That was never the question. Not for this gal, anyway.
Let me explain.
I’m not really a social media fanatic. In 2013, I went Facebook-free and enjoyed twelve months of liking-sharing-can-you-solve-this-puzzle-in-under-one-minute darkness. Twas bliss.
I don’t have a mobile phone. Don’t want one.
I didn’t know what Instagram was until yesterday. Still not sure I know what it is. Or why it exists.
I’ve got vague sense of Pinterest’s purpose, but can’t figure out how it would be of help to me.
And Twitter? Well, Twitter seemed to be more about twits than tweets, neither of which appealed.
Man, was I wrong.
While revising a novel and researching the querying-pitching-agenting-publishing process in Fall 2014, I noticed a few references to online pitch contests. You know, #PitMad, #SFFPit, #AdPit, #PitchMadness, #PitchWars, #PitchMas, and so forth. I wasn’t sure why they all had the hash sign in front of them, but hey — I’m behind the times.
In October, I dove in, created my shiny new virginal Twitter account, and two things happened.
Thing Number One: My husband threatened to file for divorce.
Thing Number Two: A tractor company followed me on Twitter.
Just kidding about that second one.
I learned the difference between @ and # (that second one really gets to me because my computer regularly defaults to UK English and if I don’t remember the Option key I end up with the Pound Sterling symbol).
I learned how to follow people. Twitter makes this very easy. Probably too easy. Just click that cute little blue-and-white Follow button and poof! Beware, though, if you follow prolific Twitterers (Tweeters?), you’ll end up with all sorts of things on the newsfeed that you probably don’t give a crap about. I feel kinda bad about unfollowing, so I just mute them. That was harder to learn.
I learned how to Tweet, or rather, I learned how to Twitch (Twitter + Pitch = Twitch). You know, the art of boiling down your 80,000-word novel into one hundred twenty characters. Yes. Characters. Including spaces. Including an extra twenty or so characters for the hashtags. Want an example? Here’s my practice Twitch for LUCKY THIRTEEN. I’m kinda sad I never got to use it.
— Christina Dalcher (@CVDalcher) February 8, 2015
Get the idea?
Now if this had been the real #AdPit (Adult pitch contest), instead of the practice round, I would have waited — patiently — for literary agents to “favourite” my Tweet by putting a little star next to it. We authors like little stars. We like them a lot.
As they say at the end of Fame, “and in time, and in time, we will all be stars.”
Maybe some of us will, maybe not. But Twitter’s helped us pave the way.
Who the hell woulda thunk?