Tips from Tweets

True confession: I originally got Twitter so that I could follow the characters from the Lizzy Bennet Diaries. To this day, most of my interactions are with characters from literary vlogs, not actual people. (I’m ashamed to tell you how excited I was when Gilbert Blythe from Green Gables Fables responded to one of my tweets).

BUT I also discovered that there are plenty of real people worth following, especially if you’re a writer or a reader. (My suggestion: go follow Anne Lamott, Shannon Hale, and Maureen Johnson).  There are also accounts based around writers from the past which tweet profound or famous words from a particular author. (I like @CSLewisDaily).

There are also accounts which create internet-based poetry. Maybe that’s not the best term, but I don’t know what else to call it. My favorite is Google Poetics, which tweets “Google poetry”: the automatic suggestions that appear when you start to type a word or phrase into the Google search box. One of my friends and I literally spent an entire evening creating our own Google poems.

Google autofill for "i'm lo"

One of the Google poems I found. “I’m lonely / I’m looking through you / I’m loving it / I’m loving you more”

Another internet-based form of poetry you can follow on Twitter is the Pentametron. It re-tweets random tweets from other twitter users to form couplets in iambic pentameter.

I’m going to end this post with some wisdom about writing I learned from various writers on Twitter.

“Don’t write what you know . . . that is boring! Write what fascinates you, and by the end, you will know it.”Shannon Hale

“We talk about craft. Well, seacraft, aircraft, spacecraft — craft is supposed to carry you somewhere.” Paula Meehan

“Here’s what writing is: going over and over the same sentences and phrases, until they are not as bad and fraudulent as they were before.” Anne Lamott

“All you really need to do to be a writer is to write, read and rewrite. And go out into your life and live it. That’s about it.” Patrick Ness

“Fear of disappointing others is possibly the worst toxin that writers–or anyone–can deal with.” Mette Ivie Harrison



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