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GuestBooker 2.1

August 20, 2011

Haven't blogged for a month. Just joined Twitter. Am I mad???

So, I have a new baby and a groaning to-do list. I'm already strapped for time to get done the things that need doing on a daily basis. Good time to sign up to Twitter, right?

Image by Michal Marcol
Crazy or not, I've done it, and you'll see a new little follow button on my sidebar. Anyone who is really good with Twitter, feel free to head over and show me the ropes, 'cos it's a whole new medium for me. And if you're not so good with Twitter, come and say hi and commiserate.

Yeah okay, the basics aren't too hard. Type stuff and press the 'Tweet' button. But I don't get this hashtag thing. Are we meant to use existing ones (apart from those currently 'trending' is there a list somewhere??) or do we just make them up? And is making up funny hashtags to end your tweet with considered a joke in itself? A satirical take on the art of indexing?

I'm sure it will all make more sense in a week or two, but at the moment I'm #lostinthewoods, #confused, and feeling like a #luddite. Sigh.

My poor blog has been languishing since my last post a month ago. But I have been doing some writerly stuff. I participated in an online conference, and got involved in some forums and chat rooms, 'cos talking about writing is so much easier and more fun than actually writing. (Why is that?)

Anyway, the summary.

RWA Claytons Conference
Image by digitalart
While Australia's Romance Writers Association held their national conference in Melbourne, there was another conference held through Yahoo groups. (Claytons being a non-alcoholic drink, the online Claytons conference is the one you go to when you can't make it to the real thing) Lots of great seminars, new people to 'virtually' meet, and fun action in the chat rooms too, including plenty of virtual cocktails. I've never typed so fast! (or drunk so many virtual drinks)

Sprint Room
This is also something offered by the RWA (you may have guessed I'm a member) that I signed up for in July, and it's led to some actual writing. It's a chat room (for members only, sorry), and basically you log in, and participate in writing 'sprints' of up to half an hour with other likeminded souls, reporting back at the end of the allotted time to tell everyone how much you wrote/edited. Nobody really knows if you're writing furiously - you could be spending half an hour making a deluxe hot chocolate for yourself. But the whole accountability thing really works for me for some reason.

I've even logged in in the middle of the day and sprinted by myself. Crazy? You betcha, but it worked.

 On the non-writing front, I've been battling a new online addiction. I think I've beaten the thing down - for now. It's called Etsy, and many of you will be aware of it (it's a site dedicated to all things crafty and handmade), but for those who are not that site is DANGEROUS. So dangerous that I'm not posting a link here. If you feel you absolutely must visit, you'll have to type the name into your browser yourself. Approach with extreme caution, and don't say I didn't warn you. I lost about a week of my life wandering in the world of Etsy.

So, progress on the actual writing front has been somewhat minimal this month. But that's about to change. Stay tuned. And if you want a blow by blow account of how I'm going with my struggle to get back on the wagon, join me on Twitter. I may yet tweet something appended with that special little hashtag, #amwriting.

So, what are your most insidious time-wasters, online and off? Does belonging to writing-related forums and chat groups motivate you or distract you?

Any tweeteriffic  tips, advice or favourite follow recommendations for a Twitter newbie? Favourite crazy Twitter hashtags?

And who wants to join me for a deluxe hot chocolate?


Image by Ambro


Suze said...

Funny, when I looked at 'Sprint room' under the wine bottles, I read 'Spirit room.' :)

Elizabeth Twist said...

If you're enjoying Etsy and you like a laugh, you might like Regretsy. It's a humour site featuring some of the less tasteful items people post on Etsy. It's a bit mean in concept, but hilarious in execution and the writer uses it as a platform for various awesome charity causes.

Good old Twitter. You'll probably get the most mileage out of the hashtags #amwriting and #amediting. They will allow other writers to find you more easily.

Liz said...

I just joined Twitter too, and I have no idea what I'm doing. Sigh.

As for Etsy, I have a shop there, so I know exactly what you mean. (And Regretsy is hilarious.)

M.C. said...

Twitter was very distracting when I was new and was trying to figure out how it worked. After I got in the groove it became less distracting and more of a motivation as I was connected with other writers.

Misha said...

Twitter is actually a lot of fun. The existing hashtags can be used to communicate to people almost like in a chat room (like the #amwriting tag) but you can actually just make up hashtags to be funny.


Life In A Pink Fibro said...

Ah, we are kindred spirits. I will find you on twitter. :-)

Amish Stories said...

Id like to invite you folks to come to Amish Stories for a recipe for "Famous Pennsylvania Dutch Sticky Cinnamon Buns" along with a book signing schedule for Amish fiction writer Wanda Brunstetter for Pennsylvania and Ohio as well as a contest to meet her. I hope everyone so far is having a great weekend. Thanks everyone. Richard from Amish Stories.

Carol Riggs said...

Yep, both ways for hashtags. Existing writerly ones (or not) as well as made up ones done in jest. There are also REALLY helpful live chats with agents where you can ask them things, under #askagent or do a search for #askagent and read the past sessions. The agents schedule the sessions sporadically and you just have to be online at the right time (sometimes they announce a few hours ahead of time, or a half day).

The Golden Eagle said...

I'm afraid I can't help you with Twitter, since I don't social network beyond Blogger. :P

I love looking around sites like Etsy. :)

Adina West said...

Thanks for the tips so far, all! And glad to know I'm not alone with my online addictions...

Amanda Leigh Cowley said...

Deluxe hot chocolate? Yes please! From another campaigner popping by to join your blog :o)

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