The first time I heard about Twitter was a few years ago, when my sister, Carmen (the one who doesn't read my blog or do ANY social networking) gave me an article on how Twittering could help authors market their books.
My response was something like, "Please, Lechuga, I have no time for this!" TRANSLATION: "Please, Lettuce, I have no time for this!" And if you're wondering why I call my sister Lettuce then just read my upcoming novel The Boyfriend of the Month Club and all will be made clear.
But, as with any trend that catches on so quickly it will make your laptop spin, soon, everyone I knew was Twittering, so being the impetuous fool that I am, I hopped abroad the Twitter Train. But I still really had no clue how to effectively Twitter or what I was supposed to do.
So while I was at the Romantic Times Convention in Orlando (2009) I went to an author workshop on Twittering. The workshop was run by some guy who is a famous Twitterer (can't remember his name) and a book reviewer whose site I find amusing and sometimes clever. I was expecting a killer workshop. Ten minutes in, I (and the other 4 people in the room) began to understand why these 2 are such good Twitterers (is that a word?). Lack of eye contact and effective oral communication skills would be one reason. It was probably the strangest workshop I'd ever attended, unless the point of the workshop was that face-to-face communication was a thing of the past (which I refuse to believe.) So I left, confused and thinking Twitter probably wasn't for me, since I'm not a slave to my cell phone and that seemed to be the best way to Twitter.
Then I found Twitter Deck. Yay! I could Twitter while I was on the computer. Except the temptation to run to Twitter Deck and read... well, most times, nothing really important, was too tempting. So even though I was essentially a Twitter voyeur (someone who reads Twitters but does not necessarily engage in the act itself) I had to take Twitter Deck off my computer. When you're writing on a deadline, it's just too distracting.
And then I read Jane Green's blog post on Addictions. Well, heck, if Jane Green doesn't want to Twitter, then why should I? After all, according to the Penguin, USA, book catalogue, fans of Sophie Kinsella and Jane Green will adore me. At least they should adore me. That, however, is still out for debate. And whilst you might say, "Maria, you are no Jane Green!" and I would agree (LOVE LOVE LOVE both Sophie and Jane's books) I couldn't help but take her words to heart.
And in that moment or two after reading it and digesting it a bit, I came to the liberating realization that Thank God, we are not all alike and that what's good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander. And while I believe I'm terribly witty and charming in real life (and in my books), I don't think I'm especially suited for the Twitter medium. And I know I don't have the patience it takes to build a Twitter audience that would have any sort of impact on my book sales. So while I continue to be a Twitter voyeur and an occasional Twitterer, it's okay that this is one social medium I won't be losing any sleep over.
Note: In an act of supreme semi-hypocrisy, I have just Tweeted this post.