technical ignorance comes at a price – I also fail at receiving any of your communications through your blog for some reason. :/

    • Aw, that’s okay. 🙂 I think you have to subscribe to follow-up comments each time you post which is probably a pain. Just know this: I respond to every single comment on my blog, because I love getting comments and really appreciate them. So within a few hours of commenting, you can pop back over and I’ll have a reply for you! If you ever decide to try Twitter, let me know and I’ll walk you through. It is SO much fun; you’d love it.

  2. Ack, I wonder if I’ve been doing this unwittingly. Not the brand part, because I have no idea what brand I am, but my Facebook page is automatically linked to Twitter and posts whatever I put on there automatically so it’s book, book, book, author friend, fellow writers (though never expected a return). This can be kind of nice for me since I’m so little versed in Twitter (didn’t know that thing about the three interests!) and because it didn’t seem like a conversation on there. It’s always seemed that everyone’s on there directing people to something somewhere else.

    • Hi Linda! I know what you mean–for a long time I was confused on Twitter because it seemed people mostly posted links. Links to their longer Facebook posts, links to articles, links to blogs. Try searching for fun topics, whatever you’re passionate about, and focus on the people tweeting within the 140 characters. Those are the people having conversations. Hit “reply” and join in. It seems weird at first, especially if you’re–ahem–shy, but it works, and that’s when Twitter gets fun. 🙂